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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, no American, other than Jimmy Lewis back when BMW motorcycles owned the race, has ever finished on the podium at the Dakar. And it aint gonna happen again this year. Robby Gordons has guided his Bardini into, well.. Thirty somethingth place and will be lucky to finish.

The big story is Roma and peterhansel and Al allatiyah are dominating the race in minis. They dominated it in Volkswagens and now they own it in cars in minis. The race is in the end of the third stage.

Now, for the bikes. A young Spaniard, barreda bort is leading the first big money honda effort in years. Unlike most years, where only one brand of bike seriously competed, KTM, Yamaha, Honda have all talen aim at the prize, with yamaha hiring the evil cyril despres to win it all... And he will, he is lurking in second waiting for the honda to falter. The usual guy behind deres, marc coma, is in third.


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Discussion Starter #3
so, after the stage yesterday, here's how it looks:

1 Marc Coma 32:06:19
2 Joan Barreda Bort + 38:08
3 Jordi Viladoms + 1:27:22
4 Alain Duclos + 1:49:09
5 Jeremias Israel Esquerre + 1:52:05
6 Olivier Pain + 1:59:07
7 Jakub Przygonski + 2:06:06
8 Hélder Rodrigues + 2:12:41
9 Cyril Despres + 2:23:58

All the usual suspects, except for Bort. On a Honda. All the major dirt bike mans have full teams and are racing hard. The race is limited to 450ccs, so the big adventure bikes no longer rule the roost.

One of the best parts of the Dajkar is the spirit of the race. Professional racers race side by side with amateurs and the pro teams provide support often for the amateur's bikes.

One of the best amateur riders was50 year old Eric Palante. His body was found at the 143km mark of the previous day's stage from Chilecito to San Miguel de Tucuman, the longest of the grueling race.
A support truck had gone in search of the rider, who had been missing overnight after the 911km marathon leg.


Also, Two members of a local Argentine news team also died while following Thursday's fifth stage when their car plunged into a ravine.


In the Cars, all the top 5 are former motorcycle Dakar champions, most of them in minis... Another neat story is al-attiyah, who is a great driver, former champ and olympic medalist in several shotgun events... a real sporting man.

1. Nani Roma
2 Stéphane Peterhansel + 23:46
3 Giniel de Villiers + 48:25
4 Orlando Terranova + 51:55
5 Nasser Al-Attiyah + 1:09:05
6 Carlos Sainz + 1:43:59
7 Krzystof Holowczyc + 1:29:22
8 Christian Lavieille + 3:14:43
9 Adam Malysz + 3:27:35
10 Guilherme Spinelli + 4:05:16
 

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When I was a kid they use to show this race on American Sportsman. Always was impressed at the difficulties experienced in this race.
 

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To me, it is THE race. Dakar, Baja. toughest races in the world, run for nothing but pride. No prize money, no nonsense.
 

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Years ago, I assisted my uncle with pit crew duties while he raced the Baja 500 and 1000. He raced for 20 years in SoCal, AZ and NV and won his class several times. The Mexico races were independent incredible efforts way before the high powered teams got involved. I would drive like mad across Mexico in the pit van with mechanics while towing a vehicle trailer to make it to the next pit stop before he did... Thats not easy to do. All day and all night. Pit crews would make the Hiway a one way road going south during the race. once the race was over, a mass exodus going north. The stories he told were almost unbeilvable! Loose livestock, angry land owners, breakdowns and then thefts if you left the race car, racers carrying weapons to defend themselves at night, horrible crashes to include spectators. Once, we encountered a race road that had the cattle guard removed during the race. The pre-race was fine but once the race began the land owner removed it. Damaged many cars and trucks until the course was changed that day.
 

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The MINT 400 is another kick-butt, desert race.
 

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The MINT 400 is another kick-butt, desert race.
Yep. We did that one several times. 4 laps of 100 miles each. Back in the day, used to leave from Fremont St.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
KTM
41:48:33- -2

3
HONDA
42:32:4300:44:1000:15:303

4
KTM
43:50:3602:02:0300:15:004

6
YAMAHA
44:04:4502:16:1200:15:005

7
HONDA
44:09:4902:21:16-
Lookie Here, a fight has broken out for the podium finish on bikes! The evil Cyril Despres could still make a podium with some luck, too!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Also, a Kamaz team usually dominates the heavy truck class. Yes, many support vehicles enter as race entries and there is a heavy truck class. The winners are almost always crazy Russian Truckers who routinely brave the Siberian Road of Bones to move supplies.

KAMAZ
42:02:45- 00:00:30
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also, early rumors are Robby Gordon has cracked the top 20 in his Hummer. The final stages are all about brute force, Gordon hopes to move up with his 800 HP monster.
 

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Also, early rumors are Robby Gordon has cracked the top 20 in his Hummer. The final stages are all about brute force, Gordon hopes to move up with his 800 HP monster.
I watched a little today on NBC sports cable, Gordon was 31st at that time. Hope he did move up, the amount he has to improve to place in the top five is a bunch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I watched a little today on NBC sports cable, Gordon was 31st at that time. Hope he did move up, the amount he has to improve to place in the top five is a bunch.

Gordon is an odd. He will never crack the top 5 because he wont change his strategy, he truly experiments and appears to enjoy building the vehicles and pushing them hard rather than winning. Everyone knows he is one of the worlds best pure drivers and he has been successful in almost every form of motor racing, but his focus is on racing his way.

A great movie to watch is Dust to glory, it features the astounding attempt of Mouse mccoy to win the baja as a solo rider, after not racing in almost 15 years (spoiler, he almost does it). It also shows Gordon in all his brute force glory, trying to win a race hes won several times as a younger man with an 800 HP hummer instead of the typical trophy truck.


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Discussion Starter #15
Gordon is an odd. He will never crack the top 5 because he wont change his strategy, he truly experiments and appears to enjoy building the vehicles and pushing them hard rather than winning. Everyone knows he is one of the worlds best pure drivers and he has been successful in almost every form of motor racing, but his focus is on racing his way.

A great movie to watch is Dust to glory, it features the astounding attempt of Mouse mccoy to win the baja as a solo rider, after not racing in almost 15 years (spoiler, he almost does it). It also shows Gordon in all his brute force glory, trying to win a race hes won several times as a younger man with an 800 HP hummer instead of the typical trophy truck.


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Slight correction to give Robby credit. He has placed 3rd overall in the Dakar... I meant to say he will not do it running the trophy style vehicles hes been using of late. He is the only American ever to finish on the podium ii. A car, the only other American was jimmy Lewis, the dominant BMW rider, who finished on the podium twice with a bike.


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Slight correction to give Robby credit. He has placed 3rd overall in the Dakar... I meant to say he will not do it running the trophy style vehicles hes been using of late. He is the only American ever to finish on the podium ii. A car, the only other American was jimmy Lewis, the dominant BMW rider, who finished on the podium twice with a bike.


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To give him even more credit, he is the ONLY race car driver I know of that has won Baja, won a NASCAR race, won and
INdycar race (back when indycar races were hard to win) and won the SCORE trophy. Essentially, he's the best driver in the universe. All the other winners in the Dakar are highly specialized racers, all with dakar motorcycle wins under their belt... You can only imagine their navigation skills and savvy.

If gordon were to get the evil cyril despres to navigate for him when he stops riding, he would be unstoppable.


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Discussion Starter #18
Gordon is out of the race. The evil cyril despres has clawed his way back within striking distance, basically making alll the top 5 the usual bike suspects. Too bad for Gordon, the last two stages are easy specials. The bikes will be out at full chat on the stages though...


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