Stage 4 Tuesday 6 January 2009 Jacobacci to Neuquen Connection 4 km Special 459 km Connection 25 km BIKE: Marc Coma (Esp -- 2 -- KTM) - 002 "It was a nice stage with some good riding at the beginning then a bit more navigation. The...
Tuesday 6 January 2009
Jacobacci to Neuquen
Connection 4 km
Special 459 km
Connection 25 km
Marc Coma (Esp -- 2 -- KTM) - 002
"It was a nice stage with some good riding at the beginning then a bit more navigation. The landscape changed, making it a bit more technical, and more physical because you start to feel all the efforts put in so far. Today, it was shorter but harder than the other days. It was a bit like Morocco, where the tricks are nice and quick. I didn't have any problems with my tires. Since it was a shorter stage, we chose to use foam bibs, and I haven't had any problems with them. What was strange was having to open 4 or 5 gates. They are cattle gates for keeping the cattle from leaving the farms. In the Patagonia - Atacama the tradition is to close them behind you so everyone is on an equal footing, but this time I left them open, especially as it was my team-mate Viladoms behind me!"
Jonah Street (Usa -- 26 -- KTM) - 026
"It was a nice day. Until refueling, I really enjoyed riding on these winding tracks. It was also good to be able to ride without having to constantly think about going easy on the tires, because on the first two stages, I had to slow down. I also liked the last part, because I knew there would be some off-track riding. When you have to ride without the others tracks, it's even better".
David Fretigne (Fra -- 12 -- Yamaha) - 012
"It was superb. We finished on the stony tracks, which were a bit quicker, with a crossing of a dry river where there was a big crowd to encourage us. It was a really great special, very varied. I've never had such a good time on the rally. It's also the way the special stages are designed which helps. They are technical, interesting and require a lot of concentration. As a biker, that makes for great riding".
Carlos Sainz (Esp -- 301 -- Volkswagen) - 301
"We started very well and very quickly. We soon caught up with Nasser Al Attiyah. When he realized it was us, he counter-attacked and we both continued to race at a very speedy pace, until I was able to overtake on an off-track section. However, just afterwards, I started loosing air from a tire. I had to stop and pump it back up, because it wasn't a flat tire, just a slow puncture. I was regularly loosing tire pressure right up until the end of the special stage. I think I arrived with only half a kilo of pressure and must have won by just 5 of 6 seconds. It's a shame, because I could have done better".
Nasser Al Attiyah (Qat -- 302 -- BMW) - 302
"I think Carlos Sainz overtook me just before we reached the 100-km mark. After that, I followed on his tail and we raced up to the finish. It's not a problem that he won the stage. It's even a good thing for me that he will be leading the way for a stage where there should be sand dunes. I damaged the car a bit because there were plenty of trees and also a lot of overtaking to get past the bikers. So, we hit the odd tree, but fortunately it's nothing serious. This Dakar is really going well and we're right where we want to be!"
Giniel de Villiers (Zaf -- 305 -- BMW) - 305
"It wasn't such a bad stage. I caught up with Dieter Depping who had a puncture. I saw Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al Attiyah. I was two minutes behind them. The route was very bumpy and undulating. It was difficult to go full throttle, attack and make up some ground. When you are two minutes behind, it isn't all that easy to claw back time on the leaders. The stages are becoming more and more difficult. It's a proper Dakar".
Gerard De Rooy (Ndl -- 505 -- Ginaf) - 505
"Chagin stopped for a moment, so I was able to overtake. Around 50 kilometers from the end of the special, he overtook me but I was able to follow close behind. Today, he gave his all to get past me. He got a flat tire, but me too. I pushed my truck to the limit and so did he. We're driving right at the very limit. Otherwise, it was a really good stage, with a very hard special. In any case, it was better than the three ones before".