Last day before rest day
Alexey Naumov (65th in the special, 49th overall) : ''It was a hard day. I felt better in the dunes compared to yesterday. I lost my way, went right instead of left and had to turn back to pick up two waypoints.
It took me 30 or 40 minutes and I think I did an extra 100 kilometers in total. You had to stand up all the time on the bike, with all the fesh-fesh and stones. After I picked up the waypoints I overtook a lot of bikes, at the finish I was more or less at the same position as before I made that navigation error.''
Mirjam Pol (66th in the special, 88th overall) : "Until the first fuel stop things went great. No dust, I overtook some people. From the fuel stop to the finish
I didn't like it so much. I would have liked to see more dunes. Navigation was tricky sometimes, because we passed some of the tracks from the day before. The last few days were ok for me. With just a little more sleep I feel a lot better. It's so important. Last year things kept going worse and worse, now I'm on my way up again.''
Vadim Pritulyak (111th in the stage, 92nd overall) ,,I feel good. No crashes yesterday, the dunes went ok. The stones are a problem for my wrist, as usual. My son is helping me with my equipment, I will get a good massage from Luuc, and then we'll see what tomorrow brings.''
For the mechanics a rest day doesn't exist. While the riders take care of their materials, do some washing, get a massage and prepare themselves for the second half, the mechanics have a lot of work to do on the bikes. All four riders of the Team Honda Europe are in the race. Quinn Cody is on schedule with his 12th place overall and will of course try to make his way into the top ten.
Mechanics Marcel Bulten, Gerrit Polsvoort and Michel Reins make sure the bikes are in perfect condition for the start of the next day. Bulten is responsible for the bike of Quinn Cody. Bulten: ,,In 2009 we had some issues with the chainsliders, in 2010 some fuel problems like most of the teams, but this year things are fine. The new rear fuel tank is working fine, off course we will do some small modifications when we come back from the Dakar. For Quinn we will install a slightly bigger front tank. You can tell he's pushing hard. He uses far more tyres and brake pads than the others, but still doesn't hurt the engine. We had a lot of work on the first day, since then things are running smoothly. At the rest day we change the engines out of precaution, renew chains and sprockets, the parts that wear.'''
For Michel Reins it's his first Dakar. He and Gerrit Polsvoort work on the other three bikes, assisted by Marcel Bulten when he finishes Cody's bike. "You don't really know what to expect when you come to this race for the first time. Off course I talked about it with the other guys. It's a great experience so far. Every day we work on the bikes from 17.00 hours until 02:00 or 03:00 in the morning. Luckily we haven't had a lot of crashes, which makes it a bit easier for us.''
Luuc Botte is the physiotherapist in the team. -source: the