The Portuguese riders Faria and Rodrigues once again dominated the day's proceedings, taking the top two places ahead of Isidre Esteve (Gauloises KTM). Isidre's water carrier David Casteu was fourth, while Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) finished...
The Portuguese riders Faria and Rodrigues once again dominated the day's proceedings, taking the top two places ahead of Isidre Esteve (Gauloises KTM). Isidre's water carrier David Casteu was fourth, while Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) finished back in 26th place after a fall provoked by a spectator. Frans Verhoeven's time suffered as a result, with the Dutchman finishing back in 36th place, after stopping to help Despres. Overall Rodrigues leads Faria by 0'47, with Esteve third at 6'29. Casteu is fourth at 7'01 with Despres 11th at 12'55 and Verhoeven 12th at 13'37.
Isidre Esteve (Gauloises KTM) 3rd (at 1'45) 3rd overall (at 6'29)
"It was extremely slippery today and you had to be very careful with the throttle if you didn't want to finish up on the deck. The solution was to pick a high gear and accelerate as smoothly as possible. The fact that our bikes are so powerful didn't make things any easier and for sure we couldn't go as fast here as the Portuguese riders on their lighter, enduro-based machines. Still I am happy with how everything has gone here in Europe and am looking forward to getting to Morocco."
David Casteu (Gauloises KTM) 4th (at 2'10) 4th overall (at 7'01)
"Although there wasn't much grip it was a nice special to ride -- it reminded me a lot of where I live in the South of France. The important thing today was not to crash as now we have to go to Malaga to catch the ferry and don't have much time to carry out any repairs. The other challenge today was not to get caught out by the speed limits -- they kept changing all the time and you had to keep a very close eye on the GPS."
Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) 26th (at 5'45) 11th overall (at 12'55)
"At km 30 there was a short stretch of tarmac and I was riding along slowly when a woman jumped out of the crowd to take a photo. Instinctively I grabbed the front brake, the wheel looked up and down I went. Fortunately I wasn't hurt, but the bike was quite damaged. The gear selector became stuck against the engine casing, the rear brake pedal snapped, the throttle jammed against the hand protector and I put a hole in the fuel tank which caused petrol to pour into my boot and burn my foot. It took quite a while to sort that out so I don't think my time was very good. At least it confirmed to me that I made the right choice in becoming an off-road -- apparently tarmac isn't my thing!"
Frans Verhoeven (Gauloises KTM) 36th (at 6'25) 12th overall (at 13'37)
"I came round the corner and saw Cyril (Despres) had fallen, so I naturally stopped to help him sort out his bike. Apart from that it was extremely slippery out there today -- like riding on ice -- and you had to be very careful. Fortunately my background is trials riding, which is all about throttle control, so it was perhaps less of a problem for me than some of the other riders."
Tonight the riders cross catch the ferry from Malaga to Nador before tackling the 3rd stage of the rally, with 252 kms of special to Er Rachidia.