Where in the world are they driving? This was the question of today because nothing was to be seen of the pilots on their two wheels. Africa in fog! Although, the drivers were heading towards Agadir, the special was cancelled by the organizers....
Where in the world are they driving? This was the question of today because nothing was to be seen of the pilots on their two wheels. Africa in fog! Although, the drivers were heading towards Agadir, the special was cancelled by the organizers. The reasons: The helicopters of the stewards were incapable of taking off. The safety of the drivers was therefore not guaranteed anymore. Additionally, the A.S.O. claimed that the stage would not be proceeded under legitimate conditions. That is why the drivers were asked to not speed along the course. After the first checkpoint, the drivers left the race track and are currently riding the 500 km to Agadir on asphalt.
So, there is not going to be a fight for the lead within KTM- factory pilots today. But the KTM assistance team will have to fight a hard battle. Many private KTM pilots have had problems with the batteries of their bikes since the beginning of the rally. The defects are all of different natures but are mostly concerning the 450 bikes. The technicians haven't found the cause for the damage of battery after battery. However, KTM is working feverish in order to provide the service the private drivers are used to. "It means a lot to us to solve this problem as quickly as possible.", promises KTM team manager Hans Trunkenpolz. "Yesterday, the attempt to send one of our electronics engineers from Mattighofen to Rabat failed. He was delayed at the airport in Munich because his tools and some spare parts didn't make it through the security check. Meanwhile, the man is on his way to Agadir.
Additionally, there is a plane with new batteries and regulators on its way there. The factory teams also provide the amateurs with their equipment until the problem is solved." Thus, there will be a lot of work in the bivouac in Agadir tonight.
Last but not least, some good news: The American Dakar newcomer Chris Blais, team KTM Red Bull USA, celebrates his 24th birthday today. Happy Birthday!
Hopefully, the motorcyclists will have a clear view again tomorrow. The first long special is up next. 381 km will be judged on the way from Agadir to Smara. The course is initially hard and fast but will then be very stony and in the second section be quite winding. The second part is completely new and ends in a tried out river valley. Thus, the old hands will have little chance to bring to bear their experience. An exciting day if the weather gods are in favour of the rally.
Happy Birthday Chris Blais