Dakar update 4 12/1/2006 Day 11 -- stage 10 - Tuesday 10 January 2006 Kiffa > Kayes (Mali) Connection 1 km, Special 283 km, Connection 49 km, Total 333 km Due to the tragic accident of Andy Caldecott the Dakar organization decided that the ...
Dakar update 4
Day 11 -- stage 10 - Tuesday 10 January 2006 Kiffa > Kayes (Mali) Connection 1 km, Special 283 km, Connection 49 km, Total 333 km
Due to the tragic accident of Andy Caldecott the Dakar organization decided that the day's stage was to be covered in liaison from start to finish for the bikes as a tribute to the unfortunate Australian rider. Instead of the 283 kilometer special, the day would not be timed for the riders. The cars and trucks were not excluded from competition and competed as planned. The neutralization for bikes offered Fretigne the opportunity to recover from the tragic event and the misfortune he experienced over the last few days.
Day 12 - stage 11 - Wednesday 11 January 2006 Kayes > Bamako (Mali) Connection 50 km, Special 231 km, Connection 424 km, Total 705 km
For the first time since 1996 the Dakar returned to the bush covered setting of Mali. On the first part of the 705 kilometer long stage in between forests and savannas, David Frertigne found a steady race pace, resulting in a seventh place on CP1 in pursue of race leaders Duclos (FRA) and Comas (ESP). On a steep stony ascent, Fretigne tumbled over, pulling the plug of his rear fuel tank. Unaware of this mishap, he switched to the last but emptied fuel tank 30 kilometers before arrival, leaving David stranded without fuel. Fortunately a helping hand from fellow Frenchman Michel Gau (KTM) gave Fretigne the opportunity to ride on and finish the day in 18th position.
Day 13 - stage 12 - Thursday 12 January 2006 Bamako > Labe (Guinea) Connection 197 km, Special 368 km, Connection 307 km, Total 872 km
A marathon stage from Bamako entering Guinea was an ideal setting for a specialized Enduro rider like Fretigne. David left Bamako in 18th position, riding the first part of the stage with fellow Yamaha riders Frans Verhoeven (NL) and Michel Marchini (FR), both on similar WR450F's. At CP1 Fretigne clocked a well deserved 12th time, leaving Verhoeven and Marchini behind on the last part of the special. Crossing the finish line in tenth position after this long stage was satisfying for David, resulting in the 18th position overall. Most importantly, since no assistance was available in the bivouac for all Dakar competitors, he brought in the bike without any significant damage.
Portuguese Yamaha rider Helder Rodrigues now defends Yamaha's honour as top WR450F rider. At 27 years of age and a coveted enduro specialist, just like David Fretigne, Rodrigues has all the qualities needed to tackle the most challenging Rally-raid races; experience, speed, technique and stamina.
Only 15 minutes behind 450cc class leader Alain Duclos and three days away from the finish in Dakar, Helder will have to do battle with Duclos for the 450cc class victory. Currently he is keeping ninth spot in the overall standings.