Stage 9 Monday 12 January 2009 La Serena to Copiapo * Connection 88 km * Special 449 km BIKE: Frans Verhoeven (Ndl -- KTM) - 015 "This morning, I set off 33rd because I struggled a bit yesterday after I broke my navigation tools. Today, it...
Monday 12 January 2009
La Serena to Copiapo
* Connection 88 km
* Special 449 km
Frans Verhoeven (Ndl -- KTM) - 015
"This morning, I set off 33rd because I struggled a bit yesterday after I broke my navigation tools. Today, it was a real special, there was a bit of everything. We really enjoyed it, especially me. I attacked well all day long and I'm happy because it all paid off. At the start it was difficult because the sun was rising, there was dust in the mountains and still a bit of fog. I didn't take too many risks, but afterwards when I could see better, I really went for it".
David Fretigne (Fra -- Yamaha) - 012
"It was a stage for navigating and very hard. 430 kilometers for a special stage is very long. There was a bit of everything in this stage, and no room for error. We kept moving from one valley to another. There were lots of off-track sections with dunes and stones. This morning I didn't want to ride too quickly. I wanted to navigate well more than anything. But in the end, I was quite quick. I caught up with a lot of riders who had got lost. Since navigation is my weak point, it was no bad thing. I concentrated well after that and I did well to get through the tricky spots. It's a good thing too, because near the end, a few kilometers from the finishing line, I arrived on a track where there were quite a few competitors. I started wondering why and lost my way a little because I lost concentration. I still managed to recover well, which shows that you always need a bit of luck. I got some and I finished well. Since the start, I've not been looking at how my rivals are racing. I'm racing according to my capabilities, to avoid getting lost on the wrong tracks or losing time by getting over-excited. I prefer controlling how I race, both in terms of riding and navigation. Frankly, I'm happy, because that plan worked well today in a stage with several surprises: I caught up with them, they left me trailing, etc. In the meantime, there were quick tracks where I let them past because they are quicker than me".
Francisco Lopez (Chl -- KTM) - 020
"It wasn't a simple day. The navigation we had to do was complicated. In fact, a lot happened to me today. Nothing goes as planned on a rally, even when you want to do the best you can. I had a problem with my map. It got wiped, which cost me 15 minutes. But that's life. It wasn't really my day".
Carlos Sainz (Esp -- Volkswagen) - 301
"This special was very hard, very, very hard. There were a lot of stones and difficult navigation. It was really complicated. Just finishing is already a triumph. Just finishing without problems is a triumph".
Mark Miller (USA -- Volkswagen) - 308
"I've been waiting a year for that stage. We caught up with Carlos (Sainz) after 60 kilometers on the off-road section. We overtook him after around 150 kilometers and things were going quite well. We were back and forth more or less battling. In the last off-road section, the track was a bit difficult to find and there were big boulders. I hit a big boulder on the right. I broke the steering, so we had to stop and repair the steering and at the same time fix a wheel that broke. Carlos beat us by a bit more than a minute I guess, but it was a great day, a really, really fun day. I had a smile on my face from the start until the finish. I gave it everything today, because I thought I could pull back 6 or 7 minutes, but we were just really unlucky. Tomorrow it should be fantastic again, and I'm really looking forward to it".
Nani Roma (Sp -- Mitsubishi) - 304
"We made a navigational error that lost us around 6 or 7 minutes. There was a lot of dust and we couldn't even see the tracks. We made the same mistake as De Villiers in front of us. After that, we kept picking up problems. The engine temperature got very hot. So, it was really complicated in the dunes where we had to stop 5 or 6 times to cool it down and to adjust the tire pressure. There is still a chance, there always is in races like this. It's not all over. But we're a long way behind now!