Team Honda Europe stage 2 report

January 3 2011, Stage 2 standings: Quinn Cody 12th; Alexey Naumov 86th; Vadim Pritulyak 97th; Mirjam Pol 103th;

January 3 2011, Stage 2 standings: Quinn Cody 12th; Alexey Naumov 86th; Vadim Pritulyak 97th; Mirjam Pol 103th;

Cordoba - San Miguel de Tucuman Easy to make mistakes

The second day in the Dakar was again well over 700 kilometers long, just like yesterday. As Quinn Cody mentioned, it was easy to make mistakes which was confirmed by the many missed turns and many crashes. All four riders got through the day without too many difficulties. For the mechanics this means just the regular maintenance. New oil, fresh airfilters, and checking if the bikes are ok.

Only Quinn Cody (Nr.15) keeps on developing his bike with little adjustments, the others are satisfied with the way things are going. Although, not quite. Mirjam Pol was again not happy with her result of the day. Quinn Cody. Just missed a pig

Quinn Cody didn't take too many risks. ,,It was very easy to make mistakes. You could tell from the tire marks that the leaders were really taking

risks, I tried to be smooth. At some point you have to choose. Maintain a speed which allows me to follow my roadbook, or just go after my instinct and follow the tracks from the other guys, I choose to read the roadbook, we still have a long way to go. I got overtaken by Olivier Pain, just before the fuel stop. In the end of the special I caught up with Jordi Viladoms. Navigation wasn't too hard, because of the many spectators. I had a scary moment when a huge pig

was in the middle of the track, it must have been around 200 kilos, I missed it by 3 inches!'' Mirjam Pol

Mirjam Pol (Nr.58): ,,Just like yesterday I had a bad day. Not completely, because I gained 30 positions before the fuel stop. I overtook some people in the dust, some others by riding clever. But after the fuel stop I was stuck behind 3 quads which made so much dust I couldn't get past. So most of the 30 riders passed me again and in the end I was back where I started. The good thing was, that the riding went a lot better. Bad thing is I again have to start in a position where I don't want to be. Further back you also have to deal with the ruts created by all the riders which have already passed, making the track harder to ride.'' Alexey Naumov

Alexey Naumov (126) lost his stamp card and got a 5 minutes penalty. That was in fact the only incident of the day for the Russian rider, who's riding safely but still in 78th position. ,,It was a long day, but other than that ok. The second half of the stage was difficult, with all the dust, so I was making sure I was 200% safe. Things are going better day by day.'' Vadim Pritulyak

Vadim Pritulyak was the second rider of the team to arrive in the bivouac. A half a year ago he decided to work more on his riding skills, and so far it's paying off. ,,I read and follow the roadbook all the time, and it helps me to control my speed. I'm more confident on the bike and less tired. I learned from Henk (Henk Hellegers, the team owner) this is the most important thing. Coming to the bivouac, there was a massive crowd. To me it's like living in a show, in my opinion not what the Dakar is about.'' Time and money

Quite literally, the team is struggling for cash since arriving in Buenos Aires. Money is in short supply in Argentina for two reasons: one

being that money is in short supply and the other is that the banks are inefficient. While many ATM's are installed, almost as many are sitting idle. And if the machine gives out cash, it is often in small amounts at a time. Wonder how an inefficient bank can still make money? Well, for instance by charging 500% of the normal commission on a $ 2500 (Ђ 500) withdrawal in five sessions immediately one after another. Competitors claims

The rally organization is working overtime to process rankings for the past stage and starting orders for the next. For the second night in a row, three out of four Team Honda Europe riders went to bed without knowing the time of

their wake-up call. At some point the race headquarters (Race HQ) decided to shortcut the lengthy checks and calculations by just accepting competitor's claims, in one instance of navigational errors in the road book. In fact, the road book worked fine for most riders. This led to the suspicion that some competitors had tried to cover up their own part in losing valuable time on the liaison and starting late at the special stage on January 3. Miraculously, start number 56 Annie Seel rose some fifty places in the ranking and in the starting order by just such a claim. Amongst competitors, she had previously been talking about repairing a leaking fuel tank somewhere on the liaison route. Only after persistent questions, the GPS data of Seel and one other competitor were compared in detail. After several hours of work by IT professionals, it turned out that 'getting lost' involved a distance of never more than one hundred feet from the route of the second benchmark rider. By contrast, over a single 150 meter stretch which normally takes some ten seconds to cover, Seel converted an eight-minute lead over the benchmark, to a half-hour backlog. According to this GPS data, Annie Seel did not move for close to forty minutes, consistent with her own explanation of a leaking fuel tank. The race jury is now

expected to rule on this evident loss of memory on the part of Ms Seel. It seems that not only her fuel had been dripping, but some honesty as well. It is likely that she will face a ranking downward in the coming days. Thin Air

On the technical side, no major work on the bikes is worth mentioning. For the January fifth stage, all bikes have been prepared to allow for the thin air. The start is at 2000 meters above sea level, topping at 3300 meters before descending to the finish line at

1000 meters. Team Honda Europe has devised a system to adjust the mixture, in this case leaning it, without changing jets themselves. For the extreme performance of Quinn Cody who starts his third-ever stage in the Dakar rally from twelfth-overall position, technician Marcel Bulten chose to alter the jetting as well. This is linked to the special top end of the start number 15 engine. The adjusted mixtures do not heighten the power of the bikes over what is to be expected at sea level, of course. The team's riders will

only have a relative performance advantage over non-adjusted bikes. January 4th

Tucaman - Jujuy Desert Canyons and green forests. Road section 231 km - special 521 km. The special stage is long but has been cut in two sections. The first section with desert canyons with red sand and cliffs. The second part leads over earthen tracks through thick green forest. The trucks are excluded from this section as the branches of the trees are too risky for the windscreens being at the same height.

-source: the

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Series Dakar
Drivers Jordi Viladoms , Olivier Pain , Quinn Cody