Red Bull KTM Factory riders and Dakar veterans Ruben Faria and Jordi Viladoms were the top KTM finishers in the long second stage of the Dakar 2015. They finished 3-4 in the stage and the overall standings behind Joan Barreda and Paolo Goncalves.
It was a mixed day for the KTM riders with Red Bull athlete Marc Coma finishing eighth in the stage. He shadowed leader Barreda all day but in the final stretch had to slow down because of tire problems. Experience paid off for him and he was still able to finish the stage just 12 minutes 03 behind Barreda.
Marc Coma: “The (tire) mousse disintegrated in the last 60 km. A little earlier I know it was happening. I had to slow down a lot. For the last 60 km I could not go faster than 60 km/h. But after having reached the finish I consider myself lucky because we could have lost much more time. Obviously its not the result we wanted but it is still salvageable.”
It was also a tough day for KTM Factory rider Sam Sunderland, who won the opening stage. He looked comfortable all day and was in third place for most of the day but then made an expensive navigational error. He finally arrived at the finish two hours 26.48 behind the winning time.
On the other hand, two KTM-supported riders making their first Dakar appearance not only weathered the longest timed special well but also finished 5-6 in the stage. First home in fifth was Australia’s Toby Price, nine minute 42 behind the leader after 518 km of timed special, followed by Austria’s Matthias Walkner at 11.25. The two newcomers are currently fifth and seventh in the overall standings.
Faria and Viladoms, who finished second overall in the Dakar in 2012 and 2014 respectively, made a big improvement in their overall positions. Faria of Portugal advanced from tenth to third overall and Viladoms of Spain improved his position by ten places.
Viladoms said it had been a hard and long day. “We had many different kinds of terrain and the worst one was the final part which was sandy and bumpy. I’m happy because I had a good rhythm throughout the race but I also saw I could have problems with the mousse so I had to slow down and be careful in the last part.”
Team manager Alex Doringer: “Ruben and Jordi did a great job today and although Marc had trouble with the mousse and had to slow down, he’s still in good shape. It was a very disappointing day for Sam because he was doing so well before he got lost. Now he’ll have to concentrate on getting some of his lost time back in the coming days.”
On Tuesday riders have a total distance of 657 km, which includes 220 km under the clock. They travel from San Juan north to Chilecito in the eastern shadow of Andes. KTM Factory and supported riders are on the KTM 450 RALLY.
Dakar Rally Stage Two
Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan – 107 km liaison, 518 km special (625 km) – longest timed special of the 2015 edition
1, Joan Barreda, ESP, Honda at 5 hours 46.06
2, Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda at 6 minute 13
3, Ruben Faria, POR, KTM, at 9.16
4, Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM, at, 9.20
5, Toby Price, AUS, KTM at 9.42
6, Matthias Walkner, Austria, KTM, at 11.25
7, Helder Rodrigues, POR, Honda, at 11.35
8, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 12.32
9, Jeremias Israel Esquerre, CHI, Honda at 15.49
10, Juan Pedrero, ESP, Yamaha, at 16.45
11, Stefan Svitko, SVK, KTM at 18.00
12, Riaan van Niekerk, RSA, KTM, at 21.44
14, Pablo Quintanilla, CHI, KTM at 22.50
15, David Casteu, FRA, KTM, at 23.20
22. Jakub Przygonski, POL, KTM at 32.43
72, Sam Sunderland, GBR KTM 2:26.48
Overall Standings after Stage 2
1, Barreda 7 hours 06.44
2, Goncalves, at 4 minutes.37
3, Faria at 10.37
4, Viladoms at 11.24
5, Price at 11.32
6, Coma at 12.03
7, Walkner at 12.26
8, Rodrigues at 13.26
9, Israel-Esquerre at 16.24
10, Pedrero at 19.34
11, Svitko at 22.14
12, Alain Duklos, FRA, Sherco at 22.22
13, Qunitanilla at 24.07
14, Casteu at 24.15
15, Van Niekerk at 25.54
21, Przygonski at 38.55
66, Sunderland 2:25.40