The “Big Five”!
Marc Coma celebrates his 35th birthday today, and he offers himself a stage victory as a present! The Spaniard signs the third victory out of five stages. In cars, Jean-Louis Schlesser doesn´t stop attacking and increases the gap from the top…
Today was the most difficult stage of Pharaons Rally 2011. All competitors agreed that the extreme hit was a steady difficulty during the 444 km of the timed section. The first five bikes of overall standings run together for part of the stage as if they needed to spy one over the other! Certainly the battle starts with the two Yamaha riders, Jordi Viladoms and Helder Rodrigues (fifth of the day), both wanting to take the place after Coma, who has 14´53” of advantage. Chaleco López on Aprilia and Jakub Przygonski on KTM joined the crew and the five together rode at a very high pace.
Marek Dawroski (KTM) finishes 6th and didn´t participate of bunch. The Polish is in front of Italian rider Andrea Mancini (Honda) and Jes Munk (KTM). Then, the first French, Edouard Boulanger (Aprilia) is particularly regular. In the overall standings, behind Marc Coma, Jordi Viladoms opened the gap from Helder Rodrigues for less than six minutes. The two Yahama riders must control each other during the last stage, keeping an eye on Jakub Przygonski.
Behind Jean-Louis Schlesser, who signs another stage win, which make four out of five stages of Pharaons 2011, and behind him everything is quiet. The Buggy man shows his resistance on the tracks, and adds 30 more minutes at each performance. Today, it was Boris Gadasin (G-Force) who finishes second, in front of Vadym Nesterchuk (Mitsubishi L200) and his co-driver Laurent Lichtleuter, which is the best performance of the Ukranien-French crew.
Japanese driver Jun Mitsuhashi (Toyota T2) can manage his advantage in overall standings and has more than 20 minutes over the Russian driver, Boris Gadasin, who takes the third place. Rumanian Costel Casuneaunu keep quiet in his Mitsubishi Pajero MPR13, while the French “bio” crew composed by Bernard Touzery and Benoit Maurice (Buggy Porche) took the seventh place after stage four. The two guys from Toulouse had a serious mechanic problem in the dunes.
The last stage between Tibniya and Le Caire will be of 414 km and its timed section will contain 350 km. Anything can happen!
Marc Coma (KTM): “It was a hard day, especially for the 15 km of soft sand, very technical. Not to risk to run out of gas, I didn´t go so fast before the refueling area. Then, I restarted and attacked… full gas! Just small sand stuck in the first dunes, but I had the time to analyse the situation and find back a nice pace.”
Jordi Viladoms (Yamaha): “It was a hard stage. We rolled all five together (Coma, Rodrigues, Przygonski, Lopez) after CP1, and found a nice rhythm. It was nice to ride together because it allows you to control your adversaries, and I took 6 minutes over Helder, which makes me take the second place overall. There is still one day to go so I have to keep it… but a place in the podium wouldn´t be bad!”
Helder Rodrígues (Yamaha 450) : “I opened the track for about 240 km. Marc Coma and Jakub Przygonski were behind, but we got all together (with Jordi Viladoms and Chaleco López) at CP1. After, Chaleco took me over and at that moment I preferred to take care of the bike because there is one more stage to go! And today´s stage wasn´t easy…”
Marek Dabrowski (KTM) : “It was a typical African stage with specific difficulties during each part of the ground. There were lots of bumps like in endure to be handled carefully, and also lots of sand during the second part of the stage and sometimes very very soft. I completed the stage at my own pace and in my position.”
Jakub Przygonski (KTM): “The special was beautiful but long. I rode well at the beginning and fast at the refueling area, I was second, after marc. In the dunes, Marc made a small mistake and I found myself opening… It didn´t last long because I got stuck too and my engine stopped. It took me sometime to restart… I got back to the peloton and we crossed the finish line almost together.”
Francisco “Chaleco” López (Aprilia 450): “I had a good time today! It felt like the stage was short, and it was great for me because I was able to ride with Jordi (Viladoms), Helder (Rodriguez) and Marc (Coma). This makes me feel a lot better because until now I was always riding behind… and now I see how much effort it takes to run a long stage among top riders.” Lilian Lanceleeve (Quad): “It was such a nice stage, but so long too! We arrived in the dunes at 2 p.m. and the sand was soft. Schlesser took me over and he left deep trace as he drove so I avoided running into it. I am not sure that quads will arrive early because it was an extenuating stage.”
Jean-Schlesser (Buggy): “A beautiful and hard stage. I think that for some it was very hard. The day can be classed as an off road day… The problem to find way points in the dunes. Over the last 70 km, we had some bumps to enjoy… It was shaky!”
Boris Gadasin (G-Force Proto): “It was a very interesting stage. It was long and mostly difficult in the middle. It reminds me of a sandy stage of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for a while, but then, for the last 70 km after CP2 I had a gear problem and it was all rocky and bumpy so we shook a look!”
Vladymir Vasiliev (G-Force Proto): “There was a part of white stones and I had a suspension problem. Each day is a technical problem! Before this I participated in two bajas and this is my second cross country event, so I am discovering. It was fun, but very hard to drive in the sand!”