Posts Tagged ‘Rally’

Dakar – Out of the Andes, Into the Desert

January 13, 2009

Dakar participants spent Monday (Stage 9) and Tuesday (Stage 10) traversing sand dunes, rock-strewn high desert and shooting through valleys along fast dirt tracks. KTM motorcycles and Yamaha quads continue to set the pace.

Jordi Viladoms / Papp

Jordi Viladoms / Papp

The weather forecast for Wednesday (Stage 11) announces heavy fog on the whole route, and since the timing of the stage cannot be altered due to the crossing of the Andes and the crossing of the border between Chile and Argentina, the organizers of the Dakar have decided to cancel the special stage between Copiapo and Fiambala. The participants will travel to the Fiambala bivouac in liaison.

On Monday, competitors traveled an 55-mile connection and 279-mile special stage from La Serena to Copiapo, Chile.

In the motorcycle race, Dutchman Frans Verhoeven (KTM) picked up his second stage victory of the rally, 3min09 ahead of Frenchman David Frétigné on his 450cc Yamaha, and 3min40 in front of local star, Chilean Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez (KTM). Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) arrived in fourth.

In the ATV race, Czech Josef Machacek (Yamaha) achieved his fourth stage victory on this Dakar, arriving 39 seconds ahead of Argentine Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) and 17min26 ahead of Frenchman Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris).

Jonah Street

Jonah Street

U.S.-based KTM rider Jonah Street was forced to withdraw from the rally at Stage 9 after injuring his wrist during Sunday’s Stage 8. Street had a stellar run going, winning Stage 5 and never slower than fifth position in the overall standings during the first eight stages.

Today riders braved a 296-mile special stage and 12-mile connection route that led them out of and back into Copiapo. It was a route that had them traversing a low altitude of 2,133 feet and a high altitude of 7,874 feet.

Spanish motorcyclist Jordi Viladoms (KTM) won the stage, finishing 1hr06min ahead of Franco-Malian rider Alain Duclos (KTM) and 2hr07min ahead of Norway’s Pal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM). Overall rally leader Marc Coma (KTM) was seventh in today’s stage.

In quads, Argentina’s Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) won his second stage victory on this Dakar, 28min ahead of the solid leader in the general rankings, Czech Republic’s Josef Machacek (Yamaha). Only six quads crossed the finish line as of 10pm local time.

Coma (ESP)…KTM…43hr52min30
Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr24min50
Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr31min11
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+1hr56min40
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr05min38
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr07min45
Lopez (CHL)…KTM…+2hr22min23
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr25min34
Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+2hr25min51
Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+3hr04min25

Marcos Patronelli / La Calle

Marcos Patronelli / La Calle

Duclos (FRA)…KTM…+12hr44min17

Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…57hr53min17
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+2hr30min34
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+5hr14min46
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+10hr03min14
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+11hr11min06
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+19hr38min50

So far, 86 motorcyclists and 11 ATV riders have withdrawn from the rally.

Myrtle Beach is Dead

January 13, 2009

To motorcycle rallies. It’s now official the city known for its May rallies that cater to all niches of the motorcycling world is shutting its doors and hanging up a c-l-o-s-e-d sign for big bike events.

In the latest of a saga that began in May 2008 (here) when Myrtle Beach officials starting looking for a way to end the rallies following a shooting over the Memorial Day holiday rally. Since then there have been lawsuits and hearings (here) and a myriad stories coming out about the possible ban.

This month the city and the area Chamber of Commerce launched a Web site detailing a long list of new laws and regulations (check ’em out here) aimed at motorcyclists and the bikes they ride in on. Mayor John Rhodes writes in a letter posted on the site:

This was a difficult decision. Myrtle Beach welcomes visitors year-round, but the giant motorcycle rallies simply grew too large. Our staff, residents and businesses strained to keep up with these huge single-focus events. It may surprise you, but our economy is much healthier with a fully diversified visitor base, instead of a concentration on one or two extremely large events.

Please know that Myrtle Beach is not anti-biker or anti-motorcycle. We want folks to come on the vehicle of their choice and enjoy all of the things Myrtle Beach has to offer. We are ending the motorcycle-related rallies because they grew too big and lasted too long. The huge rallies even kept visitors away from Myrtle Beach, and that’s not good.

Over at the custom builder Cyril Huze’s blog — where Huze has been following the MB fiasco pretty closely — the comments have been pouring fast and furious, with the overwhelming consensus being Eff Myrtle Beach. Despite the city’s claims that it’s not anti-biker most of the comments I’ve read on various Internet forums and comment sections (where there’s nothing but facts) center on the idea that if the city is going to ban rallies, it might as well kiss goodbye to all motorcycle tourism year-round.

One reader on Huze’s blog, with the tag of “Florida Biker,” says:

Let Myrtle Beach have it their way. I can promise you, in a few short years we will be reading where the city now is “Re-Opening” the “Spring Bike Fest”. Well i can assure you they will be hard pressed to get anywhere near the turn out as in the past events. The city will be looking at the budget and see a decrease in sales tax income and wonder what happend [sic].

Another from a reader named HWGTHNG:

I said this before when Myrtle Beach talked about this. Let em suffer. Bikers have no need to beg for places that want our business. Chattanooga TN opened its doors to the biker community not once but twice hosting the State and the National HOG rallys. The “Choo Choo” city is located in the middle of all of this mess and can handle the size crowd this generates.

My main thing about questioning the logic of making a sweeping move like this is the repercussions for non-motorcycling businesses. Myrtle Beach is a beautiful place and I’m sure tourism will still thrive, but from what I know about towns that host large yearly events, the local businesses often rely on those annual crowds to make their yearly nut. For some tourist destinations, small mom-and-pop operations often run in the red for most of the year right up until the returning swarms get their cash registers ringing again.

And then there are the local motorcycle shops and related stores. I can only imagine the pain they’re going to feel from the lost business. Oh well, for those affected by such things in a very real way, remember that most city council members and mayors govern for four-year terms. Voting anyone?

Dakar – Coma Still Leads Cyclists, ATV Lead Changes

January 11, 2009

Marc Coma carves through the dunes on his way to Chile / Barreira

Dakar competitors were back on the trail again Sunday following a rest day on Saturday. Completion of Stage 8 signifies the 15-day rally is now more than half finished.

On Friday, competitors traveled a 247-mile connection route and a 260-mile special stage from Mendoza, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile.

Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM) won the stage, 3min57 ahead of Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) and 5min21 ahead of France’s Cyril Despres (KTM).

In the quad race, Argentine Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) won the seventh stage, 14min01 ahead of Uruguayan Luis Henderson (Suzuki) and 20min22 in front of Poland’s Rafal Sonik (Yamaha).

Competitors spent Sunday traveling 222 connection miles and a 183-mile special stage from Valparaiso to La Serena, Chile.

French motorcyclist Cyril Despres (KTM) clinched his second stage win in this edition of the Dakar. He finished the stage 1min49 ahead of Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) and 2min56 ahead of Chile’s Chaleco López (KTM).

In quads, Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) clinched his third stage victory, 2min51 ahead of Argentina’s Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) and 7min00 ahead of the French rider Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris).

Coma (ESP)…KTM…30hr33min15
Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr06min28
Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr33min34
Street (USA)…KTM…+1hr39min07
Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+1hr42min24
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+1hr55min42
Lopez (CHL)…KTM…+2hr00min38
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr03min57
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr06min56
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr22min17

Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…41hr11min25
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+2hr30min23
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+4hr48min30
Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+5hr46min31
Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am…+9hr36min36
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+9hr42min47
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+10hr01min30
Carlini (FRA)…Polaris…+14hr22min11
Pena (ESP)…Yamaha…+15hr19min22
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+16hr26min52

Seventy-three motorcyclists and 11 quad riders have withdrawn from the rally after eight stages.

KTM, Yamaha Still Lead Dakar

January 8, 2009

Spaniard Marc Coma on the throttle and in the lead / Papp

On Wednesday, the Dakar rally led participants along a 160-mile connection and 314-mile special stage from Neuguen to San Rafael, Argentina.

U.S. motorcyclist Jonah Street (KTM) won stage 5, for his first stage victory on the Dakar. He won with a 7min34 lead over Chile’s Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez (KTM) and an 11min12 lead over French rider David Frétigné (Yamaha). Spanish rider Marc Coma (KTM) lost 15min due to a flat tire.

In the ATV race, Spain’s Joan Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha) won stage 5 – his second stage win – with a 24min06 lead over Czech Republic’s Josef Machacek (Yamaha) and a 1hr11min38 lead over Italian driver Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am).

On Thursday, in a 6th stage shortened due to the difficult nature of the previous day’s stage and a flooded river ford, the bikers set off this morning from San Rafael on a 111-mile route from San Rafael to the village of La Junta at the foot of the Andes.

Motorcyclist Cyril Despres grabbed his first special stage victory this year. For once free of tire trouble, the Frenchman beat off his rival Marc Coma, who finished second and only 2min09 behind Despres.

Riding a Yamaha, Spaniard Joan Manuel Gonzalez rode Can-Am in 2006 and 2007/ Solo Quad

Now atop a Yamaha, Spaniard Joan Manuel Gonzalez rode Can-Am in 2006 and 2007/ Solo Quad

In quads, Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) won the 6th stage 10min04 ahead of Spaniard Joan Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha) and 15min14 in front of Frenchman Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris). Still, in the general standings, Gonzalez (Yamaha) leads the race 32min09 ahead of Czech rider Machacek and 1hr20min25 in front of former leader Christophe Declerck.

1. Coma (ESP)…KTM…23hr43min41
2. Street (USA)…KTM…+40min29
3. Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+47min30
4. Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+1hr09min48
5. Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+1hr13min13
6. Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+1hr27min03
7. Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr33min59
8. Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+1hr36min05
9. Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+1hr40min56
10. Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+1hr46min56

1. Gonzalez (ESP)…Yamaha…31hr38min47
2. Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…+32min09
3. Declerckk (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr20min25
4. Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+3hr19min42
5. Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+3hr29min09
6. Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+5hr51min54
7. Henderson (URY)…Suzuki…+7hr25min17
8. Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+7hr49min42
9. Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+8hr30min59
10. Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am…+9hr21min44

Fifty-five motorcycles and six quads have now dropped out of the rally after six stages.

KTM, Yamaha Continue Dakar Domination

January 6, 2009

Spain’s Marc Coma keeping his KTM steady through a stream / Chaco

The fourth day of riding is over for the motorcycle and ATV competitors still taking part in the 15-day, 5,902-mile Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile.

STAGE 3, Monday, Jan. 6
Monday’s course led the competitors from Puerto Madryn to Jacobacci along an 89-mile connection and a 342-mile special stage.

Spanish motorcyclist Marc Coma (KTM) easily won this 3rd stage, 17min49 ahead of his teammate and countryman Jordi Viladoms (KTM) and Norway’s Pal-Anders Ullevalseter (KTM), both tying in 2nd place. The third fastest time of the stage goes to France’s David Casteu (KTM) checking in 18min16 behind the winner. Coma now has a 39min11 lead over Frenchman David Frétigné (Yamaha) and a 41min14 lead over Dutchman Frans Verhoeven (KTM).

In the ATV portion of the rally, Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) won this third stage 1min47 ahead of France’s Christophe Declerck (Yamaha), winner of the first two special stages and 10min55 ahead of Spain’s Joan Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha). In the overall rankings, Christophe Declerck nevertheless remains the firm leader of the rally raid with a 30min37 lead over the day’s winner and 45min45 over Spain’s Gonzalez.

STAGE 4, Tuesday, Jan. 7
Tuesday’s course included an 18-mile connection and 285-mile special stage between Jacobacci and Neuquen.

Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) finished this fourth day 1min17 ahead of Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM), who rode an excellent race having started in 48th place this morning. Third place went to American Jonah Street (KTM). As a result, in the general standings, Coma now has a lead of 42min57 over Street, the new 2nd place rider, and 43min42 over Frenchman David Frétigné (Yamaha), placed 3rd.

Spain's Joan Manuel Gonzalez atop his Yamaha quad / Reuters

Spain's Joan Manuel Gonzalez atop his Yamaha quad / Reuters

In quads, Spaniard Joan Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha) won the 4th stage – his first success at the Dakar – 16min18 ahead of France’s Christophe Declerck (Yamaha) and 18min59 in front of Frenchman Eric Carlini (Polaris). In the general standings, Christophe Declerck still holds a solid lead, 31min27 ahead of the day’s winner, Gonzalez, the new 2nd place rider, and 49min34 in front of Czech Josef Machacek (Yamaha).


1. Coma (ESP)…KTM…14hr41min21
2. Street (USA)…KTM…+42min57
3. Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+43min42
4. Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+55min57
5. Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+58min29
6. Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+1hr09min01
7. Czachor (POL)…KTM…+1hr14min51
8. Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+1hr23min04
9. Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+1hr33min53
10. Vinters (LVA)…KTM…+1hr36min59

1. Declerck (FRA)…Yamaha…19hr14min51
2. Gonzalez (ESP)…Yamaha…+31min27
3. Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…+49min34
4. Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+1hr32min50
5. Carlini (FRA)…Polaris…+2hr20min41
6. Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+2hr40min26
7. Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+3hr17min19
8. Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am…+3hr37min31
9. Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+4hr10min42
10. Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+4hr28min17

So far, after four days, 35 motorcyclists and one ATV have withdrawn from the rally.

KTM Enters Its First ATV in Dakar Rally

December 22, 2008

On Jan. 3, Italian Camelia Liparoti will become the first person to ride a KTM quad in the Dakar Rallyktm_dakarquad2 when she crosses the starting line in Buenos Aires, Argentina, aboard her 525 XC.

About 235 motorcycles and 30 quads are scheduled to race in the inaugural “Dakar Rally” in South America. But, while KTM will field 55 percent of the motorcycles taking part in the rally this year, the Austrian company will field only one quad – Liparoti’s.

Other brands signed to compete in the ATV division include Yamaha, Suzuki, Polaris and BRP’s Can-Am.

Stage One of the rally begins in Buenos Aires on Saturday Jan. 3. Teams and riders from 49 countries will ktm_dakarquad1then be going full throttle 5,903 miles over the legendary Argentina Pampas, into Patagonia, across the Andes mountains, and across hundreds of miles of desert and sand dunes until the completion of Stage 14 back in the Argentinean capital on Jan. 17.

Check out for more about the 2009 Dakar Rally.