Matt Fish flies on second day of Dakar Rally
Australian rider Matt Fish has jumped up the leader board at the Dakar Rally in South America after setting the third fastest time on the 85km Pirco stage in Peru.
Part of the Husqvarna official squad, Fish is now fifth outright in the bikes with his team-mate Joan Barreda Bort winning the stage and taking the lead.
Navigational mistakes by those at the front, including Stage 1 winner Francisco Lopez and defending champion Cyril Despres, allowed Barreda Bort and co to make the most of a clean run with Joan Pedrero in second.
“This result isn’t really a surprise because our team does its best so we can pull out all the stops, as I did today,” said Fish.
“We went flat out from the start and it’s already paid dividends!
“I hope we can keep it up.”
Of the other Australians Ben Grabham is 19th, while Rod Faggotter is just one place ahead of Warren Strange in 31st and 32nd.
Navigational issues also afflicted the car category with leader Carlos Sainz left driving in circles. He dropped back to 10th outright as Stéphane Peterhansel took his 60th stage win of Dakar competition.
“We had a good stage, mainly thanks to navigation,” said Peterhansel.
“We’re fast, and we’ve got the potential to go even faster, but it was mostly Jean-Paul’s navigation which saved the day, nothing else.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah and later Nani Roma had the same navigational problems. Guerlain Chicherit didn’t make any mistakes, but mechanical issues at the wheel of his SMG buggy cost him half an hour. No dramas for his team-mate Ronan Chabot drove who took third place. Giniel de Villiers took his Toyota finished second and is just 2:38 behind the Mini of Peterhansel.
Geoff Olholm is the best placed Australian in 23rd positions, while Bruce Garland sits in 62nd with Adrian Di Lallo in 73rd.
In the quad category Marcos Patronelli is out front after overhauling Ignacio Flores took the lead on the opening day. Patronelli heads traditional rivals Ignacio Casale and Tomás Maffei, who finished third and fourth. He should also keep an eye on Sebastian Husseini, who was the runner-up for the second day in a row. Australia’s Paul Smith is sitting in 18th.
Gerard de Rooy continues his charge in the trucks with a second straight stage win. The defending champion has a handy lead, especially after Iveco team-mate Hans Stacey made a mistake and tipped his truck over after posting the best intermediate time. Aleš Loprais remains on the prowl behind De Rooy, with Miki Biasion and his Iveco on the bottom step of the provisional podium.
Day 2 Video highlights
RESULTS : Day 2
|1||Stephane Peterhansel / Jean Paul Cottret||Mini||
|2||Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz||Toyota HiLux||
|3||Ronan Chabot / Gilles Pillot||SMG Buggy||
|4||Orlando Terranova / Paulo Fiuza||BMW||
|5||Leonid Novistkiy / Konstantin Zhiltskov||Mini||
|6||Nasser Al-Attiyah / Lucas Cruz||Demon Jefferies Buggy||
|7||Lucio Alverez / Bernardo Graue||Toyota HiLux||
|8||Krzysztof Holowczyc / Filipe Palmeiro||Mini||
|9||Calos Sousa / Miguel Romalho||Great Wall||
|10||Carlos Sainz / Timo Gottschalk||Demon Jefferies Buggy||
|23||Geoff Olholm / Jonathan Auston||Toyota HiLux||
|62||Bruce Garland / Harry Suzuki (Jap)||Isuzu D-Max||
|73||Adrian Di Lallo / Steve Riley||Isuzu D-Max||
|1||Joan Barreda Bort||Husqvarna||
|7||Pal Anders Ullevalseter||KTM||
|9||Jeremias Israel Esquerre||Honda||
|4||Ignacio Flores Seminario||Yamaha||