Stage 8 of the 2012 Dakar rally marked a big change in the Bike class. Sure the same two KTM riders are out front, but now it is Coma who is in the lead position with Despres chasing him. Coma won today’s stage by 9:14 over Despres who finished in 7th position on the day. The problem for Despres was that he was near the first on the road and the road conditions had changed drastically since the last update on the course notes. Despres and a few of the other riders who were near the first on the road got stuck in some mud. Subsequently a detour was set up and those later riders were able to avoid the mud, resulting in better times. Coma had managed to avoid the mud and had a trouble free run. The results shown below for the bikes represent adjusted times for those riders caught in the unmarked mud.
At this time on an overall basis, Coma leads Despres by 1:26. A gap like that is quite small in Dakar terms. The rest of the riders are well back.
|Results: Bikes Stage 8|
|Results: Overall Bikes After Stage 8|
The bike class looks like it will continue to be a two person KTM intramural competition between Coma and Despres.
Scene From Stage 8
In the cars Robby Gordon continues to work his way to the front. Roma in his MINI won the Stage 8 by 5 seconds over Robby Gordon. Peterhansel finished in 4th place on Stage 8 5:38 behind Roma. At this time the wild card is Al-Attiyah. Is he planning on ensuring that he will be in a position to help Robby Gordon, or is he just going to go fast run his own rally? Can he and Gordon do both? Al-Attiyah is 45 minutes down – he would have to win each of the remaining stages by an average of about 6 minutes in order to win Overall. The facts can be brutal, but the facts remain – Al-Attiyah’s chances of winning the 2012 Dakar are slim. He should work with Gordon to give Gordon the best chance of winning. Robby has demonstrated in this rally his willingness to help Al-Attiyah. Will this assistance be returned?
|Results: Cars Stage 8|
|Results: Overall Cars After Stage 8|
In the interviews shown on the NBC Sports Network, it seems that all of the drivers realize that the Hummers have the speed. The question is – will a Hummer win? Victory does not always go to the quickest.