2012 Dakar Results: Stage 9

Stage 9 was a little different from the other bike stages in that a KTM rider did not win the stage.  Instead it was Rodrigues on a Yamaha who won the stage by 3:16 over Despres on a KTM.  The other frontrunner, Coma, finished in 6th position 7:10 behind Rodrigues.

Despres and Coma both received 15:00 penalties for changing their engines and the times below reflect the 15:00 penalties.  For example, Despres finished the stage about only 3 minutes behind the stage winner despite having the 15 minute penalty.  This is indicative of the superiority of the top KTM riders.

As a result of the Stage 9 results, Despres has returned to the first position Overall with Coma 2:28 behind.  Rodrigues looks like he will end in 3rd position.  He is not likely going to catch the KTM riders and the 4th place rider is almost a half hour behind him.

Results: Bikes Stage 9
1 Rodrigues Yamaha
2 Despres KTM 3:16
3 Svitko KTM 4:35
4 Viladoms KTM 5:58
5 Verhoeven Sherco 7:02
6 Coma KTM 7:10
Results:   Overall Bikes After Stage 9
1 Despres KTM
2 Coma KTM 2:28
3 Rodrigues Yamaha 44:19
4 Viladoms KTM 1:13:43
5 Farres Guell KTM 1:18:33

Story

Stage 9 Was Nasser Al Attiyah’s Last 2012 Dakar Stage

Robby Gordon won Stage 9 for the cars ahead of a parade of MINIs in 2nd through 5th, but he is now in a difficult position.  The problem for him is that Nasser Al-Attiyah withdrew from the Dakar as a result of having two engine belt failures on Stage 9.  Now Robby is, officially, on his own.  Judging from the apparent friction between Gordon and Al Attiyah, Gordon might have actually been on his own for some time.

The MINI team will now gang up on Robby Gordon.  Gordon has to push to win and Peterhansel will drive very fast to make sure that Gordon has to drive fast.  The MINI team will put Gordon in a position that will maximize the potential for him to make a mistake or have a mechanical problem.  The MINI team can afford to have Peterhansel to go on the limit as they currently have other MINIs in the 3rd and 4th position, approximately 25 minutes ahead of the Toyota of De Villiers, should Peterhansel break down in his bid to push Gordon to the limit.

Results: Cars Stage 9
1 Gordon Hummer
2 Peterhansel MINI 1:38
3 Roma MINI 8:37
4 Holowczyc MINI 10:39
5 Leal Dos Santos MINI 15:23
6 De Villiers Toyota 18:03
Results:   Overall Cars After Stage 9
1 Peterhansel MINI
2 Gordon Hummer 5:58
3 Holowczyc MINI 16:49
4 Roma MINI 19:26
5 De Villiers Toyota 54:10

Gordon has only a few stages left to make up the the time on Peterhansel, so he will have to push.  Time is not on his side, but it is certain that the rest of the rally will be very interesting.

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