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Dakar Stage 9 Race Report

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BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR DESPRES AND COMA IN STAGE 9 DAKAR 2012

It was business as usual for the two lead KTM factory riders, Cyril Despres and Marc Coma on Tuesday when riders set out for Stage 9 of the Dakar 2012 on a large arc from Antofagasta to Iquique in Chile. Despres, who had a dramatic day on Monday landing in a mud hole, went out like a man possessed, led throughout to claim the stage and reclaim the overall lead.

It was the French rider’s third stage victory in this edition. Coma has won four stages and with Stage Six scrapped, KTM has claimed seven of eight stages so far. Both riders are chasing their fourth Dakar Rally title and if either of them succeed it will represent KTM’s eleventh successive victory. The Austrian sports motorcycle specialist has shut out all the competition in every Dakar Rally since 2001 (the 2008 edition was cancelled).

Despres ended yesterday with a deficit of around 12 minutes after sacrificing the overall lead to Coma. The mud hole turned out to be a natural hazard that occurred after the final official inspection had been done by organizers and was not marked on the road book. Cyril and six other riders got stuck in the mud and race officials decided a detour was in order rather than deal with the obvious chaos. They later reinstated lost time to the riders disadvantaged and when they left on Tuesday Cyril trailed Marc by just over a minute.

It was with this in mind that he put down the hammer on his KTM 450 Rally bike and rode with a passion to lead throughout the special. His reward for such a doggedly determined ride was his third stage victory in Dakar 2012 to level with Coma’s three stages and a narrow lead in the overall standings.

Despres however went back to the bivouac knowing that the job is far from done. At the fourth Way Point Coma was 3 minutes 55 behind and at the finish, after riders had engaged in the steep descent down to Iquique, he trailed by 3 minutes 54 seconds. With third placed Helder Rodrigues of Portugal behind Despres at 59 minutes 19 seconds, the 33rd Dakar Rally continues to be a two-rider race.

Despres said he was feeling good after the stage. “I had to get back to my winning ways after a difficult day yesterday when you start to doubt. It wasn’t easy to psyche myself up for it, but I’m very happy with my day’s work. We came into this looking at a battle for seconds or minutes. It’s very competitive. Like any sportsman, if you don’t like confrontation or squeezing the last ounces of strength out of yourself, then you’re not ready for a fight. But, as for me, I’m up for it.”

Meanwhile Coma is very aware that the race is still wide open and he remains cool, strong and ready to apply the necessary tactics. “We knew that this would be difficult today. It was a long special and there was plenty of navigation to deal with. We’re not coming to the crunch part of the rally. Cyril is a major rival and we do battle over every single kilometer. But I think it’s interesting, its sport.”

Joan Pedrero (Spain) and Rubin Faria (Portugal), the two support riders for the Coma and Despres finished twelfth and thirteenth respectively. Faria made a recovering after having to stop briefly just 1.7 km after the start.

The first part of the timed special was relatively fast with patches of fesh-fesh, very fine dust like flour. The second special tested the navigational skills and the stage finished with a steep descent down to the coast at Iqique, a slope that already was a feature of the 2010 Dakar.

Stage 10 takes the Dakar Caravan from Iquique to Arica right on the border of Peru. It will be the riders’ last encounter with Chile’s notorious Atacama Desert with another dose of the power soft and quite treacherous fesh-fesh dust. Arica was the most northern point in last year’s rally. But it will not be the end of the sands. This year they continue into the coastal desert of Peru into the region of the famous Nazcar Lines, the ancient geoglyphs that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Results Stage 9

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 5 hours 4 minutes 33 seconds

2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 3 minutes 54 seconds

3, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 8:44

4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 11:44

5, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 15:12

Other KTM

6, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 15:43

7, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 16:19

8, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 17:53

10, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, KTM at 18:56

11, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 22:25

12, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 27:08

13, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 31:46

14, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 31:46

18, Daniel Schroeder, Germany, KTM at 39:04

19, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 30:03

24, Johnny Aubert, France KTM at 43:11

Overall Results after Stage Nine

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 28 hours 30 minutes 17 seconds

2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 2 minutes 28

3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 59:19

4, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 1:25:57

5, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 1:28:43

Other KTM

6, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, KTM at 1:33:05

7, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 1:33:33

8, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway at 1:49:27 (40 minutes penalty)

9, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 1:52:13 (15 minutes penalty)

10, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 2:12:18

12, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM, 2:28:36 (40 minutes penalty)

14, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 2:58:09 (55 minutes penalty)

15, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 3:23:29

17, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 3:35:56

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Impressive Second for Benistant at MXGP of Trentino as Bonacorsi Delivers Career-Best Result

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Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Thibault Benistant returned to form at round four of the MX2 World Championship with an impressive runner-up finish at the MXGP of Trentino. Adding to the team’s success in Pietramurata, Italy, was Andrea Bonacorsi, who delivered a stunning career-best result of sixth overall in front of his home crowd. At the same time, Rick Elzinga put in a hard-charge for ninth overall.

In Race One, Benistant got off to a great start and ran third before passing Sascha Coenen on Lap 12. Continuing to ride with a high pace, the French sensation closed in on the eventual race winner, Kay de Wolf, during the final laps of the race and crossed the line just under four seconds adrift of victory.

Another strong start in Race Two saw Benistant quickly engage in a battle for a place on the podium. Holding fifth until just past the halfway point of the race, Benistant capitalised on a mistake by Mikkel Haarup and moved into fourth. From there, the 198 chased home his teammate Bonacorsi and secured fourth for second overall. As a result, he has regained third position in the MX2 Championship Standings.

Bonacorsi, spurred on by his passionate home crowd, delivered a career-best race and overall result in Pietramurata. Despite having a rider fall in front of him at turn one, the 20-year-old put in a spirited ride through the field to finish 12th in Race One.

In Race Two, ‘Bona’ emerged from the first corner in second and immediately gave chase to the early leader. After slipping to third on lap seven, he maintained his impressive pace and kept the position to the flag. Following his breakout ride, Bonacorsi maintains 12th in the championship chase, but has closed the gap to the top 10.

One week on from his impressive sixth-place finish in Sardinia, Elzinga carried that same speed and momentum into round four and placed fourth in Race One. An unfortunate crash at the start of Race Two gave the Dutchman a lot of work to do on a circuit that proved challenging to pass on. Maintaining his razor sharp focus, the 44 fought back to 13th, which was enough to maintain ninth position in the MX2 Championship Standings.

The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in Agueda, Portugal, on the weekend of May 5th.

Click here for all the results from the MXGP of Trentino.

Thibault Benistant

 2nd MXGP of Trentino, 40-points

 3rd MX2 Championship Standings, 148-points

“It wasn’t an easy weekend for me despite being on the box. I rode well, but there is still room for improvement and to show what I am really capable of. I know my speed can be better. Of course, I’m happy to finally be on the podium for the first time this year; it’s a big step in the right direction. But I want more, so we will keep working. It’s still a long season.”

Andrea Bonacorsi

 6th MXGP of Trentino, 29-points

 12th MX2 Championship Standings, 83-points

“Today I was able to show what I can do with a good start. I know I can run up front in MX2 and I proved that I can in race two. I’m really proud of myself with sixth overall and now we’ll keep working and focus on the next race in Portugal.”

Rick Elzinga

 9th MXGP of Trentino, 26-points

 9th MX2 Championship Standings, 110-points

“I’m not a ‘hard-pack’ rider, but I tend to ride well here. I felt good on the bike all weekend and put in a really good ride in Race One after making a mistake. I really pushed and made it all the way up to fourth. So, I was happy with that. In the second one I had another good start but in turn one a few of us crashed and my bike got tangled with another rider. It took two laps to catch the pack, but I kept pushing and ended up in 13th. My speed is good, and I’m happy with my riding, so we’ll keep working ahead of Portugal.”

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The MX Vice SMX Review Show Episode #22 – Lars Lindstrom

HRC Boss talks about their amazing 2023 season

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In 2023, MX Vice is running a regular SMX Review show, where we talk all things AMA, frequently with a star guest or pundit. This time Ben & Brad are joined by Honda HRC USA Team Manager Lars Lindstrom, talking about the red team’s amazing 2023 season, his time as Chad Reed’s mechanic, and his riders’ plans for the Motocross of Nations!


Images: HRC Honda


Lars (crouching with his arm on the front fender) has enjoyed a great year with his team in 2023

Massive thanks to Lars for joining us and we wish you and your team all the best for the rest of the year!

This podcast was recorded prior to the Washougal National, so apologies for the delay and for the few sound issues.  None of these were caused by Lars or his systems. Enjoy the podcast!



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Live Results – AMA Pro Motocross Round 6 – Southwick

Practice Times & Race Results from The Wick

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The action is underway at Southwick for round six of the AMA Pro Motocross series. Will Jett Lawrence dominate again, and how will Hunter fare after his issues at RedBud?

Featured Image: HRC Honda

This page will have all of the results from The Wick. The results are posted in an easy-to-view fashion, with the latest results at the very top of the page. If you do not immediately see the most recent results, hit the refresh button in the top-right corner and then the issue should be rectified.

450 Updated Championship Classification

450 Overall Results

450 Moto Two

250 Updated Championship Classification

250 Overall Results

They said the sand might suit him! Tom Vialle takes his first overall win in the USA, and the 250 wildness continues through the pack as the red plate changes hands for the first time in either class this summer!

250 Moto 2

450 Moto 1

250 Moto 1

450 Consolation Race

Just for British fans, SC Sporthomes Husqvarna rider Charlie Putnam finished 19th in the Consolation Race after not making the cut in Qualifying.

250 Combined Qualifying Times


450 Combined Qualifying Times



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