Jan 14, 2015
Olivier Pain continues his return to form. The Frenchmen was one of the few riders who didn’t get caught out by today’s tricky, 538km long route from Iquique to Calama. Not only was the road full of potholes and bumps, but the trail was also hard to navigate and many riders got lost along the way. Not Pain, however, the WR450F Rally rider kept his head on straight and, not having taken a wrong turn once, finished ninth on the ninth special.
With today’s results Pain was able to enter into the top 10 overall. However, once the penalties have been given out later this evening for a waypoint that many of his rivals missed, he may well move even further up the leader board.
One victim of those penalties could be fellow Yamaha rider Juan Pedrero, who secured second place yesterday. At the moment he is classified as finishing in 20th place on the stage and 14th overall, but the Spaniard is braced for the worst.
Tonight the riders and teams will focus on preparing for tomorrow, when the motorcyclists and quad bikers will face the second marathon stage. The tenth day will include a 1370m climb, chilly temperatures and a very technical final end to the special stage.
9th / 28’09, overall 10th / 2h36’13
“It was a tough special. It was bumpy, with lots of fesh-fesh, and some difficult navigation. In particular there was a waypoint that you needed to follow your road book correctly to find. I went straight to it, but lots of people never found it, which is obviously good for me. The other positive point was that we are definitely making progress with the bike set-up. Each evening we make some small adjustments and since the start of the marathon stage we having been going in the right direction.”
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