Australasian Safari – Day 2

Today was the first of two marathon days, where there is only a 30 minute period for the rider to work on his bike at the end of the day, so basically they’re only allowed to change the oil, oil filter and clean the air filter. If you choose to do mechanical work you will receive a 5 hour penalty. So the strategy for the two days is to ride sensibly, as you need to nurse the bike for approximately 800 km of competitive stages over the two marathon days.

At the end of the day Todd Smith leads the field from Ben Grabham and Rod Faggoter. Matt Fish and Jacob Smith round out the top 5. With only 8 minutes between first and 5th, tomorrow’s 2nd marathon leg may throw some surprises.

It’s proving difficult to get to good locations. You can drive to a location which may take you 100 or 200 km, and get there and it’s flat with no corners, but hopefully over the course of the week we will hit the jackpot.

The official media release.

Competitors play a game of cat and mouse on first Marathon day

Today’s Marathon Leg, the first of two in this year’s Australasian Safari, saw the top of the field in the motos, autos and quads secure their positions in a day of cat and mouse where caution was key to stay in the race.

Limited servicing rules meant it was crucial to keep the vehicles in one piece over some incredibly difficult terrain. Todd Smith on a KTM managed to finish on top of the motos despite nursing a sore shoulder from yesterday and thanks to some on-form navigation.

“I thought the stages were still pretty tight, but much faster today.    They were a bit more predictable, so I guess that makes them faster.    I went past Jake, Ben and Rod on the last stage because they took a wrong turn.

“I had a hole in the radiator, so I had to fix that in the service.   I didn’t get a chance to do much else,” Todd said.

Yesterday’s leader Ben Grabham, also on a KTM, had a strategy for a steady day.  It proved successful, finishing just over a minute later than Todd.  The Marathon Day rules do not allow moto tyres to be changed during the stages, so Ben said he wasn’t trying to be fast to minimise wear on his tyres.

“The guys who were going too fast have shredded theirs so it will be interesting to see how they go tomorrow.   I don’t expect to be in the lead after today, because I was riding conservatively.

“Today’s stages were long and faster, and a bit more open.  Yesterday was more technical.

“I was first on the stage, and so I was trying to set the pace and slow things down a bit, thinking about tomorrow,” Ben said.

Rod Faggotter on a Yamaha WR450F had an eventful day, getting caught twice in wire on the track.

“For the second stage we were riding single file and chewing dust.   The wire slowed me down in the morning and I would have dropped some time because of that.

“I was riding to conserve the bike, in service I just did and oil change and changed the air filter.    I dented a rim, but there is not much you can do to fix it and anyway its fine.   Its going to be interesting to see how some of the bikes last tomorrow.”


~ by Jamie Nicolaou on September 20, 2010.

4 Responses to “Australasian Safari – Day 2”

  1. Hey J

    Mate I managed 2 locations per day last year by getting the tulips ASAP and then getting up at 3am or 4am and driving the course, making sure that I had an escape route for the first shoot. This allowed me to shoot the front runners in the AM before moving (quickly) for the PM shoot. Look for double cautions, most will take them carefully but some miss the sign…thats the money shot!

    • I know what you’re saying Graham, but I’m not really equipped properly to be doing that. We spent over 4 hours in the 2nd stage today before we realise they cancelled it!!

  2. Hi Jamie, really bummed to hear of Ivan’s crash today and race ending injuries. Poor bugger – i hope that all goes well for him. And Burf is out as well with a busted wrist. Man – that sux. He must be so disappointed. Keep the photos coming mate – i’m hanging on every pixel.

    • Yeah not good mate, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. I did see Burfo’s bike come in on the recovery vehicle, was hoping it was mechanical but obviously not. I spoke to him yesterday morning and said g’ay for you.

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