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The Dakar Rally

Merzouga Rally

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October 22, 2013

Double for Honda in Second Stage of Merzouga Rally

Stage 2: Erfoud
Total stage: 251 km / Special stage: 238 km

The success of TEAM HRC and their Honda CRF450 RALLY continues as the team commands more African raids. The second stage of the Merzouga Rally saw Helder Rodrigues and Sam Sunderland take the first two places in the stage, and likewise the top two positions in the overall standings.

Helder Rodrigueszoom
Helder Rodrigues
Helder Rodrigueszoom
Helder Rodrigues

In the short prologue stage of yesterday that opened the Merzouga Rally, both Helder Rodrigues and Sam Sunderland thought that it was preferable to start from further back on this the second day of racing. The rally itself was a long and technical ride with some truly tricky orientation points that really put the riders' navigational skills to the test.

Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues set off from 28th position this morning, and was able to get the best out of his Honda CRF450 RALLY against the clock in the 200 kilometers special. Finishing some two minutes ahead of TEAM HRC team-mate, Sam Sunderland. The British rider's second place finish pays tribute to his continually improving navigational skills. Both riders are on top of the standings of the Merzouga Rally.

Sam Sunderlandzoom
Sam Sunderland
Sam Sunderlandzoom
Sam Sunderland
#7 Helder Rodrigues:
"I feel great. It was a day of difficult navigation and picturesque tracks. I started out in twenty-eighth place and I pushed pretty hard until the refuelling. Once there, I was able to see that I had set a good time and from there on I tried to keep in control and not steer off the good track. It was a tough day for the navigation, with a lot of routes, tracks, rocks.... I very full-on day."
#9 Sam Sunderland:
"It was a good stage. Really very complicated as far as navigation went, and I had to really focus on the road-book. A lot of dust and a lot of sand, which was good, and on the whole I think that we did a good job. I'm pleased because we've been improving the navigation which keeps getting better and better. A good day and I'm happy to be up there at the top of the leader-board."
Helder Rodrigueszoom
Helder Rodrigues

Merzouga Rally Special stage 2 results 

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) 3h 11'56
2 Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) + 01'46
3 Olivier Pain (YAMAHA) + 04'55
4 Gerard Farrés (GAS GAS) + 19'13
5 Jordi Viladoms (GAS GAS) + 21'41

Overall standings after day 2

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) 3h 15'06
2 Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) + 01'28
3 Olivier Pain (YAMAHA) + 05'01
4 Farres Guell Gerard (GAS GAS) + 18'49
5 Jordi Viladoms (GAS GAS) + 21'09

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