Quad news from stage 4

04.01.2012: Dakar 2012 - Argentina/Chile - Stage 4 January 4th, 2012 13:00 - quad 263 - La Fuente suffers a flat tyre

Dakar 2012 - Argentina/Chile - Stage 4  January 4th, 2012

13:00 - quad 263 - La Fuente suffers a flat tyre

After leading the quad category during the first hour, Uruguay's Sergio La Fuente has stopped 132 km into the special. He has suffered a flat tyre and is trying to repair it in order to continue.

12:48 - quad Provisional results at CP1: Maffei defies the odds

Despite his navigational error at the km 99 fork, Tomás Maffei leads the way at CP1 (km 137), ahead of the Patronelli brothers. 3'50" back is Alejandro, who has been able to open a gap between him and his brother Marcos, 4'36" back.

12:07 - quad 257 - Clash of the Argentineans

Tomás was leading the quads, with the Patronelli brothers riding together not far behind. But the virtual leader of the field following Copetti's technical issues (engine breakdown 10 km into the special) took a wrong turn at km 99 which cost him several minutes. Therefore, the Patronellis should reach CP1 in the first place together.

11:09 - quad 256 - Copetti has ignition problems

The Argentinean rider is conducting repairs on his motorcycle, which has been stopped for more than 20 minutes at km 10 of the special. He appears to have ignition problems and is now replacing his spark plugs.

10:54 - quad Copetti gets off to a bad start

The Argentinean winner of yesterday's stage has been stopped for 15 minutes at km 10 of the special. He appears to have technical problems.

10:48 - quad 256 - The Argentineans are on the course!

The four Argentinean pilots who hogged the top places at the end of yesterday's stage have started the special. Pablo Sebastián Copetti leads the way at high speed, followed by Marcos Patronelli and Tomás Maffei. Alejandro Patronelli is fourth on the course, ahead of Chile's Ignacio Casale. All of them ride Yamaha quads.

06:55 - quad 256 - Copetti is the first to go

The winner of yesterday's special between San Rafael and San Juan, Argentina's Pablo Sebastián Copetti, is the first to go among the 25 quads expected to leave the bivouac this morning. He is followed by the Top 3 in the general classification, hogged by other Argentinians: the Patronelli brothers, Alejandro and Marcos, and Tomás Maffei.

04:30  Stage 4: Navigation in the river beds...

On the menu for the fourth stage between San Juan – Chilecito, for all the competitors, are 424 kilometres of link stage and 326 km of special. The stage starts at 5.30 AM local time for the bikes, 7.16 AM for the cars and 9.33 AM for the trucks.

Its summit is located at almost 3,500 metres in altitude and it will contain sandy terrain and rocks, surfaces which will again throw a proverbial cat amongst the proverbial pigeons and shake up the standings. Cyril Despres will open the road on two wheels and Holowczyc is the new main man in the car category.

Whilst the Frenchman boasts a decent lead after the third stage, the advantage possessed by the Polish driver is rather fragile… On the special stage, nobody will be able to take it easy, because, whether in terms of the navigational subtleties at the end of the route or the small obstacles to avoid, there will be plenty of occasions to lose time and ground.

 It is likely that once the rally arrives in Chilecito, one or two pretenders will already have been eliminated from the battle for the title!

- copyright ASO -

photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS SLIDESHOWS and PHOTOS Ecards  OFF ROAD

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04.01.2012 / MaP

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