In spite it being Sunday (local time), there is no rest for the Dakar. Far from it: today witnessed the longest stage so far in the 2019 odyssey at 839 kilometres. The route took competitors from inland to the coast – from the cold and wet heights of Arequipa to warm and windy San Juan de Marcona.

Riders rode the first 177 km-liaison section late yesterday evening which took the entourage to the impressive Tanaka dunes on the coast. Today the riders battled out an opening 84km-special, which was followed by an 18km neutralization section before the stage’s main trek – a tough 232km special which returned the bikers back to the bivouac in San Juan de Marcona.

Kevin Benavides fought nail and tooth for the stage win and nearly pulled it off, coming home less than two minutes shy of stage winner Quintanilla. However, the Argentine Monster Energy Honda Team climbed the overall leader board from seventh to fourth place, eating one minute into the overall leader’s time.

 

 

Californian Ricky Brabec dropped a little time today trying to validate an awkward waypoint, which saw him concede the privileged position of overall race leader, although the American remains just four minutes adrift of the top spot.

Nacho Cornejo, who moved up to second place after race authorities returned the time that he had spent assisting fallen rider Paulo Gonçalves in stage five, ended up opening the way for several kilometres. As a consequence of this disadvantageous position the Chilean dropped time but managed to keep pace with his adversaries.

Tomorrow, Monday (local time), sees the first of the looping stages which this edition of the Dakar will feature. Riders can look forward to the highest proportion of kilometres of Special Stage out of the total of 387 to be completed. The hundred participants still surviving will face 323 kilometres of special. The stage will have some complicated navigation and will play out over broken ground, as the area has already seen the vehicles pass over it on previous days.

 

José Ignacio Cornejo  10

STAGE: 10TH   OVERALL: 12TH

Today was a good day. It was tough as there were a lot of stones and sand on the course. The first stretches had very soft dunes which were very difficult to pass. It turned out to be a good day for me. There was a section of special where I opened the track and I felt very comfortable and set a good pace. I am happy. We have four more days left and we will continue pushing.

 

Ricky Brabec  15

STAGE: 6TH  OVERALL: 2ND

It was another tough stage. The temperature was nice but the wind was a big factor. It’s kind of hard to ride all day with the wind pushing you around. At one point for about 50 km I was concerned about fuel. I know that we had filled up at the top at kilometre 80 at the neutralization. I was freaking out because I ran out of one of my tanks earlier than expected. On the whole it was a good day. There’s four days left. I’m glad to be at this bivouac full of fesh fesh that makes everything such a mess. I’m looking forward to the next four days. Hopefully I can stay in the fight and keep pushing. I feel great and my body is at 100%.

Kevin Benavides  47

STAGE: 2ND   OVERALL: 4TH

Today was a good day. I changed the strategy to start pushing this second week and today I started further out. The idea was to finish as well as possible later on, so this second position on the stage is fine despite having lost a bit of time towards the end. We have to keep going and not waste too much time in the remaining stages.

 

Raul Castells

Monster Energy Honda Team Manager

Today was a very good day for Kevin. In the end he was second, but everything went very well. Ricky had a minor loss of time at a waypoint, but it was a short time. In general, we are very happy with the three riders: we have two who are fighting for victory and Nacho is helping a lot. We will continue fighting for victory until the end. The first five of the general are very tight and anything could happen.

 

Results Stage 6

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 QUINTANILLA Pablo 6 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing 03:50’47
2 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +01’52
3 WALKNER Matthias 1 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +04’21
4 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +04’48
5 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +05’48
6 BRABEC Ricky 15 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +07’30
7 SVITKO Stefan 11 SLO Slovnaft Team +08’20
8 SHORT Andrew 29 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +13’54
9 BENAVIDES Luciano 77 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +15’13
10 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +21’47

 

 

Rider Standings

PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 6

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 QUINTANILLA Pablo 6 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing 20:45’13
2 BRABEC Ricky 15 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +04’38
3 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +05’17
4 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +08’01
5 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +09’32
6 WALKNER Matthias 1 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +10’46
7 SUNDERLAND Sam 14 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +21’06
8 SVITKO Stefan 11 SLO Slovnaft Team +31’56
9 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 18 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +38’04
10 SHORT Andrew 29 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +08’56
12 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +01:10’54

 

Tyre manufacturing giant Bridgestone have released a new ‘Enduro’ tyre for 2019, dubbing it the Battlecross E50. The outcome of years of off-road technology development, the Battlecross E50 is road homologated and can be used for all Enduro competitions. Incorporating Battlecross Motocross technology, transferred and optimized for read Enduro usage, the Battlecross E50 is the tyre helping you overcome any obstacles and achieve the highest levels of performance on all types of terrain.

The new pattern design has dramatically increased the edge component of the blocks, 60% in the front and 120% in the rear, to improve both cornering and traction grip. Castle block technology offers a flexible tyre response on changing surfaces, thanks to an additional edge effect. The bunker area produces a small amount of extra traction power when the tyre is fully buried in the off-road surface.

The Battlecross E50 features an optimized dual compound division, and a redesigned shape and profile via a redesigned rim guard part. Both these improvements increase the mounting ease on the side of the track, and improve the tyre to rim fit.

When tested on a Husqvarna TE300, the new Battlecross E50 easily surpassed the previous ED66X tyre, on all surfaces. Traction, braking, and cornering feel improved substantially, along with better impact absorbing properties felt through the tyres. No matter what the conditions, the Battlecross E50 is definitely worth investing in for your Enduro riding, between stages as well as when the going gets tough!

 

Leatt have released their brand new ‘Z-Frame’ Knee Brace, designed to replicate the mechanics of the knee, and deflect or absorb impacts as required. With certified medical endorsements, the top-rated impact protection is being offered to New Zealand now at an incredible price!

The main hinge of the Z-Frame Knee Brace is geared to provide a smooth mechanical motion, constructed to take all the pressure and side-on impacts without distorting or twisting. It can be set to allow 5, 10, 15, or 20-degrees of movement, for hyper-extension and ACL injury reduction.

With an Injected Composite chassis, slim hinges for superior feel, and Aluminium hinge covers, the Z-Frame Knee Brace is made with the experience of riders, for riders. The shin-pad had been specifically designed with a low profile, to allow excellent boot fit. The strapping system is simple to and also low profile, to prevent snagging under riders pants. The Z-Frame Knee Brace is also capable of a completely customised fit, with interchangeable hinge padding sizes.

For exceptional quality, durability, and protection, Leatt have been producing personal protective equipment and ancillary products for all forms of sports, especially action sports. The Leatt-Brace® is an award-winning neck brace system, and is considered the gold standard for neck protection for anyone wearing a crash helmet as a form of protection. The Z-Frame Knee Brace continues their dedication to providing safer and more durable measures against injury for motorcyclists.

Available in sizes Small to Xtra-Large, the all-new Leatt Z-Frame Knee Brace is available now from Whites Powersports.

Price: $549 per pair.

 

 

It’s both fun and scary with an unrivaled adrenalin rush, so how do you get your bike to fly without coming crashing down to earth? Ben talks us through the basics.

Probably the most fun, but also most daunting part about riding a dirt bike is jumping. From table tops to triples and doubles, for a lot of people jumping can be very scary and hold you back from either enjoying the feeling or becoming a faster rider. With these tips and a bit of practice, you will have the confidence to conquer whatever jump is in front of you and let you experience that oh-so-good feeling of floating through the air.

#1 Body Position

Probably the most important part to be able to jump safely is your body position. The key is having a nice neutral position to help keep the bike level and not tilting when you’re in the air. In order to keep control while in mid-air, you want to be gripping tightly with your legs against the bike to keep it straight and maintain control. This position is similar to the standing attack position you should be adopting approaching the jump, with strong elbows and your head over the bar pad to keep the bike stable.

#2 Throttle Control

Next is having the right throttle going up and over the jump. Things go wrong when you let the throttle off halfway up a ramp, or come into a jump way too fast and hold the gas on full throttle. After being over the jump a few times and getting a feel for it, you need to determine the entry speed to the face of the jump. Once you reach the up ramp of the jump, you want to hold the throttle wherever it is all the way up the face and until you are in the air. A problem a lot of riders have is that they let the throttle off at the top of the ramp. This causes the rear end to lift up and turn into an endo, which is not how you want to jump. By keeping the same throttle speed all the way up the jump face, it’ll keep the bike balanced and level.

#3 Eyes Open

The third tip is where you should be looking. You want to be looking at the up ramp as soon as possible, scanning ahead to see where the best line for take-off will be. You’ll want to avoid hitting any bumps in the face or possibly the lower line of the ramp to give the bike the smoothest take-off. Once you’re in the air, you then want to be looking where you are wanting to land, and not looking around for other riders or at spectators, as these distractions can cause big accidents. Your control while flying high is limited, so don’t panic if you see a better landing spot than is within your reach, as this too can cause you to come in for a hard landing.

#4 Landing

When it comes to returning to the ground, you want to get your chest and torso as far away from the handlebars as you can. This will make sure you don’t have the wind knocked out of you, meaning you can pin the throttle and head to your next target. Landing the bike itself, you generally don’t want to land with both wheels at the same time (unless you’re doing some serious speed!), as this will send the shock straight to you and probably throw you off. Land slightly on your front wheel if you’re landing on a ramp, or if there is no landing ramp, land on the rear wheel and position your feet with the arch on the footpeg, so that the shock absorber of the bike and your legs take the impact.

Putting It Into Practice

So now you’ve got the basics, the next step is to put it all into practice. So where do you start and what do you do if things start to go sideways?

Start With Table Tops

Tabletops are the best jump to start on, as you can work your way and progress a little further each time until you nail it. They are much safer than hitting a double, where you either jump it or you don’t, usually with quite serious consequences. Tabletops are good for gaining confidence and working your way to jumping bigger and bigger each lap. Once you’ve gained confidence with the safer jumps, you can then progress onto more technical jumps such as doubles or even triples.

If Your Bike Endos

An endo is when the front of the bike is dropping below the rear. Unless you know how to correct this, a lot of the time it ends with a crash which isn’t what you want. But a few quick tips are all you need to stop you from crashing and keep you upright and racing. If you feel the front of the bike dropping, you want to get your weight as far back as soon as possible. Also, twisting the gas full on at the same time and holding it is another trick to get the bike to rotate backwards. This is called a “panic rev” and uses the momentum of the rear wheel to rotate the bike and lift the front upwards mid-air. It’s a technique commonly used by all riders to stop the bike from flipping over the front on landing, and you’ll often hear bikes on their rev limiter at a motocross track as riders try to correct their position mid-jump.

If Your Bike Air Wheelies

A wheelie on the ground is good fun, and sometimes even useful. But if your bike starts lifting the front too high while you are in mid-air, you will quickly find not all wheelies are awesome. If your bike starts to wheelie after you’ve hit a jump, again your body position will need to change, with your weight moving forward as far as possible. At the same time as leaning forward, you need to try and tap the rear brake to help to bring the front wheel down. It sounds ridiculous but it really works, using the opposite of the panic rev to provoke the bike to change its geometry mid-jump.

Jumping is fun and is also a necessary part of racing motocross, so you need to have it sorted. Practice is the key to success when it comes to jumping, with special attention needed on the technique for correcting the trajectory of your machine while in mid-air. Practice a panic rev or dabbing the rear brake and see what happens. You’ll soon discover that these are your most valuable assets when jumping and you want them to become second nature.

 

I’ve always heard good things about Forma boots, and until now I’d put them in the too good to be true / take it with a grain of salt category. But I’ve got to admit I’m glad I finally snagged a pair and found out it’s pretty much all true. As I’m currently wearing the Neo Tucson Adventure riding gear, it made perfect sense to try a set of the matching ADV Tourer boots, which are brought into NZ by Forma Distributors, Forbes & Davies.

Okay, the ADV Tourer boots aren’t your fully-fledged Adventure boot like the Forma Adventure boots Chris recently tested, but for a balance between protection and comfort they seem to have the chops for the riding I’m likely to put them through. Slipping them on for the first time, I honestly couldn’t believe how comfy they are. I’ve had some pretty comfortable riding boots in the past, but these Formas are a step ahead. And while I’ve only had the chance to wear them out and about a couple of times, I’m already kinda in love with them.

They offer decent amounts of protection, look stout, and (again) are super comfortable. The sole is probably the standout feature so far, with plenty of grip for trudging through mud, but with enough flex to allow for comfortable walking. The only downside so far is the fastening system, which takes a little bit more effort with its buckle, Velcro strap, and Velcro upper system, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get used to it.

Stay tuned for the next review to see how they go.

FEATURES

  • Outer

Full-grain oil treated & suede leather upper

Specific adv riding/touring compound rubber sole

Reinforced front plate

Plastic gear pad protection

Lower buckle plastic protection

Padded front and rear collar for added comfort

Personalized suede leather heat protector

Double velcro and lower adjustable/replaceable GH plastic buckle closure

Double rear reflective insert

  • Inner

Personalized Forma Drytex tubular lining (waterproof and breathable)

Shin and ankle TPU moulded plastic protections

Soft polymer padding with memory foam

PP Mid Dual Flex with antishock EVA midsole

Anti-bacterial replaceable footbed with A.P.S. (Air Pump System)

 

Tester: Mat | Price: $379.54 | Distributed by:  Forbes & Davies | Check it: www.forbesanddavies.co.nz