After two days of miserable luck and mechanical failure, Jonah Street came back in a big way, winning stage 9 of the Dakar rally. Today´s special stage made somewhat up for bad luck other riders had been suffering, as well, including some from Team BMW Motorrad by speedbrain. Frans Verhoeven finished the loop around Copiapo in second place, scoring his best result of the rally so far. Going into the stage, it was unclear for a while whether the Dutchman would even be able to start. But he could participate in the mass start format and was sent ahead with the second group of riders, right behind the top ten. As all riders struggled in between the big dunes with navigation problems, Verhoeven and Street both found the conditions to their liking. They quickly caught the lead group to take command of the action.

Verhoeven crossed the finish in believing he had won the stage. Then Street, who had started five minutes later, posted a faster time. The speedbrain BMW pilot nevertheless expressed satisfaction with his performance. He´s now lying 25th in the overall standings.

Frans Verhoeven: ‘Why don´t things always go like this? Today was a very good one. Sometimes it felt like Motocross, with all these dune crossings. I´m happy with my riding and the bike, which worked fine.’

Teammate Pedro Bianchi Prata rode good as well. The Portuguese didn´t need to provide assistance and was able to concentrate on his own race. He scored 38th on the day and sits in 39th place overall.

Dakar 2011, Stage 9

1. Jonah Street (USA), Yamaha
2. Frans Verhoeven (NEL), BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 3:38 min behind 3. David Casteu (FRA), Sherco, 3:40 4. Gerard Farres Guell (SPA), Aprilia, 4:30 5. Jordi Viladoms (SPA), Yamaha, 5:46 6. Daniel Gouet (CHI), Honda, 6:02 7. Cyril Despres (FRA) KTM, 6:03 8. Pal-Anders Ullevalseter (NOR), KTM, 6:59 9. Marc Coma (SPA), KTM, 7:08 10. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI), Aprilia, 7:53


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