Australasian Safari 2011 – Day Three
Overall Race Standings – Day Three
1st Jacob Smith (Honda) 12.47:10
2nd Todd Smith (Honda) 12.57:49
3rd Shane Diener (Yamaha) 13.01:35
4th Rod Faggotter (Yamaha) 13.10:27
5th Damien Grabham (Husaberg) 13.26:27
6th Cyril Despres (KTM) 13.31:27
7th Matt Fish (KTM) 13.40:59
8th Ben Williams (Honda) 14.09:36
9th David Schwarz (Husberg) 14.19:04
10th David Geeves (Honda) 14.50:58
– GHR Honda Report
Damien Grabham was fastest in SS5, followed by Cyril Despres, Matthew Fish and then GHR riders Todd Smith and Jacob Smith. The bikes were serviced, fuelled and sent on their way for SS6 which included a mid stage refuel at Nambi. Todd Smith fired down the fence that terminated at the refuel point well clear of brother Jacob who had crashed heavily but was still the second to arrive. Jacob’s tumble over the bars left him with an injured foot, but he wasted no time remounting his machine after cleaning his goggles and taking on fuel at the stop.
Yamaha rider Shane Diener was fastest in SS6, followed by Todd Smith, Rod Faggotter Jacob Smith and Ben Williams. Frenchman Cyril Despres also finished down the order for SS6 in 10th for the stage.
All other GHR riders made it through the day which saw a number of medical evacuations and mechanical failures, including last year’s winner Ben Grabham out of contention with an engine failure, and #3 KTM rider Matt Fish ride into refuel with his rear tyre around his waist.
Top 6 overall at the end of Leg 3 as follows:
1st – Todd Smith – 12:47:10
2nd – Jacob Smith – 12:57:49
3rd – Shane Diener – 13:01:35
4th – Rod Faggotter – 13:10:27
5th – Damien Grabham – 13:26:27
6th – Cyril Despres – 13:31:27
#2 Todd Smith: “Today was a great day. I just cruised in the first special and didn’t take risks knowing it was a long day. The second selective stage was more difficult especially since I rode most of it with no rear brakes. Again, finding the way was hard but they were fast tracks. I couldn’t hear anyone behind me so I slowed down to ensure that I didn’t miss any calls. The lack of mistakes certainly made up for my slower riding. I’m very happy.”
– Yamaha Report
Yamaha Rallye team riders of Shane Diener and Rod Faggotter used the longest day of the event to charge up the leader board and position themselves perfectly for a strong run home in their quest to win the Australian Safari.
At the conclusion of Day three, Diener and Faggotter sit third and fourth respectively on the road and appear to be mounting a serious charge as the 2011 Australian Safari reaches the half way stage.
Diener, mounted on the Yamaha WR450F, has charged to third in the standings despite having to ride conservatively in the morning session to save fuel. After his fall on day two, Diener damaged his larger capacity tank and the team had to fit a slightly smaller on for today’s competition. He nursed the bike home in the first stage this morning to a sixth place and then looked to make up the time in the afternoon session where fuel usage wasn’t an issue.
He then rode exactly as planned to take the stage win and climb from fourth to third in the overall standings.
“Because the morning stage was over 240ks with no fuel stop and I had the smaller tank on, I had to watch how much fuel I was using and really took it easy in the last 50ks. Fortunately, there was a fuel stop in the afternoon ride and I was able to push harder and ride all the way to the finish,” Diener comments about his day.
“Tomorrow the plan is to keep the pressure on and ride the way that I did this afternoon and try to peg back the leaders,” he finishes.
For Faggotter it was mind over matter as he battled against what he suspects as a broken knuckle on his left hand from his fall yesterday morning. But Faggotter put the pain behind him and logged two consistent sessions on day three to take seventh in the morning and then third in the afternoon to climb three spots to fourth overall in the event.
“Today was a better day than yesterday,” states Faggotter. “My hand hurts when I hit some of those bumps out there at top speed so I have to watch that, but otherwise it was a smooth day for us while some of our competitors ran into trouble.”
Day four will see three stages, the first two relatively short and a longer stage in the afternoon as the Safari riders circle around the Laverton area in the remote WA outback. The Yamaha duo will again look to improve their position in the field and make a run for the top of the leader board.