Tuesday’s 9th Dakar 2020 stage brought the Big Shock Racing team a track of 410 kilometres across rocky plains and streams. The Sedlcany team truck moved for the most part in the TOP 5. Pilot Martin Macik, navigated by Frantisek Tomasek and supported in all things technical by David Svanda had to solve not only traditional overtaking in dust along the way but especially another tread pattern separated on a tire which caused further complications. Some indicators and the four-wheel-drive stopped working. In the end, however, the yellow Iveco crew managed to get through the finish with the rear-wheel-drive only. They finished 11th in the stage and still hold an excellent 6th position in the overall rankings.
Jan Brabec continued his fast ride without much hesitation and with a slight nostalgia for the memories of the South American years, which grew close to him with their unique atmosphere and crowds of cheering fans along the track. In the 9th stage, the Czech motorcyclist finished in the 31st position and holds the 36th position overall.
Macik struggles with tires
Martin Maci and his crew’s Tuesday ride was one of the most adventurous at this year’s Dakar. Fans were very nervous when Charles, the truck, built by team mechanics in Sedlcany workshops, did not appear at one of the checkpoints in a live online broadcast. Fortunately, it was again a failure of the tracking device. Macik’s special managed to stay in the front in the beginning after gradually overtaking several rivals in the dust. After neutralization, however, the crew was forced to once again address the favourite theme of this year’s Dakar: tires.
“How to put it decently? Today we got a little angry at times. Simple, beautiful stage, valley, quarry, we kept overtaking others. Then came the riverbed, where we followed Martin Soltys for good 120 kilometres in the dust because we could not overtake him. From neutralization on, it was all straight surface again, we drove at a speed of 140 km/h, where one only has to keep their foot on the gas pedal. Then, just like every other day now, at the 350th kilometre – boom – a separated tire pattern, this time the rear left. We drove on, but suddenly the computer was not showing us the air pressure and it was clear that a cable had been cut somewhere. The indicators did not work and neither did the four-wheel-drive. So we stopped, in smaller dunes, changed the tire and decided that it was just a short distance to the finish and that we would drive it with the rear-wheel-drive only, which we have done,” Martin Macik described, half-joking, half-annoyed and promised to provide more details of the crew’s experience in the cabin at the Obsessed with Dakar events. “It’s a pity with the tires because apart from that, Charles works perfectly. We will see what we figure out for the next stages. We keep working on it, there is a marathon stage next, so there will still be a lot to experience,” David Svanda added.
Brabec’s ride with ease
Big Shock Racing motorcyclist Jan Brabec finished in the 9th Dakar stage in a brilliant 31st position, although he set out on a stony track again at his chill pace. On the hard surface, he tried to put as little weight on the knee as possible and drive calmly. Jan had again no problems, although the roadbooks for the current track had to be modified a lot the previous evening. “Today, it was again similar to the previous days. Dust, rock, wide streams. Not much fun for me. It’s been the same for the past nine days. I drove at ease, carefully, without taking unnecessary risks. I knew it would be a lot of work for the tendons again, so I was trying to ease off a little bit,” Jan Brabec, who is trying to finish this year’s Dakar with the best possible result despite recent health complications, described. He also mentions the preparation of the current roadbook: “Last night, the organizers made a little chaos in the roadbook. Frantisek and I cut and pasted the pages, just like back in first grade at primary school. We had a lot of fun with it.”
Watch the video from the 9th stage!