TUCUMAN, Argentina, – Monster Energy/Speedbrain’s Paulo Goncalves delivered Monster’s first-ever Dakar stage podium on a motorcycle, placing 3rd in today’s Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy contest – Stage Four of the 2011 Dakar Rally.
Goncalves, who finished 10th overall last year in the Dakar’s bike division, moved up to 4th place overall after three stages, going 5th/7th/3rd. He’s led a charge that now has two Monster Energy/Speedbrain BMW G450RR bikes in the overall top five, including Ze Helio (5th).
“What a great stage. Just what I like,” said Goncalves. “Unfortunately, I lost a little bit of concentration in a downhill passage while riding the second part of the special. I went down and maybe lost an even better finish, but it´s still been a good day.”
Notes & Quotes:
Cool stat: Monster Energy/X-raid’s Stephane Peterhansel was, according to his Dakar website bio, a “skateboard champion in his teens.” Got that Greg Lutzka, PLG? Better brush up on your driving skills! (ha, ha)
Props from Putin! Monster Energy/X-raid’s Leonid Novitskiy has been moving up in the standings – and got a congratulatory call from his buddy over in Russia, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s former President and current Prime Minister!
While a cold beer might sound like just the thing to the drivers and teams with the arid Argentine temperatures reaching 100-degrees, there’s a 24-hour no-alcohol policy for all Dakar participants. That said, Monster Energy’s throwing a HUGE bash for all the guys on the night of Jan. 6th – the eve of a two-day rest for Dakar. Monster girls, DJ and traditional Chilean food are all lined up for Monster Energy X-raid & Speedbrain teams.
Stage Four climbs to some impressive heights – nearly 17,000 feet – crossing the spine of the Andes as the Dakar moves from Argentina to Chile. Olaroz Cauchari and Los Flamencos National Parks are on the docket for both the bikes and cars, all run at altitude close to 10,000 feet above sea level. “The race is gonna start tomorrow,” said race leader Carlos Saint of Dakar’s fourth stage.
Dakar Rally, Stage 4, Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy (730km total)
1. Coma (ESP), KTM
2. Depres (FRA), KTM 02:21 Minuten Rückstand
3. Goncalves (PRT), BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 03:36
4. Pain (FRA), Yamaha, 04:34
5. Faria (PRT), KTM, 05:46
6. Ze Helio (BRA), BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 07:02
7. Viladoms (ESP), Yamaha, 08:22
8. Rodrigues (PRT), Yamaha, 09:18
9.Casteu (FRA), Sherco, 10:01
10. Pedrero Garcia (ESP), KTM, 10:53
19.Verhoeven (NED), BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 22:20
34. Bianchi Prata (PRT), BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 38:14
Dakar 2011, Overall standings
2.Coma, 00:14 Rückstand
4.Goncalves, BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 10:43
5.Ze Helio, BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 16:07
17. Verhoeven, BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 42:05
31. Bianchi Prata, BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 1:14:38
For more information on the 2011 Dakar Rally link to: www.dakar.com