Brabec wants Dakar’s new ‘blind’ stages to become the norm

Following heavy criticism from the likes of Carlos Sainz and Sebastien Loeb’s co-driver Daniel Elena in the course of the 2019 version of the marathon, new Dakar director David Castera made navigational enhancements a precedence in 2020.

Chief among the many new measures is the observe of withholding notebooks to bike crews till 25 minutes earlier than the beginning of the stage (15 minutes for vehicles), as a substitute of the earlier night.

The brand new system is being trialled in six of the 12 levels this yr, and made its debut on Monday’s Stage 2, earlier than getting used on Tuesday once more.

As a part of the modifications, Dakar organiser ASO has additionally began giving out extra detailed roadbooks to opponents, having beforehand stored data to a minimal to permit groups so as to add their very own notes.

Brabec hailed the modifications made by Dakar for the primary Saudi Arabia-based occasion, and even prompt that the brand new roadbook coverage ought to change into the norm from right here on.

“I actually loved getting the roadbook within the morning,” the Honda rider mentioned. “It’s much more relaxation for us within the bivouac. 

“And it’s colored, it’s equal for everyone. I actually benefit from the roadbook. It’s colored actually good, all of the necessary data is in numerous colors, so it’s tremendous good. 

“We’re in Saudi Arabia, completely new nation, which can also be, it’s epic. It’s very nice to be right here. The brand new roadbook’s good, I hope sooner or later day-after-day we get the roadbook within the morning, that might be very nice.”

Requested if the standard of the roadbook meant he had no points with navigation via the day, Brabec mentioned: “I had a few errors right now, couple of little errors. However I acquired to say early, you don’t wish to make a giant mistake, 15-20 minutes lengthy. 

“I made a few errors, possibly 30 seconds, I slowed down some time after I solved the notes, that was actually shut collectively, a number of data on one word. 

“I slowed down to ensure I acquired it proper simply because after I was new to rallying I would go too quick and get method too misplaced.”

Brabec topped Dakar’s third stage to propel himself to the highest of the general standings, profiting from a troubled day for KTM riders, which entered Dakar because the favourites.

The American rider presently leads a 1-2 for Honda, heading Kevin Benavides by slightly below 5 minutes.

“The day was good,” Brabec summed up. “It was actually quick, a lot of rocks, a lot of stones, actually tough navigation however I simply tried my greatest to remain centered and when it acquired tough, to only decelerate and type of take the time to determine the suitable path. 

“I simply had a number of enjoyable right now. The path is very nice, considered one of my favorite types to experience – the sand and the rocks and the high-speed stuff. 

“Beginning a bit of bit again right now was very nice for me. I didn’t actually have an excessive amount of mud simply because the highest 10 riders are three minutes aside. 

“I began 12th so then I handed the 11th rider earlier than 20km after which after that I had clear air all day. So for me the one push was good simple. Yeah, I’m stoked, you understand. 

“Tomorrow goes to be troublesome, opening is at all times troublesome. Whenever you open [run first on the stage], everyone seems to be behind you. We’re gonna do our greatest to remain focussed.”

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