Petrucci from MotoGP to Dakar Rally! | Page 3 | GTAMotorcycle.com

Petrucci from MotoGP to Dakar Rally!

thwak

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I caught an interview with Petrucci a couple of days ago where he said something profound when asked about the difference between MotoGP and Dakar teams. To paraphrase I thought what he said was: At MotoGP your team mate is the enemy. At Dakar your team mates are your friends.
 
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Ash

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And sometimes not even just theoretically equal team mates, either. The top teams usually have riders called "water carriers" or "domestiques" (literal translation: "servants") that are chosen to be a kind of technical support. The domestiques will sacrifice parts off of their bikes to help repair a top rider's bike if they happen to break down on the stage. They're chosen to be fast enough to keep up to the top riders, but not fast enough to get ahead of them.
 

Lightcycle

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I caught an interview with Petrucci a couple of days ago where he said something profound when asked about the difference between MotoGP and Dakar teams. To paraphrase I thought what he said was: At MotoGP your team mate is the enemy. At Dakar your team mates are your friends.

Yeah, I can see that. To a degree though.

In MotoGP, if you're not in contention for the title, then there's not much downside to helping your team mate who is in contention, by blocking and harassing the other competitors. And in the extreme, even following team orders to roll off the throttle and let your team mate take your position.

Jack Miller is a perfect example of this. He is one of the best wingmen, helping out Bagnaia immensely through the 2021 season.
 

Lightcycle

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In another demonstration of KTM reliability, last year's winner Kevin Benavides' KTM is out on a mechanical failure on Stage 10.

And just to show that KTM unreliability is often paired with KTM performance, Benavides is allowed to rejoin the rally with a 15-hour penalty, and he wins Stage 11.

Die by the tune, live by the tune.

Petrucci 11th fastest on Stage 10, 8 minutes down from stage winner. 17th on Stage 11.
 

Ash

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I'm just catching back up with the race now. I ended up unsubscribing from the Dakar youtube because they publish so many videos in each language every day. Would be nice if they had a channel for each language, at least, but in general their coverage was a fair bit better this year than in previous years. The 15 minute highlights videos are a good improvement over the much shorter "top 3" or "top 5" videos that they relied on before.

I've always found following the race to be rather difficult, but at least it's possible now once you figure out the website. Having someone you actually know in the race like Petrucci makes a huge difference in how closely you are able to follow. I think this is true of any race series, but especially so in an event with 140+ competitors that you can't watch live.

I'm still quite impressed with Petrucci's results. He was in the top 25 on 8 out of 12 stages, and finished 90th overall even with the 11hr 30min penalty for restarting after his stage 2 breakdown. I'd be curious to see how much time he lost on the other stages to mechanical issues. Sounds like fuses were blowing very frequently on his bike.

His overall and stage results are available at the bottom of his competitor's page:
 

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Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
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I'm just catching back up with the race now. I ended up unsubscribing from the Dakar youtube because they publish so many videos in each language every day. Would be nice if they had a channel for each language, at least, but in general their coverage was a fair bit better this year than in previous years. The 15 minute highlights videos are a good improvement over the much shorter "top 3" or "top 5" videos that they relied on before.

I've always found following the race to be rather difficult, but at least it's possible now once you figure out the website. Having someone you actually know in the race like Petrucci makes a huge difference in how closely you are able to follow. I think this is true of any race series, but especially so in an event with 140+ competitors that you can't watch live.

Yes, I wish there was more video coverage on him. Obviously they only show the top competitors who are in contention for the overall win, and then they'll focus on the stage winners next, but still...

I don't watch the YouTube stuff, too many snippets. I like the Eurosport 1 hour recap, they spend 10-15 minutes on each class, plus they intersperse the commentary with historical footage from previous races as well as some stories about life in Saudi Arabia - camel markets, etc.

I used to tune into the RedBull recaps, but they spend far too much time on their own sponsored racers, which they've made damn sure they've always backed the race favorites, so most viewers are happy. But this means no Petrucci though... Also, the entire program feels like a huge RedBull commercial and it got a bit too much.

I'm still quite impressed with Petrucci's results. He was in the top 25 on 8 out of 12 stages, and finished 90th overall even with the 11hr 30min penalty for restarting after his stage 2 breakdown. I'd be curious to see how much time he lost on the other stages to mechanical issues. Sounds like fuses were blowing very frequently on his bike.

This is what I'm confused about. Ever since they restricted the engine size, the focus has been making these bikes as lightweight as possible. Last night I was poring over the specs on the Rally Replica:


They don't seem to be very electrically complex, traction control seems to be the only rider aid. And beefier suspension and chassis separate it from the rest of the MX bikes. The most complex electronics seem to be the roadbook and the guidance/tracking systems, which is more Dakar organizer technology than KTM factory technology.

So when Petrucci's bike suffers an electrical problem which he initially though was a fueling problem, is this not something that can be easily fixed in the field? I can see Benavida's engine failure as irrecoverable, but an electrical fueling problem seems fixable, no?

Meh, what do I know? The only thing I'm good at in the shop is dropping tools and rounding bolts...

In other news, that Rally Replica is hella sexay. I want one!

I can imagine me bombing down FSRs and through the woods on one of those. Like riding a MotoGP bike on the 507... :rolleyes:
 

Ash

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They don't seem to be very electrically complex, traction control seems to be the only rider aid. And beefier suspension and chassis separate it from the rest of the MX bikes. The most complex electronics seem to be the roadbook and the guidance/tracking systems, which is more Dakar organizer technology than KTM factory technology.

So when Petrucci's bike suffers an electrical problem which he initially though was a fueling problem, is this not something that can be easily fixed in the field? I can see Benavida's engine failure as irrecoverable, but an electrical fueling problem seems fixable, no?

I'm not sure what comes on the 450 rally replica that you can buy, but it seems to be pretty common in serious road classes like WSBK to completely replace the OEM wiring harness with something custom/handmade, or something from the factory race dept if it is available to you. Blowing fuses suggests perhaps there's an undiscovered short in the harness somewhere, maybe from the wire gauge being spec'd too light, or routed too tight, or something. I'd expect them to have a couple of spare harnesses on hand and have swapped them out after the first big failure though.

If it wasn't an intermittent short, then maybe the load on the electrical system was higher than expected under some circumstances. Maybe the fuel pump pulls a lot more amps than anticipated when the tank gets near empty and there's not as much fuel cooling it down? Or maybe the fuel filter got clogged with silt, making the pump work a lot harder? Fuses and filters should be an easy in-field replacement, but that's not something that Petrucci would ever have had to worry about in MotoGP. Maybe the crash course he got on field diagnostics and repair just wasn't sufficient. Or it was written in German.
 

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