Day five of the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy 2012 was the competition’s second marathon stage, with a distance slightly over 400km and the complication of a border crossing to deal with as the riders returned to Chile. It was potentially even more of an ordeal given the arrival of rain that peppered the morning then deluged the afternoon. A special test had been scheduled for the late afternoon, after arrival in Huilo-Huilo, but due to the inclement weather this has been postponed until the morning of day six. Consequently there is no change to the GS Trophy leaderboard and Team Germany remain the competition leaders for the third consecutive day.
The rain, while notionally detrimental, in fact proved beneficial, and after four days of riding through dense dust clouds, the competitors were today able to enjoy clear vision for the first time. And while it was expected the rain would make the conditions slippery, for the most part it had the opposite effect – improving traction. In short the GS Trophy riders were revelling in the conditions.
Riding through the Paso Carirrifie into the forests of the Parque Nacional Lanin the riders also enjoyed a succession of terrain types, starting with clay and gravel roads over rolling hills, leading to deep sand on the plateau, then onto a tight and twisting mix of loam and gravelly tracks through the forest. The tracks could have been designed by a GS rider such was the satisfaction of the competitors from their day’s ride.
Enjoying a spirited canter on theses remote routes, through stunning highland forestry down onto rolling farm land, this was a day that brought nothing but joy.
There were no reported crashes or incidents today. An update on the condition of Marc-André Octeau (of Team Canada) who was injured on day four: his condition has improved substantially and it is anticipated he will be transferred to a German hospital in Temuco, Chile within the next 24 hours.
“Our day”, by Team Japan and Team Brazil:
Teams Japan and Brazil were paired to ride together today, under the stewardship of South African marshall Jan du Toit. Like all the competitors they had a great day’s ride.
Haruki Hisashi, journalist to Team Japan, speaking on the team’s behalf: “When the rain came it increased the fun, there was mud and parts were slippery, it was like enduro riding through the forest. And the scenery as we entered Chile reminded us of the forests and farmland back home, we were surprised how much it was alike. We also found the people so happy to see us, cheering and waving. It was our best day of the competition.”
Aloisio Frazao Jr, Team Brazil: “It was wonderful today, we rode together as group, and were able to match each other’s pace, it was like a symphony. We were also able to ride behind the marshall and to watch his techniques, so we tried to mimic these. The GS Trophy is not just a competition – we are becoming better riders here, one week is like one year in what we are learning.”
GS Trophy 2012 Overall standings after five days: