Shane Diener breaks through for his first stage win in this years' event
Rod Faggotter takes a 15 minute lead into the final day in the Safari

Diener Snares Stage Win as Faggotter Closes In

26 Sep 2013

On an emotional day at the Australian Safari, Yamaha Desert Racing’s Shane Diener pulled down his first stage win of the event while Rod Faggotter rode to a conservative fourth place in stage and edged closer to the elusive event victory.

In amongst the joy of a good day for YDR team was the sadness surround the fatal accident of Ivan Erceg. Erceg fell from his machine on the morning stage on day 5 and never recovered from his injuries.

Racing for the day was immediately called off and after lengthy discussions overnight between organisers and riders, it was decided to continue with the event and a single stage was run today.

Shane Diener won the stage by 41 seconds over his nearest rival and drew a little closer to Matt Fish in second place in the current running order. It was Diener’s first stage win in this years’ event but he may have left his run too late as he still needs another 15 minutes to make up on Fish for outright second.

“It has been a tough couple of days,” Diener offers. “The news yesterday was terrible and all the competitors have taken it pretty hard as Ivan was such a great guy. He will be sorely missed in the endurance racing scene and our thoughts go out to his family and close friends.

“It was good to get a stage win, it’s only taken six day,” he laughs “and we have the final day tomorrow so my goal is to just finish that off strong and see how we end up.”

With a 20 minute lead coming into the penultimate day of the Australian Safari, Rod Faggotter knows he just needs to keep a cool head, look after his machine and get to the finish line on Friday afternoon. As a result, he rode well within himself on day six and cruised in for a fourth place finish in the stage and his lead is still a comfortable 15 minutes.

But the challenges of long distance racing don’t stop and there is still over 80 kilometres to run on the final day, some of it in deep, sandy conditions and Faggotter can’t afford to take it too easy.

“Nothing too exciting from me today as I think I spent half the day riding around thinking about Ivan and what happened yesterday. On behalf of Yamaha and the entire YDR team, our best wishes and thoughts are with the Erceg family and I know our racing family will get around them in their time of need.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow and will enter the day in much the same way I have done since day one. Minimise the risks, keep my on the job and ride it all the way to the end,’ Faggotter signs off.         

The final day is made up off three small stages around the Geraldton area.

For more information on the Australian Safari; www.australiansafari.com.au or to follow the Yamaha Desert Racing Team on Facebook; www.facebook.com/YamahaDesertRacing

Running Order – After Day 6
1st Rod Faggotter – 18.06.29 (Yamaha WR450F)

2nd Matt Fish – 18.32.44
3rd Shane Diener – 18.46.28 (Yamaha WR450F)
4th Lee Stephens – 19.14.34
5th Alister McCrae – 19.15.29

Credits: 
Ross Briggs
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