Quinn Cody marches on at the Sealine XC Rally in Qatar.

Quinn Cody continues to learn the ropes in Qatar.

Quinn Cody (Monster Energy/Speedbrain) has complete three stages of the FIM World Cross Country Rally World Championships tour’s second round of the Sealine XC in Qatar. The Californian is currently in fifth place heading into today’s fourth stage and he checks in with Cycle News on his progress thus far.

Day Three – “Last three days has been a major learning experience. Figuring out how everything works here – the rulebooks, the terrain here, the new bike. Everything’s basically like starting from scratch. I hadn’t really ridden the bike here until now. Building on everything day-by-day, figuring out the navigation and figuring out the desert.”

The Terrain

“I’ve never done a rally where you’re relying on a compass heading just going across the open desert. Little bit of that at Dakar, but for the most part, you’re racing roads in Dakar – so this is completely different. Here we’re just running across the open desert and there’re no landmarks out here, just open desert with tons and tons of rocks. If you look at the rulebook for half a second, you can hit a rock and get bucked. So it’s really, really sketchy. White rocks, white sand and the sun’s blazing which makes it really hard to see.”

Cody’s Healing Leg

“My leg’s doing well. It’s getting stronger every day, but I’m a little sketchy on it because I don’t want to come off and hurt myself again. So I’m just trying to build on things each day. Had my leg been completely healthy, I still would have needed more time to adapt to the bike and spent more time on the navigation process. So coming into this I knew my goal wasn’t to get a top result. I was going to be a big adjustment and I’m going to use this to build on the upcoming Dakar.”

Navigation

“The navigation is everything about rally. If it was a marked course we could all go out there and go fast. But you’re always having to look down, read this road book, read the GPS, read your mileage and process it all while you’re riding. And if you don’t have a lot of experience with it, it takes you twice as long to figure out what’s going on. The European guys, who’ve been doing this for years, they look down and just glance at their road book and they know what it means. But I nailed all my navigation today, where the first two days I didn’t nail it. I could see where other guys were getting lost and today I was just spot-on. So I felt pretty good about that.”

The Speedbrain Bike

“The bike’s amazing. It’s faster than anything out there for sure with the top speed. And the handling is that of a purpose-built rally bike. So yeah, the thing’s really incredible.”

Climate

“We’ve been pretty lucky the last couple days. For this place it’s been cool, probably the 90s, so not as bad as it can be for sure. But it gets hot out there.”

Roadside Distractions

“Not a whole lot out there, but I’ve run across some wild herds of camels, guys herding goats. Went through this big military installation with all kinds of tanks and helicopters – we raced right through the middle of the thing. That was pretty cool.”

Qatar in General

"Everybody’s been cool, you know? The food’s really good and everyone’s really excited to have us here racing."

 

 

By Cycle News Staff

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