Aprilia Racing press release
Chaleco is injured
The first stage in Chile was terrible for Francisco López. The rider has a knee injury and waits for a diagnosis in order to continue. Alain Duclos stopped in the stage due to a technical problem. Tomorrow the Dakar will have the expected rest day.
COPIAPO – Yesterday the Dakar arrived to Copiapo, the Chilean town that received the race for its seventh stage after the cancellation of the one yesterday. To avoid the “Camanchaca” (the clouds that cover the sky every morning in this area), the stage started by a road connection of 154 kilometers followed by 419 of timed section and a neutralization of 58. The Dakar entered the Atacama Desert, which will be the scene of the next days before the arrival to Peru.
For López, this stage could represent an important journey. In fact, after CP1, 31 kilometers after the start, the Chilean rider registered the second best time, only 12 seconds behind Marc Coma. Then, after the control the Chilean hit the front of the bike in a hole and fall. This incident caused him a knee injury and the machine was also damaged in the fairing and the handlebars. With lots of courage, the rider managed to finish the stage, but 30 minutes behind the stage winner, Marc Coma. He flies back to the ninth position overall.
López has left the bivouac of Copiapó to visit Doctor Radice, in order to have an evaluation on his knee and after that, take the decision if he can continue or not.
On his side, Alain Duclos had an electrical problem and stopped in the first kilometers of the special stage in order to repair his bike.
Tomorrow will be the rest day, a journey of hard work for Giofil Aprilia Racing Team to prepare the second part of the race.
The Dakar will restart on Monday with a stage of 722 kilometers between Copiapó and Antofagasta. 477 kilometers of special stage will be the menu of the day.
Francisco López: “It was a terrible fall, I was going fast and when I hit the bike, I was sent out from the saddle. It was not easy to get back to the race… I must check what happened to my knee to decide if I can continue.”