In the bikes Richard Sainct reinforced his oveall lead by wining today's special ahead of Fabrizio Meoni and Nani Roma. Cyril Despres was fourth, with birthday boy Alfie Cox 5th.
In the cars victory went to Masuoka, 2'20 quicker than team mate Peterhansel, with Shinozuka third at 8'14. For the Blues, Jean Louis was 7th at 15'37, while Josep Maria Servia lost 47'49 after stopping for a quad rider. In the trucks the special went to Loprais with Tchaguine second and Kabirov third. De Rooy Snr finished 5th with Junior 6th and 9'33 and 15'43 respectively. Johannes De Rooy is now third overall at 5'53 with Gerardus 6th at 14'08.
Richard Sainct (Gauloises KTM) 1st in 2h41'42
"I went fast from the start but eventually got stuck behind Roma who I couldn't overtake in the dust. I didn't lose a lot of time -- maybe one or two minutes - so overall I'm reasonably happy with my day. If however the special had been a bit long I might have been a lot happier. The state Meoni's mousse was in, in 5 or 10 km he'd have been walking not riding!"
Fabrizio Meoni (Gauloises KTM) 2nd at 0'17
"The day started well and I reckon I was in the lead. Then about 40 km from the end of the special I had to back off as the mousse started to go. If the special had gone on much longer I would have been in big trouble!"
Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) 4th at 7'08
"That was the stage I feared the most. It was rocky and hard on your arms and shoulders and while my broken collarbone might have healed I haven't got as much strength as I had before my accident. Even if I lost over 7 minutes today I'm happy to be here. Today was the day I just had to take it easy and make sure I got to the finish. Hopefully from here on in it should be sandy with much less impact to the body and I should be able to go faster."
Alfie Cox (Gauloises KTM) 5th at 7'29
"Look at the sticker my mechanic put on my bike this morning -- 'the old I get the faster I was, Happy 40th Birthday' Bloody cheek! As far as the special was concerned it wasn't the best present I could have had. I lost a little time in the dust overtaking the riders just in front of me and then from CP1 I was on my own. The going was quite dangerous and you get into a 'comfort zone' where all by yourself you drop the pace. "
Giovanni Sala (Gauloises KTM) 9th at 17'38
"Everything went fine. At the start I lost a little time stuck in the dust behind slower riders but after that no problem. My mousse was OK -- but then I was riding at the same speed as Fabrizio."
Jean Brucy (Gauloises KTM) 10th at 17'40
"No problems -- I started 17th and finished 10th so logically I should have moved up a little. The good news though was that no one needed my help."
Eric Verhoef (KTM) 20th at 25'33
"No mistakes with the navigation but all the 'Full Gauloises' boys - Alfie, Jean and Giovanni - came past me, so I've probably lost some time. Today wasn't my favourite type of special - it was too hard on me and my bike."
Miran Stanovnik (KTM) 19th at 24'50
"A much better day today. I didn't make any navigation mistakes and run off the track and am very happy with my finising position. Yesterday there was a mistake with the timing. They orginial said I was around 50th and finshed up in the eighties. It is a little bit annoying but short of making an official appeal there is nothing I can do. I console myself with the thought that I am not the only one and my official time for yesterday is probably only 2 or 3 minutes out."
Jean-Louis Schlesser (Gauloises Schlesser Ford) 7th at 15'37
"We punctured the rear right and the front left and in all must have lost about 6 minutes. Without that I think we could have finished maybe third or fourth. I was very surprised to a have a 'flat' as we were being careful. I think we might already had a slow puncture and not noticed. Today's special was very stony but hopefully tomorrow we'll get a bit more sand."
Josep Maria Servia (Gauloises Schlesser Ford) 19th at 47'49
"We were behind a quad when the piste came out on to a small open area. The road book indicated left and the quad headed in that direction. There was also a faint parallel piste to the right and we decided to take that. Then at the last moment the quad rider changed his mind and swerved to the right. He hit us just on the rear of the left hand side wing and came off. For a while he was groggy so we let off his distress deacon. In all we stayed with him for 25 minutes but when no one came and he was less confused we went on to the CP just 6 km further on to tell them what had happened."
Rene Metge (Gauloises Mercedes) 44th at 1h06'35
"Everything is going really well. Elodie is doing an excellent job in the co-drivers seat and we're maintaining a good 'get-to-the-finish' rythme. Today we were maybe even a little too cautious, stopping twice to let air out of the tyres before the dunes. In total we probably lost 10 minutes but still finished 44th at 1h06'35. I think she would perhaps like to have a go at driving but I want her to concentrate on the navigation for a while."
Gerard De Rooy (Gauloises De Rooy) 6th at 15'43
"I was hoping for a little sand today but in fact it was quite stony. As we didn't want to break anything we took it easy but we saw that our trucks are as quick as the Tatras and the Kamaz. Tomorrow should be sandy and I am looking forward to attacking again."