Four Can-Am Bombardier Quads Finished The 29th Dakar Rally
After 7 782 kilometres of some of the most treacherous terrains in Europe and mostly Africa, six quad competitors made it to the finish at Dakar in Senegal on the west coast of Africa to complete the 29th Dakar Rally. Four of the finishers were members of Team Can-Am Bombardier MD Rally Sport.
Eight Can-Am Bombardiers started the 2007 Dakar Rally in Lisbon, Portugal, and four finished the event that was won by Josef Machacek (Yamaha) whose total time was just over five hours less than runner-up Carlos Avendano (Suzuki).
Jose Maria Pena from Spain finished his first Dakar attempt in an excellent third place for the Can-Am Bombardier MD Rally Sport team. The Can-Am Bombardiers performed exceptional during the gruelling event over 7 782 kilometres.
The 20-year old Alan Morel experienced some problems on the penultimate day of the race when a rock bent the rear axle of his Can-Am Bombardier and damaged the wheel, but luckily dad Antoine was there to tow him for the biggest part of the stage. Alan, who was third last year, finished fourth overall.
He beat dad Antoine (fifth) by two hours. Antoine has 17 years of Dakar experience (including 2007) and was the most senior rider in the team. He raced quads during the last five events and participated with a motorcycle on five events before that. He started his "Dakar career" as being part of a service crew and was put in command of a truck after that. Antoine Morel won in 2005 when only Can-Am Bombardier quads could make it to the finish. In 2006 he finished second when Can-Am Bombardier riders took the first three places on the podium.
The rookie, Anthony Fillatre (Can-Am Bombardier MD Rally Sport), survived all his bad luck and problems to finish his first Dakar attempt.
Unfortunately, South African competitors, Cornel de Villiers and Johan Steenkamp experienced some cruel luck early in the race and were forced to retire after stage five and four respectively.
Only a limited number of quad entries were accepted by the organisers. The amount of quad finishers (6) equals the amount of finishers in 2003.