Dakar: Stage 14 Dakhla - Louxor quotes

MOTOBIKES: Fabrizio Meoni (KTM - n.1) 14th of the special, 3rd overall "I was riding well and had gained a few minutes. At km 170 just before the CP it was completely flat and I wasn't fully focused at over 150km/h. And suddenly the handlebar...

MOTOBIKES:

Fabrizio Meoni (KTM - n.1)
14th of the special, 3rd overall
"I was riding well and had gained a few minutes. At km 170 just before the CP it was completely flat and I wasn't fully focused at over 150km/h. And suddenly the handlebar went from side to side and the bike went crazy. I still can't explain why. Maybe it's just the way it had to be because I had no reason to attack at that moment. Unitl then I was having fun. Yesterday was a lot more dangerous. It's destiny! Of course I have my chances are over. After the fall I stayed there because I had broken the fuel pipe, the oil radiator... I lost a lot of time. The race for victory is over. Now all I want is to get to 'Sharm' in one piece with no more problems. Now it's the race of the wounded coming back from war."

Richard Sainct (KTM - n.3)
1st of the special, 1st overall
"The race is not over yet. There still are three days. The best proof is that Meoni lost a lot of time today. It can happen to me tomorrow. For the moment all is OK. I didn't make any mistakes and that's the most important. Now I have to wait a little."

CARS:

Luc Alphand (BMW - n.221)
1st of the special, 10th overall
"This morning I thought I would be able to drive fast but Vatanen took off like a bullet in front of me. He had 2 minutes then 3. The tracks were tough and I wanted to take it easy on the car. I couldn't see Vatanen anymore so I drove faster not to be too ashamed. I saw De Villiers far behind so I thought I had a good pace. Followed a game of hide and seek in a magical scenery where all of us took a different track. Vatanen had a puncture. Maybe it's destiny. To be in front makes me so happy. People told me a few days ago when I finished second that I could become the first sportsman from another discipline to win a special. So the goal was to win a special. To finish twice second is great...today is fantastic. There are still two days to go so it would be a pity to ruin everything. I still have the objective of overtaking Jutta (kleinschmidt) in the overall. 25minutes to catch up in two days is possible. We're still a bit disappointed for Gregoire (De Mevius). To be here with only one car is tough. I'm learning well. I don't make a lot of mistakes at the high pace I drive. I'm simply happy today. We already have a great engine. There still is some work on the car. With some extra help from the manufactor, it could be great. Maybe they (BMW) waited to see what our team could do... What we've already done is good and maybe it can help them (BMW)."

Ari Vatanen (Nissan - n.204)
4th of the special, 8th overall
"It's a pity for today. I was first at CP1 and CP2 but then we had a puncture and went on a wrong track. We lost a lot of time. It's a day to be forgotten. We'll try in the next days to clinch another one. I'm still confident. Tomorrow the special is made for good drivers but you never know what can happen."

Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206)
6th of the special, 1st overall
"Masuoka had two punctures early in the special. I don't know for what reasons. Was he trying to catch up time? Anyway we base our race on his and today went again in our advantage. We'll carry on like this until the end of the rally. If he catches me up I'll either stay in front of him or keep him within reasonable distance. But for me all is not done. In motorsports you have to remain careful. I've already lost bike races I should have won for mechanical reasons. We've been leading since the first day but this is a motorsport. Until we make it to the finish line, nothing is won."

Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200)
7th of the special, 2nd overall
"I just want to keep my second spot overall. I'm ready to leave the victory go to Peterhansel. I believe that Stephane has perhaps won the rally today. I don't want to take risks and lose my overall position. I prefer to finish second rather than having nothing at all. I'll be back next year to win."

-aso-

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