Cyril Despres (FRA -- KTM -- Dakar winner) - 002
Yesterday night, I was wondering what feeling I would have on the podium. If sadness was bigger than joy. Well it's mixed. I am very proud of having held my promise by placing a 'blue bike' on the highest step of the podium. As we had planned back in December. This day has been very emotional. I feel I have accomplished my work but it's hard for me to believe that I have won the Dakar. I will be back in 2006. I am in love with this rally, with the desert and with this competition. We all love more than anything.
Marc Coma (SPA -- KTM -- 2nd overall) - 006
I am really super happy. If I had been told that I would finish second, I would have never believed it. But it's now the case. My only problem concerns the two major accidents that occurred during the rally. But that's the way it is, that's the race... Our activity isn't staying seated on a chair. I think it's time to think about all this and change things for the future. Life goes on... I now have a tough year of work to come to try and win the rally next year. It was an advantage riding as a team. We were always going in the same direction. It doesn't matter which one of us is in front, what matters is that we are all together at the finish.
Isidre Esteve (ESP -- KTM -- 4th) - 007
I started at full speed because I was still fighting for third spot overall. I really tried my best but the gap was too big. But I'll come back even better next year. I'm very happy for Marc (Coma) and for the team. Everyone has done an excellent work. That's the most important. Now that I think about what happened during this Dakar, I believe that it's time to work on new rules for there to be a real change.
Kellon Walch (USA -- KTM -- Special winner) - 021
I really had fun this morning. The bike had been fitted with moto-cross tires and Scot Harden put a lot of pressure on my shoulders to go and get the win. I had to catch up the 3 or 4 bad days I had at the end of the rally because of electrical problems. I was really frustrated so it's good to win this last special. It was my first rally and we'll come back next year, better prepared especially on a navigation point of view. I have learnt a lot for the future. It's a experience that has changed my life. All the stories I had been told are really true.
Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA -- MIT -- Dakar winner) - 306
It's a big satisfaction but also a great relief. Every day was difficult and we improved regularly. I stayed focused until the end. I have to thank my co-driver who didn't do one mistake. Because even wit a good driver, the car can not win if the navigation isn't at the height of expectations. Now that I've figured out how to win consecutive wins, I will come back next year to try an beat the record. We will work all year to try and be as good.
Bruno Saby (FRA -- VW -- Stage winner) - 307
It's really a great pleasure to live again as a driver, to have a great team that gives me the opportunity to express myself. Now, I'm convinced that we can win the Dakar one day with this car. The team has improved quickly in a discipline were experience counts. To win the last special is a bonus. I have all the reasons to feel optimistic for the future. I didn't find this Dakar harder than others. I am especially fascinated by the courage of the bikers.
Jutta Kleinschmidt (GER -- VW -- 3rd overall) - 310
I'm very happy because we've worked hard for this result. Before the rally, we thought that it would be fantastic to have a car on the podium. One shouldn't forget that our team is still young. It's excellent for the future. We're going in the right direction. An extra step was covered this year and that gives us confidence to catch the Mitsubishis. It was a difficult Dakar this year. I hope that the next course is more balanced with more dunes and less camel grass.
Luc Alphand (FRA - MIT -- 2nd overall) - 312
To arrive on the banks of the Lac Rose is always moving, and even more when you finish second. It's a nice position. I tried to fight until the end, team rules had only been given two days ago. It's a tough Dakar due to all the things that happened. I'm actually glad that the Gauloises KTM riders decided to carry on. It's a great relief being here but it's difficult to recollect the mast 15 days. It's the first year where I have so much pressure. It was 15 days of mechanical and physical stress. As it's the first year I was driving for the win, I had extra pressure. I just missed out on some details for victory. But I still want to learn. The dream is still there. Competing on a Dakar to win it is something fascinating.
Giniel De Villiers (SAF -- NIS -- 4th overall) - 314
It's a great joy for us to finish the race because this edition was very difficult. I am very satisfied with the reliability of the car. We have improved a lot compared to last year. We would have liked to make it on the podium but the competition was harsh. We already had to fight for fourth spot. Now, I'm waiting for Nissan's decision to see if we carry on because they've talked about quitting. What's for sure is that if we carry on, we'll compete in more rally-raids to improve our driving, especially for the dunes.
Yoshimasa Sugawara (JAP -- HIN -- 2nd overall) - 500
It's magical. This second spot was really unexpected. With our little truck, it's almost a miracle. Our vehicle was very reliable and I used my experience at the good moment. To manage the same performance in the future will be very difficult so we will take the time to enjoy this performance. But one never knows, maybe next year we'll beat the Kamaz and DAF trucks (he laughs)...
Giacomo Vismara (ITA -- Mercedes -- 3rd overall) - 503
The annoucement of Hans Bekx being kicked out of the rally was a surprise for us. We're very sorry for them. They have a great privateer team that gave everything. They deserved their second spot although we don't exactly know why they were expelled out of the race. Even if we had finished fourth, we would have been happy. We did our best to make the truck reliable. We wanted to show Mercedes that the Unimog could manage great things. But we can't fight in the same category Kamaz and DAF are in. Our power is ridiculous compared to theirs Our goal next year will again be the same : to make it to Dakar...