Dakar: Stage 5 Ouarzazate to Tan Tan quotes

Stage 5 - Ouarzazate to Tan Tan January 4, 2006 Connection 187 km - Special 350 km - Connection 282 km Total 819 km Bike: Carlo de Gavardo (CHI -- KTM -- 5th) "I lost some time at the 55th kilometre way point and I had to ride back a little...

Stage 5 - Ouarzazate to Tan Tan
January 4, 2006
Connection 187 km - Special 350 km - Connection 282 km
Total 819 km

Bike:

Carlo de Gavardo (CHI -- KTM -- 5th)
"I lost some time at the 55th kilometre way point and I had to ride back a little bit in order to avoid a penalty. Nothing special with my bike except that my speed alarm stopped working one hundred kilometers before the end of the stage. I could only rely on the light of the system which was really stressing. I had to focus on my speed all the time. We are heading to Mauritania and there is no big time difference between the front-runners. I have to be cautious because navigation will play a great role over there."

Ruben Faria (POR -- KTM -- 4th)
"I knew from the beginning that things were going on well for me. I quickly overtook the riders ahead of me but I didn't I would finish in the top 5. Above all, I wanted to ride safely on this rocky track, and get a bit more familiar to the GPS before the big Mauritanian stages. So, I am very happy. Actually, since the first days, I really enjoy myself on the Dakar."

Isidre Esteve Pujol (Esp -- KTM -- 3rd)
"We were told yesterday that navigation wouldn't very important today. And it was true. The track was beautiful, technically demanding and requesting good riding skills. Actually, I really enjoyed myself riding today since the course was quite different from the previous year's. There were less stones and holes than usually. It was really fun. I guess there must have been quite a lot of dust, but it was really embarrassing for me since I started among the first. Actually I am very happy about this result, before entering Mauritania, where the race may totally change."

Cyril Despres (Fra -- KTM -- 1st)
"It was a good day. I really enjoyed myself riding. The stage was both fast and technically demanding. Actually, when you have fun on the bike it really is a plus. Even if the stage was supposed to e easy in terms of navigation, we always have to remain focussed on navigation since we don't have a co-pilot. There has been one or two critical moments where the leading riders must have lost a few minutes. But the gaps are once again very tiny. Actually, Isidre must have made a really good stage. He was opening the way today and I thought he would have lost much more time than he did. Yet, I managed to catch up Isidre and Coma. So I am satisfied. It has been a pleasant with a second stage victory on this year's rally. I come a bit closer to the leaders. Unfortunately, I broke my speed alarm. A kind of clue that such as men, technical stuff can sometime fail."

Marc Coma (Esp -- KTM -- 2nd)
"There was a lot of dust in the first kilometres of the stages. On the other hand, the navigation was quite easy, and the track very fast with a few traps to watch out. But I really enjoyed myself. In the morning, we had the sun right in the eyes. It was tiring since we had to remain focused on the track. But I as the sun rose up, I could at last throttle. But the most important thing is that we are now at the end of Morocco, still fit. The bike is perfect and we haven't had any major problem, in spite of two dangerous rocky stages. Now the rally really starts as we enter Mauritania, where the final result may be decided."

Car:

Nani Roma (ESP - Mitsubishi - 3rd)
"Dusty roads made the stage difficult. I had to overtake many motobikers in tight conditions. I drove very carefully because I know what must be the feelings of the bikers. The real Dakar is starting now since we are heading to Mauritania. You have to be strong there. I've made no mistake for the moment. I am surprised by my ranking so far because it's only my second Dakar as a driver in the auto class. It is fantastic."

Luc Alphand (Fra -- Mitsubishi -- 5th)
"Today was another dusty day. I have rarely seen this before. I started third this morning, behind Sainz and Magnaldi. They both punctured, so, I have been opening the track for the 150 last kilometres. I slowed down avoid a possible puncture. I enjoyed myself driving, even if you can't compare today's stage to the wide fields of dunes upcoming. This year, the race is really tight and now one can tell now who will win the rally. It is true we are under pressure but we still are in a good position. Personally, I am very satisfied with my current third position. It exactly what I wanted: Being in the top five at the end of the Morocco. Of course, it would have been if we had won a stage. But I had rather drive safely to avoid any problem and be in Dakar in a good position."

Stephane Peterhansel (Fra -- Mitsubishi -- 1st)
"It was not easy today. We started 14th, behind some pilots who are obviously slower than us. We had to overtake them and take some risks that I had rather avoided. But some of this pilots, like Alfie Cox, let me pass them and some others punctured. So we have had the opportunity to drive at a faster pace. So we drove the whole day in the dust, without an opportunity to enjoy the landscape. Actually we feel far better than yesterday after this unforgivable loss of 18 minutes. Now, we are 9 minutes behind the overall leader. And I hope we will be able to fill this gap in Mauritania. Anyway, I have not seen such a tight race for years. Usually, there are much more damages among the favourites in Morocco. This year, except Masuoka, everyone is still in the race, with a good chance to win."

Mark Miller (E.-U. -- VW -- 2ème)
"We made a few navigation mistakes today, but like everyone I guess. The most important for us was to pay attention to bikes we had to overtake in the dust. So, maybe we drove a bit more safely than the others, but we managed not to puncture. At the start this morning, we had no special goal. We only wished to be able to complete a good stage to protect our position for the overall ranking. So this second place is a wonderful bonus. Above all, we really have a good time with Dirk (Von Zitzewitz). Actually he often shout because my jokes prevent him from being focused on his job."

Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA -- Schlesser-Ford -- 4th)
"The stage was not that easy today, there was room to lose your way. We never had so much dust on the course since we entered Morocco. I did my best regards to the conditions but there were plenty of motobikers to overtake. We stopped at kilometer 80, an injured biker was lying on the floor. Generally speaking, I'm really satisfied with my overall ranking (8th) and especially the time difference with the top leader (around 4 minutes). It is so great ! Tomorrow I will start the stage in fourth position, it is also perfect. Now is the time for Mauritania with three exciting stages. "

Truck:

Vladimir Tchaguine (RUS -- Kamaz -- 1st)
"It has been another good day for us. But day after day the stages are getting more difficult. During the first 200 kilometres we fought with Hans Stacey, overtaking each other a couple of times. Suddenly, I didn't see him anymore, and at the end of the day he lost 30 minutes. So, I think he lost himself. For us, the end of the stage was a bit difficult because we're very tired. The next three stages before the rest day will be very tough, but I think it's the same for all the competitors. After only five stages, the gap is very big in the overall standing, so we're beginning to control the race. Just enough to take good care of the truck, but not too much, because there's still a long way to Dakar."

Hans Stacey (HOL -- MAN -- 4th)
"It was a very tough day for us. However, the day started well for us as we were fighting with Tchaguine until the CP 2. Suddenly the navigation board fell off, so just after we lost ourselves and took a lot of time to find the track back. Then we caught up a bike, who stayed maybe 60 km in front of us without moving at all, even after a lot of Sentinel signals and horning. Then the guy fell over a rock. So I hit the brakes as hard as I could and just avoided him by a few centimetres. Not touching him was a real miracle! Anyway, our day wasn't too bad as we saw that our MAN could now compete with the Kamaz."

Karel Loprais (CZE -- Tatra -- 3rd)
"Dust, dust, dust. It's the only way to summarise the day's stage. In these conditions, it's quite impossible to overtake, especially the bikes. But I understand them because they look exhausted and don't want to take any extra risks. The other problem with the dust today was that we didn't see a big bump. So the truck made a long jump landing just on the front end. It was a very big shock that's never good for both man and machine. But in fact nothing has broken, so finally it wasn't a bad day. However the race is still very long and tough to Dakar because the rhythm is very high."

-dakar.com-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Luc Alphand , Jean-Louis Schlesser , Stéphane Peterhansel , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Nani Roma , Karel Loprais , Marc Coma , Isidre Esteve , Carlo de Gavardo , Hans Stacey , Ruben Faria