Dakar: Stage one Marseille to Narbonne quotes

MOTOBIKES: Despres (KTM) - n.7 "I absolutely don't feel my injury although I was rather worried. I had a fantastic feeling on the bike. I wanted to take it easy and control things. On the first bump I was able to jump, on the second as well.

MOTOBIKES:

Despres (KTM) - n.7
"I absolutely don't feel my injury although I was rather worried. I had a fantastic feeling on the bike. I wanted to take it easy and control things. On the first bump I was able to jump, on the second as well. Everything is OK. Sharm El Sheikh is far but it's a good way to start the rally.

Esteve Pujol (KTM) - n.8
"It was a very nice special but I didn't want to take any risks because I broke my wrist only a mounth ago. The most important thing is that I was able to start this Dakar. The remaining stages of the rally will bring us a lot of sand and dunes. I wanted to take it easy. The physios told me to go slowly the first week.

Sainct (KTM) - n.3
"It was a Supercross event on rally bikes. It isn't ideal but quite pleasant. The crowd was great and cheared us on a lot. It's a good feeling to see that the Dakar is enjoyed so much. It's great to see all this crowd before feeling very lonely in the desert.

Meoni (KTM) - n.1
"I didn't know there was so much water. Richard (Sainct) told me there was around 20cms of water but I think it was more like 50. Now I'm soaking wet. I wanted to wear gear for wet and cold weather. Now it's useless. One thing's for sure: I'm now baptised. Now the Dakar starts in great fashion.

CARS:

Masuoka (Nissan) - n.200
"I feel fine. The prologue was great. I was able to make a few jumps and have fun behind the steering wheel. I really jumped high. In Africa, we'll also make big jumps in the dunes. But here, it was a great rehearsal.

Fontenay (Mitsubishi) - n.202
"Congratulations to the person who prepared the course. At the start, we came to check it out on foot and we all thought it was not made for us. A guy who comes from the bike world prepared it. Finally, it's really fun. He can do a course like that whenever he wants. We're almost frustrated because we would have liked to give more pleasure to the crowd and make 1m50 jumps. We would love to try again on more laps.

De Mevius (BMW) n. 205
"It was fun to race against Ari (Vatanen). I slowed down because I didn't want to start in first position tomorrow. We were together all the time so I told him to go through. Tomorrow, it's important not to open the track.

Peterhansel (Mitsubishi) n.206
"Tomorrow it's imporatnt not to start in first position to ‚clean' the course. We had decided to drive slowly without attacking. I hope a lot of competitors will finish in front. There's a great atmosphere and it pushes us to give everything. Leaving Marseille is really 'hot'. Such a crowd is fantastic.

Alphand (BMW) n.221
"Happy new year to everyone. It's incredible! A lot of fans were shooting. With Jean-Louis, we were almost together. The car works well but on this kind of course we didn't gve everything because we didn't want to have mechanical worries. We almost didn't have time to warm up and now it's all over.

Mayer (Mitsubishi) n.236
"I have excellent sensations in the car. It was very slippery in a curve so I showed off for the crowd. I will only start attacking in Africa. You have to be careful in a prologue. I rode the Dakar six times on a bike and done more than 25 rallies. I'm used to all types of terrain, sand and rocks, rain or snow. I have never done it in a car but I'm pretty confident in my experience of piloting.

Arcarons (BMW) - n.237
"I wanted to give the crowd some pleasure but I don't have total control of the car yet. Between a car and a bike, the sensations are different. On a bike, one can't let go of the handle bar. On the other hand in a car it's a lot less physical and that's perfect because I didn't want to carry on on a bike.

Katayama (Toyota) - n.243
"I was really very nervous. There's nothing to see for the moment. All you can do is imagine. On this prologue, I'm a bit frustrated. At the start, the car started touching the ground on the first jumps so I decided to slow down not to damage the car.

-aso-

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Series Dakar