MOTOBIKES: PG Lundmark (KTM - n.16) 1st of the special, 7th overall "It's very good. Especially to find money for the Dakar. For me winning a special is almost enough to do the Dakar the next year. My main goal when I started the Dakar was to ...
PG Lundmark (KTM - n.16)
1st of the special, 7th overall
"It's very good. Especially to find money for the Dakar. For me winning a special is almost enough to do the Dakar the next year. My main goal when I started the Dakar was to finish in 5th position when I reached the finish line. Yesterday I had problems with the fuel tank and I lost half an hour on the stage. I'm afraid I have lost too much time. In the beginning, today's stage was a little scary with the navigation. I was lucky. I saw a lot of guys. I started off 15th today. I don't think i can start in first place and finish in first place. We'll see what happens tomorrow. The difference with the guys from the official KTM team is that they can concentrate on training all the time. For me it's a lot of fighting with money. They have a better material than I have. They have more powerful engines. In my opinion, I don't believe the normal people understand the difference. I think that maybe Sainct took it easy after Meoni had the problem. For Sainct, winning a special is nothing. It's only interesting to be number one on the finish line. For me there's an enormous difference on the Dakar compared to 2000 and 2001, the first years I did the race. I didn't have a mechanic and had to do everything by myself. Now I have mechanics and a team around me and it's marvellous. You can concentrate on the road book and the briefing. it's a very big difference. In my opinion, there shoud be one race for guys with mechanics and one for the others. Because it's such a difference at the end of the race. All the guys who make it to the finish line without mechanics are really heroes. The first two years when I was without a mechanic, I lost 10kilos in twenty days. I had no time to eat."
Cyril Despres (KTM - n.7)
2d of the special, 2nd overall
"All is well. I try to stay in control of my own race and it's going fine. This year, I'm doing my 15th rally and have only withdrawn once. I come from trial which is a sport of balance, and sharpness. To go full speed is not my kind of thing. I prefer going at my own pace and never going above that. Today it works out."
Richard Sainct (KTM - n.3)
3rd of the special, 1st overall
"Honestly, it's bad luck for Fabrizio (Meoni) because he could have gained a few minutes on me today. It was a special for the twin-cylinder. This morning we were together and I could see him take off. Unfortunately he broke his engine. I caught him up and he told me his engine didn't work anymore. So I took off alone. It was a transition special with very flat tracks, Not a lot of navigation. From start to finish it was straight forward. Meoni loses a lot of time and it gives me a good safety margin. I will now be able to go a bit slower. 50kms from the finish, I was going at a good pace. And suddenly a desert fox came out of nowhere. I couldn't avoid it and hit it. I couldn't believe it."
Fabrizio Meoni (KTM - n.1)
21st of the special, 3rd overall
"Today's stage was the one I had been waiting for. And now I break my engine on a flat stage. From the start of the special, I was going well but not at my maximum. I had even gained a few minutes on Sainct. Normally at the end of the special, I should have won several minutes on him. The bike I have is made for such a special. But instead of being happy on the finish line, I'm so disappointed. From the 240th kilometre, the bike started not working normally. It was only working on one cylinder. Richard caught me up followed by all the others. In the dunes I was only at 40km/h. Then on the flat I was at 100km/h. Anyhow, it's good to have made it here. I was almost sure I would stay on the track. Today, on this special, even without being a great pilot, I should have won at least 15 minutes on Sainct. What depresses me is that now I'm well behind. I don't think I'm in a position to win the race. I'm here for the pleasure of it. Not to win. Maybe in a day or two I'll be smiling again."
Honestly, it's bad luck for Fabrizio (Meoni) because he could have gained a few minutes on me today. It was a special for the twin-cylinder. This morning we were together and I could see him take off. Unfortunately he broke his engine. I caught him up and he told me his engine didn't work anymore. So I took off alone. It was a transition special with very flat tracks, Not a lot of navigation. From start to finish it was straight
Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200)
1st of the special, 2nd overall
"Today was a good day. It's the kind of special that I enjoy. Our maximum speed was of 182km/h. Navigation wasn't difficult, it was straight on from start to finish. It wasn't dangerous and the special was made for us. I won't attack like that every day but will try to control the race until the rest day in Siwa."
Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206)
2nd of the special, 1st overall
"We took off third this morning and quickly overtook Fontenay. Then Vatanen was on he side of the road with a puncture. We went at a careful pace and tried not to make mistakes. The only difficulty of the day could have been the sad winds. We could have found ourselves with no visibility and without a GPS, it could have been difficult to find our way. Masuoka attacked a lot today but we only lose 2 or 3 minutes. We're controlling the race without taking risks. We'll attack until the rest day and try and keep our leadership."
Ari Vatanen (Nissan - n.206)
5th of the special, 11th overall
"My hip was hurting during this special. My seat is not wide enough and it isn't very comfortable. The first part of the special was very fast and I played around with the 5th and 6th gear. Then, I don't know how, but we punctured. After my win yesterday, I started this morning without knowing how the special was. After 130kms, as I was enjoying myself, I thought I was in a WRC rally special. My maximum speed was of 170km/h. We're still far from the Mitsubishis."
Jutta Kleinschmidt (Volkswagen - n.203)
6th of the special, 4th overall
"We had prepared the special very well on a navigational point of view, but it's really tough to stay with the others. The rally is very fast this year. Our buggy is strong but we can't keep up with the 4 by 4 vehicles. That's why our maximum speed was only of 150km/h. Today, I keep my fourth place overall but Fontenay and the Nissans are coming back seriously."
Gregoire De Mevius (BMW - n.205)
9th of the special, 3rd overall
"This morning before CP1, we got lost. Finally we went left and only lost a few minutes. Quite a few competitors went passed us. We went slower than the other days. We prefered to take it easy and go nicely at 165km/h. We saw no-one in front and no-one behind so we carried on."