Fretigne moves up to sixth in standings Seventh overall, before today's stage at Atar, David FrÃ©tignÃ© (Yamaha WR450F - Yamaha MF Gauloises Ipone) announced before the start that he would attack all day. The likeable Frenchman made the best of...
Fretigne moves up to sixth in standings
Seventh overall, before today's stage at Atar, David Frétigné (Yamaha WR450F - Yamaha MF Gauloises Ipone) announced before the start that he would attack all day. The likeable Frenchman made the best of his Yamaha's two wheel drive system during one of the toughest stages of this 27th edition where competitors had to negotiate everything from small dunes, over camel grass and huge dunes. Frétigné finished the day fin an excellent fourth overall, while his fellow countryman Cyril Despres (KTM) took his first win on this 2005 Dakar. Despres held a 10'08" gap over second placed Meoni, third was Isidre Esteve at 12'24", followed by David Frétigné at 12'51" and Alfie Cox at 16'26". Despres takes command of the overall with a 9'13 lead on Meoni. Frétigné is now sixth in provisional standings. Today's race was also shocked by the death of Spanish rider José Manuel Perez who had suffered an accident during stage 7 to Tichit.
128 bikes are still in competition, and the battle for the overall win remained every bit as exciting. Cyril Despres was the man of the day claiming both his first special and the overall leadership of the Dakar 2005. Another revelation of the Atar stage was David Frétigné. The 30-year-old French started off in 15th spot and only 67 km 67 later, at the entry of a dune section, he caught up with Jean Brucy (KTM) who took off 4 minutes before him. Just another sign of David's hunger and sheer speed it was only a matter of time before he passed Walch.
David finished fourth in the end and remains the solid leader in the super production class up to 450cc. Dutch Yamaha privateer Bas Verhoeven took a well-earned 14th overall on his WR450F and is now second in the production class. Tomorrow's the competitors will go from Atar to Kiffa, dealing with another gruesome 656 km of special in the process.