Day 14 -- Stage 13 Friday 13 January 2006 Labe > Tambacounda Connection 7 km, Special 348 km, Connection 212 km, Total 567 km A very technical stage was set for Friday the 13th after two days without technical assistance. The reliable technique...
Day 14 -- Stage 13 Friday 13 January 2006
Labe > Tambacounda
Connection 7 km, Special 348 km, Connection 212 km, Total 567 km
A very technical stage was set for Friday the 13th after two days without technical assistance. The reliable technique of the WR450F demanded only the obvious maintenance: oil and filters.
Passing the highest points in this year's Dakar, the riders had to cross several steep and rocky passes. The nimble character of the WR450F gave David Fretigne good expectations to attempt an attack on the race leaders. David quickly found his rhythm in the special stage, confirmed by an eighth place on Check Point 1 (CP). After CP1, David had difficulties with the mounting of his road book causing him to stop several times, which set him back six minutes. Later that stage, just 15 kilometres before CP 2, two road crossing cows forced David into a ditch. This incident cost him valuable minutes in pursuit of the race leaders. Despite this mishap, David confirmed today's expectations by setting seventh place for the day. This gained David two places in the overall standings: from 18th to 16th place.
Day 15 - stage 14 Saturday 14 January 2006
Tambacounda > Dakar
Connection 107 km, Special 254 km, Connection 273 km, Total 634 km
The road to the capital of Senegal , being the last stage of importance before the finish line, was set significantly different compared to last year's. The numerous changes of direction forced the riders to be very attentive. Still, the changed route led to navigational errors for many of the top competitors as Cyril Despres (Fra), Alain Duclos (Fra) and Giovanni Sala (Ita), but not for David Fretigne. The World Enduro Champion managed to win his first stage in this year's Le Dakar, bringing his grand total to seven victories. Setting a third time on CP1, David kept on riding in a high pace and slowly caught up with leader Marc Coma (Spa). In the last part of the stage, David managed to pass Coma and he kept his leading position until Dakar finishing 33 seconds ahead of Coma. This victory was a well-deserved reward for the Yamaha WR450F rider. Gaining three places on the overall leader board, David ends the penultimate day in 13th position overall.
David Fretigne -- Yamaha France Ipone:
"The last three or four days I was in good form. If I had not been confronted with yesterday's problems I could have won that special too. I left Tambacounda in seventh position and I did a good job in navigating today. Contrary to other riders it was a perfect day for me. Practically all day's special I drove up with Marc Coma. After CP1, he clinched to the group of Despres who seemed lost. I didn't stick to the beaten paths, knowing where I was. Relying on my road-book, Marc (Coma) noticed me taking another route and followed me. Then I made a small detour, but returned on the right path where I rejoined Marc Comas. After that I set the pace higher resulting in my seventh Dakar victory. It is very important for me, for Yamaha and for my technical team!
We stopped at the finish of the special in Thiès to pay tribute to last year's deceased Fabrizio Meoni in a ceremony that the organisation had arranged for him. The remaining two kilometres I was filled with emotions, also knowing I was soon to be reunited with my wife and two children."
Day 16 - stage 15 Sunday 15 January 2006
Dakar > Dakar
Connection 38 km, Special 31 km, Connection 41 km, Total 110 km
In tribute to the two children who lost their lives during the passage of the Dakar caravan, the ultimate Lac Rose stage was not timed. The results timed after the 14th stage were to be the official times to end this year's Dakar.
After 9.093 kilometres, of which 5.000 kilometres covered in specials, the 2006 Le Dakar has come to an end on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. From the 232 bikes attending the start in Portugal, only 93 had made it to this last stage, once again confirming its reputation of world's toughest Rally raid.
David Fretigne -- Yamaha France Ipone:
"It was very relaxed today, rounding up the event. It was a bit disappointing that there wasn't a final confrontation due to the neutralization, but completely understandable. Although the main objective is to arrive in Dakar, it is victory that drives me. This year I had a competitive bike, good enough to win stages. With all occurred situations it wasn't really possible for me to live up to those expectations. The Dakar 2006 is finished and yet I am thinking about the next event in February: the Touquet enduro race, where I will be competing on a similar bike as current champion Arnoud Demeester.
With my wife and children,I will stay in Dakar for another week to enjoy the good things in life. After that I will return home to prepare for Le Touquet. A moment of rest will follow to get ready for the new enduro season."