REPSOL RIDERS IN DAKAR 2006: JORDI DURAN
What does the Dakar mean to you?
"It was my dream since I was a little kid. It's always been a race I've been well aware of; I really looked forward to be able to participate, compete and finish some day. It still is, but after last year's accident I respect it even more."
With a little more than a month to go, what are your feelings before the start?
"The truth is that they are not as good as last year. Although I'm almost recovered from the crash, I'm not at a 100% yet. Now I face the Dakar with a different philosophy. The aim is arriving in Dakar without thinking much about the result."
How do you face the Dakar after the serious accident you had last year?
"The accident has made me face the race in a different way, psychologically speaking. It made me realize that I have to take things with more ease, that you don't win the race in one day, that it's a two-week race and that the aim is to reach Dakar. Now I'll set my aims day after day, leg after leg, to try to get to the finish."
This year the demand will be higher, do you feel under pressure?
"The team won't make any pressure, but my wish is to reach the finish at Lake Rose, to give them the satisfaction and reward they deserve, and which they have been giving to me so far. As I said, I'm very calm, ready to do a good job."
What makes the Dakar such a special race?
"It is the hardest race of the world, but all those who put their feet on the desert are trapped. The terrain, the landscape, the dunes, navigation... it's a big adventure. The fact of being alone and fighting against yourself and against the desert gives the race a special character. You discover your real limits and you have to take important decisions all by yourself, not depending on anybody else. This makes you grow as a person and as a rider."
How is the relation between you and your team-mates?
"We understand each other better every day and I think that we make up a very good team, riders, mechanics, managers and everybody else. We've actually always been together at raids and last year I already raced some rounds of the World Championship. We have a very good relationship."
What would you highlight as a personal quality of yours?
"My riding style. I'm a rather technical rider."