Stage 8 Sunday 11 January 2009 Valparaiso to La Serena * Connection 245 km * Special 294 km * Connection 113 km BIKE: Cyril Despres (Fra -- KTM) - 001 "Around fifteen kilometers from the finishing line, a donkey suddenly shot out from...
Sunday 11 January 2009
Valparaiso to La Serena
* Connection 245 km
* Special 294 km
* Connection 113 km
Cyril Despres (Fra -- KTM) - 001
"Around fifteen kilometers from the finishing line, a donkey suddenly shot out from behind a bunch of cacti. I think it was a lucky escape, for both him and me. With Coma and Lopez we've been sharing the first places all season. Today, we set off quickly and all three of us attacked. The tracks were quite slippery and that's why you need technical skill to be quick on them and strength too, to keep control of the bike. It's been another good day for me. That's the third one now. What was good for us, the three leading riders, is that we are fighting to gain back minutes on each other. We're separated by quite a bit in the general standings, but it's not all over yet. This is where your physical condition starts to matter".
David Fretigne (Fra -- Yamaha) - 012
"I thought I'd be ok at the start of the stage with my 450cc but the tracks were very slippery and I couldn't manage to pick up speed again. The bike kept skidding and I even came off once. I wanted to attack after that, but I got lost after CP1. I must have done 3 or 4 kilometers too much. It was really difficult to recover after that but I didn't want to take too many risks. If you want a podium place on the Dakar, there is no room for error. You need to be present every single day. I don't have much experience in navigating and I'm aware of that. When there are small off-track sections like today, I often come unstuck. But for the moment, it's not too serious".
Marc Coma (Sp -- KTM) - 002
"It was a very difficult special stage, almost like ice-skating. The tracks were very slippery. I had to be careful on the bends, and avoid the slightest mistake with the brakes. But I didn't have any problems at all today and that's the main thing. Now we've got to tackle the Atacama. The hardest part of the race is about to start. There are still a good few days left. I'm going to carry on taking it day by day and trying to avoid problems".
Carlos Sainz (Sp -- Volkswagen) - 301
"As long as the rally isn't over, then nothing is certain. Today was the first time we have driven on tracks. In fact, this stage was very much like a traditional rally stage. Up until now, those are the first real tracks that I've seen. But it was very nice, very slippery and sometimes quite tricky. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I hope that we'll carry on being as successful as we have been today".
Mark Miller (USA -- Volkswagen) - 308
"There were a lot of chances to lose the rally today and no chances of making up any time, so it's not the kind of stage built for me. It was perfect for Carlos (Sainz) and the guys that like the rally stuff. At every turn there was a chance to ruin your race. It was difficult for me, but I did better than I expected so it was a success for me. Starting fifth or sixth tomorrow, maybe it's an advantage, we'll see".
Nani Roma (Sp -- Mitsubishi) - 304
"We came really close today. After 50 km we had a puncture, a double puncture in fact. We changed a front wheel and re-inflated a rear tire, so we lost quite a bit of time. As regards the gap at the end, after what happened on the stage, it's not bad at all. It was a really nice stage in driving terms, but also the type of stage on which Carlos is very good. But he's also good at off-track racing. Anyway, in rally-raids there are always surprises. Now we're going to be faced with two or three very difficult days. Everything can change, and we won't not let anything go. Just wait and see".
Gerard De Rooy (Ndl -- Ginaf) - 505
"The roads were very narrow for us. Finally, there wasn't too much dust but it was impossible to take over. Kabirov was before me and let me pass him. He seemed to have a problem with the brakes. Then I caught up on Chagin but I could not do much more. Anyway, it is nice to clinch a new stage win. I am getting closer to the two leading Kamaz trucks. This situation is good for competition, it is good for us and for them. We will drive in the sand again tomorrow, and we love it. But I must say that I did not expect the Kamaz to be so much at ease in the dunes. We'll see what happens!"