Sad day on the Dakar. The 2005 Dakar was the scene of another very sad day with the death of Fabrizio Meoni, a day after Spanish biker Jose-Manuel Perez passed away in an Alicante hospital after crashing during stage 7. The Italian biker, ...
Sad day on the Dakar.
The 2005 Dakar was the scene of another very sad day with the death of Fabrizio Meoni, a day after Spanish biker Jose-Manuel Perez passed away in an Alicante hospital after crashing during stage 7.
The Italian biker, racing for the Gauloises KTM Team was second overall at the start of stage 11, just over 9' behind Cyril Despres of France. The leading bikers rode together on the fast stage early in the special. Five riders were together at CP1 (Despres, Meoni, Esteve, Coma and Frétigné) with Coma setting the best time.
A few minutes after refueling at km 184, Meoni suffered a serious crash. David Frétigné who witnessed the accident, immediately launched the Italians distress signal. Fretigne and Cox stayed with Meoni until the medical team arrived at 10h36, where they found Meoni with heart failure. After 45minutes of treatment, the efforts were in vain and Meoni was declared deceased at 11h11 GMT.
The leading bikers were informed about Meoni's death at the finish line by race director Patrick Zaniroli. Shocked by the terrible news, they then headed to the bivouac in Kiffa on a liaison.
At the stage finish a distraught Cox, often in tears said: "I knew his condition was serious when I arrived, with blood everywhere. I said a prayer for Fabrizio and his family, asking the Lord to support his wife and children, because I think will need a lot of support in these days."
The Dakar rally has today lost one of its greatest figures. At 47 years of age, Fabrizio Meoni was seen by all as an icon in the world of rally raid and the bearer of the Dakar Spirit. The Italian had started as a privateer for the first of his 13 Dakar's winning 14 stages and 2 titles in 2001 and 2002.
KTM Tonight published the following Press Release:
"Fabrizio Meoni was in a serious crash during the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally. Despite immediate medical attention, it was not possible to save Fabrizio Meoni's life and he died of his injuries at the scene of the accident.
Due to this tragic incident the KTM management explicitly urges all KTM teams and factory riders to break off the Dakar Rally.
KTM is however leaving it up to the individual drivers, teams and their sponsors to decide whether or not to continue the Rally.
Since KTM lost two of its best rally pilots, Fabrizio Meoni and Richard Sainct, in fatal accidents within a period of only a few months, the manufacturer will be contemplating its future support for the rally sport.
Our thoughts go out to Fabrizio's wife and children."
Meoni leaves behind his wife Rosa, son aged 12 and daughter aged 2.
Said Alfie Cox: "Fabrizio loved his wife and kids. He always talked about retiring after this Dakar, and supporting his eldest son in his motocross career. He was a great family man. We had the same dreams, I have my wife and a young son at home and he just started his motocross career."
Only the cars and trucks will race during tomorrow's stage. The organisers tonight announced that they will transport all bikes, quads and the competitors to Bamako tomorrow, where the bike race will continue on Thursday.