Dakar: Day eight "My Dakar" statements

Be A part of the Legend Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind... David Casteu OFF ROAD AVENTURE - 041 Solidarity According To Casteu Many have ...

Be A part of the Legend
Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind...

David Casteu OFF ROAD AVENTURE - 041

Solidarity According To Casteu

Many have nostalgia of the very first Dakars, keeper of human values that some say haven't survived the 80s. A conversation with David Casteu, even after a long stage(over 1000kms) convinces one that solidarity and friendliness still exist on the bivouac. Naturally, this 29 year old privateer, 30th overall, stopped to help Fabrizio Meoni who had been waiting 1h15 for someone to give him a tyre tube at km 580.

"As a biker, I can't imagine not stopping. I hate the idea that many didn't. I saw him far ahead and at first I thought he had fell, then I saw pieces of bib mousse and immediately understood". Despite the injunctions of the Italian, the Frenchman started working on the bike. "He told me to carry on and not lose time. But I couldn't do that. He was devastated. In 5 minutes and with the help of Cyril Raynal who also stopped, the problem was solved. Too bad I didn't get there earlier".

For many on the Dakar, Meoni is more than just a top rider. "I would have done it for any other biker but Fabrizio is really a master, my hero. He started as a privateer, like me. He has a bike shop, like me. But most of all, he is very human. He's the only one that comes to see the privateers after a stage and talks to us. We never see the others". This state of mind is one of the reasons that push Casteu to ride the Dakar. "When I go to the Morocco or Tunisia rallies, it's to win it (winner in Tunisia in 2003). Here it's for the adventure".

This year he even bought a special bike for the Dakar. "First of all it's a Cagiva because I didn't want to have a KTM like the others. But most of all, it's the bike that belonged to Edi Orioli when he won the 95 rally. I payed 30 000 francs for it and then added 20 000 to restore things. It's a 900cc that is perfect for the race because it's solid. When you have no assistance it helps".
-David Casteu, Cagiva

Nasser saleh Al Attiyan - RALLIART - 259

The Qatari Revelation

Seeing a Qatari on the Dakar might sound as a surprise. But when one knows Nasser Al Attiyan it is obvious that he is not on the race for fun. In his very first rally, he has already finished twice in the top ten of a special, driving a Mitsubishi. "I've been a driver for a long time although not in rally-raid. I am originally a WRC rally driver. I drive a Subaru ". Before the longest stage of the Dakar, Nasser was standing in 8th overall.

Unfortunately, between Tan Tan and Atar, a mechanical incident saw him move down to 27th place. "We broke a suspension going down a dune. The car didn't like it ! We had to wait 4 hours for a spare part". For Marc Bartholome, his co-pilot (already 14 Dakars), this problem is a blow because the ambitions of the Qatari were high.

"He's a fantastic driver added to a great guy. In the dunes, it's a real pleasure. He has fantastic technical abilities. And real possibilities". Al Attiyan sees further ahead. "This year, I'm here to learn. I have no strategy. On the other hand, next year or the one after, if I have a good car, I'll be going for a good place overall". Until then : "next year I'll be competing during the whole season with Subaru".
-Nasser Al Attiyan, Mitsubishi n°259

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Fabrizio Meoni , Edi Orioli , Marc Bartholome , David Casteu