One-two for Mitsubishi. Coma down the second in the motorbike overall standings Cyril Despres and Bruno Saby, new leaders of the overall standings. Stage victory for Peterhansel and good stage for the Repsol riders and First stage in...
One-two for Mitsubishi. Coma down the second in the motorbike overall standings
Cyril Despres and Bruno Saby, new leaders of the overall standings.
Stage victory for Peterhansel and good stage for the Repsol riders and
First stage in Mauritania of the el Dakar 2005, change in both overall standings and good general result for the Repsol riders and drivers. Stephane Peterhansel took the victory of the 492-km special ahead of his team-mate Hiroshi Masuoka, who recovered from the mechanical problems suffered yesterday. In the overall standings, Saby is the new leader ahead of Alphand, 40 seconds adrift. Peterhansel is fifth 7.19 adrift. Nani Roma finished the stage on 15th position 33.59 behind Peterhansel. He is 14th in the overall standings.
It was a fast stage and the drivers found the first dunes and navigation difficulties. The special started after the Moroccan-Mauritanian border and had three Checkpoints with refuelling in the first of them.
In motorbikes Marc Coma finished fifth and dropped back to second behind the new overall leader Cyril Despres. Stage winner was the Italian rider Meoni. Coma is 35 seconds behind the leader. Esteve is overall sixth after finishing seventh. Gio Sala already managed to move up to fifteenth overall. Jordi Duran who suffered an accident yesterday is already in Barcelona and in the care of the doctors in the Clinica Dexeus.
Tomorrow (Thursday) is the most difficult stage of the event so far, a 660 kms Marathon section from Zouerat to the remote oasis at Tichit. The section passes through the El-Ghallaouiya Pass, crosses a complex of small dunes at El Mrayer and is followed by several hundred kilometers of camel grass and fast, rutted tracks. All vehicles will be entered in a 'parc ferme' where no assistance is authorised.
Marc Coma: "I'm very happy of my stage. I rode very well to the CP1, with high speeds of over 180 km/h. In fact, at the beginning of the stage, it was easier to ride with Caldecott. But then, I made a navigation mistake that cost me a few minutes. The guys behind us just had to follow our tracks so it was easier for them. The most important thing is that I'm very happy with the team work we managed today with Esteve.
Stephane Peterhansel: "This was one of the fastest stages ever on the Dakar. I had one rear right flat tire, but I feel much better now and am looking forward to the rest of the rally."
Luc Alphand: "I had three Volkswagens in front of me on the stage into Smara. It is not worth the risk to overtake them on narrow tracks when there is such a long way to go. I saved my car through Morocco so we are in good shape for the next few days. I would have been happy with my current position if you had given me this in Spain, but I feel disappointed for Hiroshi. He has lost a lot of time and we must work as a team in the next days."
Hiroshi Masuoka: "It was our mistake yesterday. We were going quickly in the dust and there was a big hole in the road. The car crashed into the hole and we broke the wishbone".
Nani Roma: "I've been driving carefully throughout the day although with some frights in several dunes. When I arrived on top of one of them I found a stopped biker and the car stalled. It's been the first time we've had to get the car out of a problem. I lost five minutes there but never mind. We haven't got lost a single time and I'm satisfied because we're driving at a good pace ".