Dakar: Repsol teams stage three report

After The Special in Granada, The Participants Set Course For Africa The Dakar 2005 is heading for Algeciras to sail for Africa. Today has been a very intense day for all participants, who after the special stage in Armilla, which was held with...

After The Special in Granada, The Participants Set Course For Africa

The Dakar 2005 is heading for Algeciras to sail for Africa. Today has been a very intense day for all participants, who after the special stage in Armilla, which was held with no special news for the Repsol riders and drivers, will try to get a good pace together with their service teams to get as soon as possible to Morocco and make the 557 liaison to Rabat, capital of the country. There they will be starting the first African stage with a 123-kilometres long special.

Lots of fans came out to see the Granada stage of the rally under splendid weather and on good terrain although very dry and with suspended dust, meaning a bit of trouble for some of the riders. David Fretigne and Colin McRae have been the fastest and will reach Africa leading the overall standings. The differences are little between the main title candidates and the Repsol riders and drivers have put themselves in good positions in the standings.

In cars, Stephane Peterhansel finished the special in second place and is now fourth in the overall standings, seven seconds behind the leader. In the overall standings Alphand is seventh, Masuoka eighth, Mayer seventeenth and Nani Roma nineteenth. The Spanish driver is getting used to his new car and has driven today without any problem.

Good results in the motorcycle class as well, with Jordi Duran fourth fastest of the stage, Coma fifth, Esteve thirteenth and Sala twenty-fifth. All of them will have good starting positions for tomorrow's first special in Morocco, which was the aim set by Jordi Arcarons for today. They have all ridden with no big news on a terrain that adapted very well to their riding styles.

Repsol rider's comments

Nani Roma: "It's been a hard stage due to the dust on the road, but everything ended up well. I'm starting to get used to the behaviour of the car and the really important aspect is that the rally is actually starting tomorrow".

Stephane Peterhansel: "The state of the terrain gave some problems and it would have been better to start earlier in order not to find such a damaged road. The real race will start tomorrow in Morocco with a special that is not very long but technical on a mountainous route".

Isidre Esteve: "The best of yesterday and today has been the spectators, because in years before it rained and we had bad weather. We have enjoyed it a lot because the route was nice and we rode without any problems. I'm looking forward to reaching Rabat and I hope to get the boat early. I'll be the last of the fast riders in Morocco and that's a good place for the start".

Marc Coma: "Everything went well. This is the result that we were looking for, not too much in the front but not too far in the back. We won't be opening the road in Africa and that is good because it allows you entering into action bit by bit. Today's special was on a hard road, that's the one I like most".

Jordi Duran: "Today's terrain was more favourable for our riding style compared to the beach of Castelldefels. I went out to enjoy and found myself with an excellent fourth place I wasn't actually looking for. My only aim is still to finish the race"

Giovanni Sala: "Stage with no problems. I'm making up time, bit by bit, after the mechanical problem at the first special".

Jordi Arcarons: "I'm happy because the riders will be starting from the positions we were looking for. I wanted a result like this because we don't know what kind of terrain we're going to find at the first special in Morocco. Coma and Duran are in intermediate places and Isidre is further in back, although Meoni's slipstream may be of big help".

-repsol-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Colin McRae , Stéphane Peterhansel , Giovanni Sala , Nani Roma , Marc Coma , Jordi Arcarons , Jordi Duran