MOTOBIKES: Giovanni Sala (KTM - n.6) 1st of the special, 14th overall "Today I rode well. No problems in the dunes. In the last kilometres, I attacked full speed. I don't know how I won today because I don't feel well at all (fever, etc). I'm...
Giovanni Sala (KTM - n.6)
1st of the special, 14th overall
"Today I rode well. No problems in the dunes. In the last kilometres, I attacked full speed. I don't know how I won today because I don't feel well at all (fever, etc). I'm very happy of my Dakar so far. Too bad I lost a lot of time with my engine problems. It's great to win two special so I'm delighted. Today there were tough dunes and it was important to be careful because it's very easy to fall. It's always dangerous when you don't see what is behind the dune. The navigation was easy thanks to the many GPS points. Who will win he overall? Very hard to say because I'm friends with everyone. But I'm Italian and would be happy if Fabrizio (Meoni) won it. If the next specials are fast Meoni can be dangerous. If it's technical Sainct has the upper hand."
Palanders Ullevalseter (KTM - n.12)
2nd of the special, 8th overall
"Maybe today was the day to win a special but I had problems with the bike (fuel)When it's technical like today, I'm good. But I need more dunes, more stones because I'm a good rider and I come from enduro. When it's fast I have no chance because my bike is too slow. In the overall I want to go for Meoni but I think Sainct is a clever guy and he can do it. In the Dakar, it's always possible for Meoni to catch up time."
Cyril Despres (KTM - n.7)
8th of the special, 2nd overall
"A very disappointing stage for me today. Since the start of the rally, we've only been able to fight it out between us on one special. They tell us it's going to be super hard and finally it's a walk in the park. We're still waiting for THE special to make a difference. But it's the Dakar. It was almost half of a rest day for us."
Richard Sainct (KTM - n.3)
11th of the special, 1st overall
"In a special like today, it's impossible to start in first place, to ride and do some navigation. It's logical that the first biker gets caught up. I caught up with Meoni and then the others bunched up with us. It isn't disappointing. It's fine as it is. The important thing was not to lose time overall. My day's mission is accomplished. I had a small fall without hurting myself but it could have been bad. I'm going to try and stay well focused and carry on like that. Anyway, my role isn't to attack. I ride according to my rivals."
Fabrizio Meoni (KTM - n.1)
15th of the special, 3rd overall
"Today's result is perfectly normal. There were no tracks so we had to go slowly to open the special. It's logical that the others caught up with me, it was the rule of the day. Five of us were together. We even could have stopped to have a coffee. On days like this, there is no race. Tomorrow I want to go at my pace. Today, even a guy on a 125cc bike could have gone faster than us. I hope it'll be faster tomorrow so that I can make a difference."
Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206)
1st of the special, 1st overall
"This morning, we took off with a rebuilt car. We thought that the special wouldn't be easy and that maybe time had come to attack to try and gain some time. Our pace was, from start to finish, very fast. We hit the car on dune jumps. But it payed off because we win 7minutes on Masuoka. Our position is now a lot more comfortable. Psychologically, to win a 350km special without tyre incidents and with a 7 minute lead shows that we won't let anyone enoy us. It's a good point for us. I'm not tired but did hurt my back on some jumps. Nothing serious. A good massage, some stretching and everything will be fine. Up to now all is fine!"
Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200)
2nd of the special, 2nd overall
"Today, I found that the special was very dangerous. There was nothing to do. The dunes were impressive and I was careful which explains the time difference with Peterhansel. I was impressed and it's my fault. I don't think Peter has won the Dakar today. I still have quite some time to come back. Tomorrow whatever the terrain, I will atack."
Jean-Pierre Fontenay (Mitsubishi - n.202)
3rd of the special, 3rd overall
"After CP3, there was a big dune and we flew off. I thought it was over for us. We fell on the front of the car. We hurt our necks and Gilles (Picard, co-driver) bit his tongue. Anyway it's another day that finishes. It was easy with some tough dunes. I didn't see De Mevius at all. I was sure he was in front. It's too bad for him because he was doing well. But that's the race. We didn't go too fast because I didn't want to take any risks. Concerning the race, I've already given a wheel without there being any team order. I'm ready to give it again."
Luc Alphand (BMW - n.221)
9th of the special, 3rd overall
"We were here to help him (De Mevius) and because we helped him, we got lost! Gregoire jumped a dune and hit the front of the car in very soft sand. He therefore was stuck so we pulled him out. He took off and by the time we had put the ropes back in the car, Gregoire had a 1min30 lead on us. We could see him far in front. We then reached a cliff. Impossible to go through so we went left and followed tracks. I believe I saw him again at that moment. We were sure that Gregoire was still in front. On a flat part, I said to myself: 'it's strange, we should see him'. We stopped to wait for a moment. Another car arrived, we thought it was Gregoire but it was Fontenay. He hadn't seen Greg neither. We then caught up again with Fontenay and side by side we wanted to ask him but he thought we were playing around with him. Apparently it's a serious mechanical problem. What could we have done? It's easy to have regrets after... It's terrible because this morning he was taking it easy. It doesn't really change our plans. We'll try to reach 12th or 10th place."
Vladimir Tchaguine (Kamaz - n.407)
1st of the special, 1st overall
"The beginning of the special was very difficult. We knew that this stage would change quite a few things in the overall and would be a turning poit in this Dakar. When we saw De Rooy Junior's crash, we slowed down because it was very impressive. We then gained in confidence again and went faster. We have to be careful of De Azevedo and Jan De Rooy. I'm now going to control the race. The most important thing is not to damage the truck in the upcoming days."