Bike: Richard Sainct (FRA -- KTM, 7th) - 001 "It was a nice sinuous and fast special. I was never able to go ful speed. At one moment, I lost the track but quickly found another one. I'm disappointed that there were so many GPS points. It...
(FRA -- KTM, 7th) - 001
"It was a nice sinuous and fast special. I was never able to go ful speed. At one moment, I lost the track but quickly found another one. I'm disappointed that there were so many GPS points. It made things too easy. The gap between Roma and me isn't big but it's a security margin for him. Tomorrow, he can wait, follow me. It's not over but I'm going to have to find an opportunity and it won't come."
(FRA - KTM, 5th) - 002
"I did a mistake. It was a great day until km 340. I knew that the GPS point was wrong and I lost myself looking for a new one. The road-book wasn't very clear. I was looking for a little track but never found it. I wasn't focused. It's difficult staying careful for 500kms."
(SPA - KTM, 3rd) - 004
"It was a very complicated special for me. There was a lot of navigation but I also had quite some troubles. I fell to avoid a cow. To avoid a herd I went to the left and a cow came out of nowhere. I slammed on the brakes, slid and fell. But it's OK, my left leg hurts a bit. At 20kms from the finish, an engine light appeared. I preferred not to take any risks and go slowly. After all these problems, the most important is being here. Maybe it's a sign. Finally I don't lose that much time on Sainct. But I'm not concerned at the overall. I ride my own race and that's all."
(SWE - KTM, 4th) - 006
"It went well. Sainct caught me after 80kms. I tried to follow until the end. Alone, I wouldn't have managed this time. Concerning the overall, we have a dream and it's important to have high expectations. The goal is for myself or Ullevalseter (in the Scandinavia team) to finish third. Now, the only way for this to become possible is if another biker has a problem. With the fight in front that could be possible. Since before the start we had decided with Pal-Anders that if one of us had a problem or was slower, then the guy behind would become the carrier for the other. But between us, there is almost no difference. We're having a nice fight against each other."
(FRA - Yamaha, 1st) - 012
"It's fantastic. It's really worthwhile pushing hard. I felt great so I kept on attacking and had fun all along the special. Yesterday evening, I started thinking that it was time to try something and this morning I gave everything. I had talked about it with my mechanic and he told me ' go for it , when you come back we'll build you a brand new engine'. Uptil now, I had taken it easy, it's the first special where I give everyting. The satisfaction is that I can also be able to navigate well. This morning Jean-Paul Cottret (Peterhansel's co-driver) explained that I should keep my eyes on the GPS to see where to go when leaving villages. Normally I lose myself often. It was my day. At the start of the race, everyone thought that a 450cc wouldn't manage anything on this Dakar, even the Yamaha boss that I eventually convinced. I was confident about the bike. Now, not only am I close to the goal of finishing the rally but I also win an African special."
(JAP - Mitsubishi, 7th) - 201
"It was a difficult special. But it was important not to have problems with the car. I'm careful. I don't want to go at my maximum. It was very easy to destroy the car. I stopped because we had a problem with the bumper. I'm a bit tired. We have to rest for the long stages to come."
(UK -- Nissan, 1st) - 202
"It's my first stage with a good clean run. We had some vibration problems so we had to make sure the car was OK. Tomorrow's a marathon stage so we have to take good care of the car. There still is a hell of a long way to Dakar. I felt good overtaking everyone. You obviously know you're doing well. It's nice to be alongside Andrew Cowan (the last Brit driver to win a special). I want to get to Dakar but we have to judge our own pace. The others will be calculating a lot so I think we can try to win another one."
( GER - VOLKSWAGEN, 4th) - 204
"It was very difficult today. There were many trees and it was very narrow. It was easy to damage the sides. Ari actually did. As the track was very sinuous, I couldn't go fast. It was the same for everyone. The navigation was also very difficult. I'm satisfied with my fourth time. We didn't damage the car and that was important because tomorrow is a marathon stage. We'll therefore not be able to attack. I'm happy for McRae and the three Nissan cars. They're having fun and that's all they can do now."
(FIN -- Nissan, 3rd) - 205
Speaking to Colin McRae : "I let you win today. Now you have 49 more to catch me up !" "When the course is sinuous like today, it suits our cars and drivers. We enjoyed ourselves. The special went so fast. I'm not even tired. I didn't sweat at all. At the beginning of the rally, I found the specials so long. It's good for McRae, especially for the Dakar's reputation in Great Britain. For a first edition, he's doing well."
Giniel De Villiers
(RSA -- Nissan, 2nd) - 208
"It's a little bit better. The team needed it after the hard times we've had. I caught up the Mitsubishi cars but I just couldn't overtake Masuoka. It's great for Colin. The most important s getting to Dakar."
Andre De Azevedo
( BRE - TATRA -- 2nd) - 412
"It was a bad stage for the trucks. I had a puncture at km 130. I hit a tree root. There were mistakes on the road book. It says there are villages when they're not there. I'm starting to get tired. I'm counting the days and think about Brasil, the beaches, the sun and my family."
(CZE - TATRA - 1st) - 415
"It was a good special but quite difficult because of the trees, especially on the first 100kms. We broke a lot of things because it was so narrow, including the fuel tank. It was leaking and we had just enough fuel to make it. A lot of trucks had punctures. When you drive fast it's difficult to avoid the tree trunks and roots. And the trunks are actually a lot worse than stones for the tires. This victory is symbolical looking at the small gap between the first two. The next two stages are difficult, especially the one after-tomorrow. There will be a lot of camel grass. Psychologically, it's difficult because it gets boring. We are 'riders of the desert'".