MOTOBIKES: Fabrizio Meoni (KTM - n.1) 1st of the special, 3rd overall "I'm very demanding with myself and I have to ride quickly whether I'm first or last. I always go at my maximum pace. It was very dusty today and not easy to overtake the ...
Fabrizio Meoni (KTM - n.1)
1st of the special, 3rd overall
"I'm very demanding with myself and I have to ride quickly whether I'm first or last. I always go at my maximum pace. It was very dusty today and not easy to overtake the others. I took no pleasure at all in riding today. Little by little I gained in confidence on the bike to continue the race and maybe win the special tomorrow. When you have physical problems, you never know how it's going to happen on the bike. This morning my foot wasn't too painful. I believe it's the biggest fall I've ever had in my career. the bike crashed on 30metres. I slid on the ground."
PG Lundmark (KTM - n.16)
2nd of the special, 6th overall
"I didn't know I was so close to Fabrizio at the CPs. To be honest, I thought that Meoni and Brucy would be ahead of me. I had the feeling I wasn't pushing that hard today. I caught Despres almost immediately after refuelling and then during 150kms it was very dusty. I stayed with the others for navigational reasons but I didn't know if they were going in the right direction. I could have overtaken them but it would have been too dangerous. It was a nice stage, prettier than you think. Second place is a good surprise for me. I'm very happy. And now I have gained some minutes on this man (pointing at Ullevalseter), I'm a bit afraid of him (laughing). It isn't possible to catch up De Azevedo. He's a very good rider. He seems to have no problem. I don't think he stopped once during the whole race."
Cyril Despres (KTM - n.7)
4th of the special, 2nd overall
"A nice special, very enjoyable for enduro riders. Pretty physicaI with a lot of changes in direction. It could have been dangerous on quite some places. Richard (Sainct) started in front and stayed there. I could see him and kept the same gap. I couldn't have overtaken him or gained minutes. A stage like today just shows that with a good road-book you don't need the GPS. I still have back pains from yesterday's special and I couldn't attack like I would have wanted to. The rally is finishing and I believe my second place overall suits me fine. Tonight we wake up at midnight for the liaison. I will have to take a nap and then eat. Anyhow we'll need to get some rest for the liaison and special."
Richard Sainct (KTM - n.7)
5th of the special, 1st overall
"My day went well. I started in first place this morning and stayed alone at my own pace. This special without a GPS was very interesting. I had no pressure to go quickly and was able to focus on the road-book. I didn't do any mistakes. The upcoming special will be tricky. We take off in the middle of the night so we'll have to rest as much as possible. There's a very long liaison. Tomorrow will be another stage to go through. If it goes well tomorrow, I'll be a lot more relaxed."
Ari Vatanen (Nissan - n.204)
1st of the special, 8th overall
"Yesterday evening I was very disappointed. I should have won the special but life decided otherwise. It's good however for Alphand and BMW. The special that counts the most for me is the one I won on a regular basis against the Mitsubishis. Even if the Evos are going slower you still have to beat all the others. And we had a secret GPS in the car: Tina Thorner (co-driver). It would be good to win 50 specials. We now have a goal until the end of the Dakar."
Giniel De Villiers (Nissan - n.217)
3rd of the special, 6th overall
"Nothing seemed to go really right today. We had a good run but had two punctures and it cost us about seven minutes. It was a stage that suited us but there's nothing you can do about it. It's a bit disappointing. it's great for ari (vatanen) though. I certainly hope that tomorrow's the good day."
Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206)
6th of the special, 1st overall
"When you take off in the morning with the ambition to clock a good time, you focus on your maximum attack from start to finish and the kilometres go by quickly. Today we were very careful and didn't take any risks, avoiding rocks and stones and it's very stressful. When I was on a bike it was the same situation. I stopped for natural reasons and Hiroshi went past us. He came up to us, hesitated and took off. He went on a faster pace and therefore we had to follow and put ourselves in a dangerous position. It's a very ambiguous situation. For tomorrow nothing is clear. Uptil now, I would start in front and everything would go well. Tomorrow, it'll be his turn and how can I know if he isn't going full speed. If I don't see his dust, I'll have to go faster and there's always the possibilty for mistakes."