Dakar: Stage 16 Abu Rish - Sharm El Sheikh quotes

MOTOBIKES: Cyril Despres (KTM - n.7) 1st of the special, 2nd overall "When I realised I could do something good in the special, I felt really well on the bike. I didn't do the slightest mistake. I'm happy of my second place overall but I'm even...

MOTOBIKES:

Cyril Despres (KTM - n.7)
1st of the special, 2nd overall
"When I realised I could do something good in the special, I felt really well on the bike. I didn't do the slightest mistake. I'm happy of my second place overall but I'm even happier of having spent such a good afternoon. It's a bit like if Cindy Crawford winks at you and you're then on a cloud during the whole day even if nothing happens. Today was the same thing."

Richard Sainct (KTM - n.7)
2nd of the special, 1st overall
"We have to wait another 30kms. I believe however that the hardest has been done. Anything could have happened but it went well. So today all is well. Having breakfast at midnight was a first experience for me. It was a long day, not easy... Today I never panicked because Despres was always just in front of me. I'm very happy and I believe I've managed an excellent race on this Dakar. This season, I've won every rally I started and it's great because the Dakar remains a priority. My best memory? Maybe tomorow..."

Fabrizio Meoni (KTM - n.1)
4th of the special, 3rd overall
"Today wasn't easy at all especially for my big bike. In these mountains full of stones and in the little canyons with sand, it was tough. I remain happy because it was a nice navigation special. It's a pity for me because I started first and opened the road for the others. It's better on such a special to start behind. It doesn't matter, the overall has no importance for me. The main goal was to make it to the finish giving the maximum. I put all my heart in this Dakar. I've had quite a few mechanical or physical problems and sometimes both together. I believe it's the Dakar on which I've had the most courage. It's a great satisfaction. Normally, at 45 years of age people think that you have to ride and wait for things to happen. I did the opposite. "

Marc Coma (KTM - n.10)
3rd of the special, 11th overall
"I lost leadership of the special because I went the wrong way. I went right when I should have gone left. After 5kms I realised it was a mistake. I started getting nervous and I saw the others come back. I did a half-turn and managed to fall when I saw Despres and Meoni go passed me. I finished slowly because I knew I wouldn't win the special. No problem, I'm happy to be in Sharm El Sheikh. I've learnt a lot on this rally and had excellent results on some specials."

CARS:

Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206)
40th of the special, 4th overall
"It's a terrible day. After 70kms we saw that a signal for water heating had turned on. We stopped and saw that the radiator was broken and that we were losing water. We repaired and it took quite sone time, 20 to 25 minutes. We took off thinking we had lost the race. We went full speed. We were on a cloud, everything was working well. We managed to catch up Masuoka in just under 200kms. From then we decided to stay with him. Suddenly everything heated up again. We stopped three times to add water. The oil temperature was also heating up. We stopped because the engine had heated up considerably. Unfortunately it never re-started. We had to wait for another competitor to pull us so we could start. 40 kilometres from the finish we were behind Kleinschmidt (it appears it was actually Henrard). In the dust we got trapped by a big rock and broke the left wheel. We had to wait for an assistance truck. A really terrible day since this morning. That's what happens in motorsports and when you think the race is won, you realise that until the finish line nothing is over. Even if we started the stage with no pressure on a cool pace. We can still keep a positive attitude: some have suffered physically on this race and we're fine. It's only a race. We have to accept it even if it's tough. We've been leading the race since the start. We made no mistakes and unfortunately we are not awarded. I hope we'll have another chance."

Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200)
6th of the special, 1st overall
"Before the end of the special, I didn't know about anything. Today I went slowly because I didn't want to damage the car. There were a lot of stones and I didn't want to puncture a tyre. It was a difficult special, the hardest of the rally. For me the race is not over yet. I want to wait until I finish the 30kms of the last stage before thinking of victory. I hope I win but when I see what hapened to Peterhansel and Biasion, I prefer being careful."

Carlos Sousa (Mitsubishi - n.211)
5th of the special, 5th overall
"I saw Peterhansel twice on the special. I saw he had radiator problems. I therefore gave him all the water I had in my car. I couldn't have done anything else for him, I'm a very bad mechanic. He then overtook me and we got lost. I tried to follow him but he was really too fast. The second time, he was checking the oil. I asked him if I could help and he told me to carry on. At the end of the special I was told he hit a rock. It's a pity."

-aso-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Hiroshi Masuoka , Stéphane Peterhansel , Carlos Sousa , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Richard Sainct , Marc Coma