Bike Richard Sainct (FRA - KTM, 30th) - 001 "I still don't understand how it happened. I fell 5kms after the start. I was riding at 100km/h on a flat road. I'm OK but I broke the clutch. I had problems to start the bike again. That's why I took...
(FRA - KTM, 30th) - 001
"I still don't understand how it happened. I fell 5kms after the start. I was riding at 100km/h on a flat road. I'm OK but I broke the clutch. I had problems to start the bike again. That's why I took it easily after that. It's not too bad. Luckily it didn't happen on a 400km long special because I could have lost a lot of time."
(FRA - KTM, 12th) - 002
"Something happened at the start : I was told to start 1 minute earlier. That surprised me. I was the first one on the track and I really took it easily. But it was just a warming up stage."
(ITA - KTM, 1st) - 003
"My goal wasn't to win. It's important to win specials in the other half of the rally, not now.The course was strange, the first half was very difficult because of mud. The other half was technical on sand. This special was just a preparation and it was important not to make mistakes. Now's not the moment to think about the overall."
(RSA - KTM, 2nd). - 010
"The special was great. The wet sand, mud and forest reminded me of the one from 1992.The worse part was the two long liaison sections. Just a joke. Riding started today... the holiday's are over !"
Isidre Esteve Pujol
(SPA - KTM, 3rd) - 019
"It's the first time in seven Dakar rallies that I lead the overall. I had already won specials but this is even better. I can't quite believe it yet. It's a good feeling because I really prepared a lot this year, and only for the Dakar. It was a fast special but also very technical and that's better for me. That's probably why I'm first overall. I hope I'll do as well inn navigation stages because for the moment it isn't that important to lead."
(JAP - Mitsubishi, 5th) - 201
"For the moment all is going as planned : to be in the leading bunch before the Ouarzazate stage. The two upcoming stages will be decisive for the rally and I feel that those day's could be made for me."
(UK -- Nissan, 4th) - 202
"All is well. We just have some little things to change on the car. We'll try to make it even better. It was good to do this stage but I'll have a better idea of the Dakar tomorrow. A better idea of my potential on this race..."
(FRA - Mitsubishi, 2nd) - 203
"I was surprised by the course. I was expecting a technical special but it was very fast despite going through forests. It was impossible to make big gaps. We'll have to wait for longer stages. By then, the gaps will be counted in minutes. We've been very consistent from the start which explains our position in the overall. For the moment we're not asking the car too much, we're still checking things. Tomorrow, serious stuff is starting with the dangers of African stages. We'll have a better idea of the gaps. We now know that it's going to be very difficult because all the teams are very close to each other."
(RSA -- Nissan, 1st) - 205
"Stats are not the most important thing in life. But I have the ambition of going up to 100. Seriously, it was very fast and we had to take advantage of that. I won't attack every day but tomorrow after 5kms I might change my mind."
(ITA - Mitsubishi, 3rd) - 206
"The special went very well. It was very fast. We drove in some fun places and others that weren't really amusing. We were just slowed down a bit by the dust behind Shinozuka's car that we had caught up. We're cool. My position is not important. It only counts for tomorrow's starting order. I'm new on the Dakar. One can drive slowly and win a special and also go full speed and damage the car. Therefore I don't know how I'll drive tomorrow."
Gregoire De Mevius
(FRA - BMW, 7th) - 212
"This morning, we had decided not to attack too much because we didn't want to start tomorrow's stage in first spot. Leaving in fourth or fifth place is good. We had a fright at km 20 where there was a sharp turn at the top of a road."