Dakar: Stage seven marathon Ghadames to Ghat quotes

MOTOBIKES Sainct (KTM - n.3) 1st of the special, 1st overall "We quickly bunched up. There was a lot of dust. It was therefore impossible to overtake. We stayed together for almost the entire day. There were a lot of stones with sand. Now I'm ...

MOTOBIKES

Sainct (KTM - n.3)
1st of the special, 1st overall
"We quickly bunched up. There was a lot of dust. It was therefore impossible to overtake. We stayed together for almost the entire day. There were a lot of stones with sand. Now I'm going to check out he road-book for tomorrow's stage. I don't no where the difference can be made but the rally has only just started. Being first or third has no importance for me. The most important is to stay in the leading group. Today, I have just over a minute in the overall. Everything has still to be done."

Meoni (KTM - n.1)
2nd of the special, 2nd overall
"You win the Dakar by awaiting the mistakes of others, by awaiting mechanical problems, by awaiting a different terrain to make the difference. Today we have a lot of GPS points, the same kind of material so it isnt easy. But if you don't have the condition, it isn't possible to make the difference. At the time Peterhansel used to win in the bikes, he only had one or two rivals. The others were one step under. Added to that, maybe 'Peter' was simply super. Now, I am not 'Peter'. I already have problems to stay at the level of the others. It's important to be patient because maybe someone else will make a mistake. This is only the third stage (in Africa). It isn't important being in front. The important thing is to be with the group and wait for someone to have a problem. The Dakar is sometimes won by the best and sometimes won by the one who uses his brain."

Roma (KTM - n.4)
3rd of the special, 3rd overall
"I'm happy of my third place in the special. It was a fast special but I was worried not to destroy my tyres. I did the last 20kms with Meoni. He caught me up at CP1 while refuelling. I then took off alone in the dunes and he caught me up again. This morning, I went slowly like all the others because the first 300kms were on a hard surface. If you go to quickly you can damage the back wheel. I never went full speed. This morning we discussed with Kinigadner and decided not to take any risks. Now, I believe we'll have quite a few fast stages in the sand. And it'll be a different story!"

Cox (KTM - n.2)
6th of the special, 5th overall
"It was not an interesting day at all. Out of the 600kms, 50 were in the most magnificent dunes and the rest of it was just dust like you can not believe. And I don't think anyone enjoyed it. It was impossible to pull any time on the next guy, once everybody caught each other up in the dust. And then it was a story about marathon day: 'lets take it easy...' Whoever started first finished fifth and whoever started fifth finished first. I don't know what the solution is. The riders are all so even, the bikes are so even. You just have to wait for the day when something goes on. You can't have good days every day. There's the most beautiful desert out there and we haven't seen it yet. Nobody has impressed me at the moment because nobody is trying to do."

CARS

Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206)
1st of the special, 1st overall
"It was fast but also quite hard on the car. We didn't speed off like in the last three days. First of all because we were quite heavy with a lot of fuel and four tyres and also because tonight we have no assistance so it was important not to damage the car too much. If Vatanen is twenty minutes behind, it's because he must have lost himself or had punctures but on a normal day, we wouldn't have gained so much time. Our time is good because we didn't make the slightest mistake. It isn't because we went ful speed. We were faster in the previous days. Tonight, Jean-Paul (Cottret, the co-pilot) will work on the car and I'll maybe help on preparing navigation for tomorow. It's a first battle won against Masuoka but we're still far from the finish. Ten minutes represents two punctures. We've only won a point."

Masuoka and Schulz (Mitsubishi - n.200)
2nd of the special, 2nd overall
"We lost ourselves. It was difficult to find CP2. We tried to go around an erg but it was too long. We lost all the time in the same place. We only lost ten minutes. There's nothing to worry about. Before the rest day, there's over 2000kms. The stage was nice... fantastic in the big dunes. Tonight all we have to do is change the wheels and he liquids. Tomorrow will be more difficult than today."

Vatanen (Nissan - n.204)
3rd of the special, 5th overall
"Just before the start of the special, I had a little puncture and of course during the special we punctured again. Added to that we got lost. We lost a lot of time. But we drove quickly. We didn't get lost at CP2 like the others but in the dust behind the bikes, we missed a crossing and found ourselves alone for 20kms. It happens. As one says in Finland: ' if the word if didn't exist, cow's would fly'. We faced our problems and Peterhansel had the perfect day."

-aso-

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Series Dakar