Rally ready to resume Gathered together at Bobo Dioulasso, all the remaining competitors on the 2004 Dakar enjoyed the official rest day and are now ready to get back in the saddle and tackle the last days of the rally. One of the main topics...
Rally ready to resume
Gathered together at Bobo Dioulasso, all the remaining competitors on the 2004 Dakar enjoyed the official rest day and are now ready to get back in the saddle and tackle the last days of the rally.
One of the main topics on debate among the riders was just how tough this year's rally, the 26th to be held, has been. The organisers appear to have been true to their words in taking this year's rally back to the traditional values of the early events - just nine days in and a little over half the competitors remain in the rally. After nine stages
Speaking Dakar debut so far, Yamaha Motor France's David Frétigné commented: "Now that I know a little bit more about the Dakar I will be able to start again from Bobo Diolasso with less stress. That wasn't really the case when I set out from Clermont Ferrand! As an added bonus, a repeat of my performance early on in the race isn't out of the question as we approach the end of the rally. I know that my engine is reliable and that I can up the pace a little. My main mission however remains getting all the way to Dakar!"
Alexandre Kowalski, head of competition at Yamaha Motor France, added: "We are satisfied with how things have gone so far over the first part of the rally. Yamaha Motor France's decision to come back to the Dakar was based on three factors: human (the childhood dream of David to race the Dakar), the opportunity to prove the worth of the 2 Trac system, which will be on sale in March, and the Dakar's return to event's original values. We are satisfied because, despite entering the smallest bike on the rally, a 450, we were able to lead over the start of the rally. David seized his chance to shine on a terrain suited to his bike. Since then he has ridden carefully, but not without success. To be 12th overall on a 450 single is a fine performance."
Tomorrow (Tuesday) sees the competitors take in 666km from Bobo-Dioulasso to Bamako, with 213km of what promises to fast and technical special.