Dakar: Yamaha stage 5 report

Frétigné moves up despite crash Yamaha Motor France's David Frétigné put in a strong performance on day five of the 2004 Dakar rally, making up seven places in the overall standings despite a crash that saw him pick up an injury to his ...

Frétigné moves up despite crash

Yamaha Motor France's David Frétigné put in a strong performance on day five of the 2004 Dakar rally, making up seven places in the overall standings despite a crash that saw him pick up an injury to his elbow.

Frétigné was keen to make up time after losing his lead yesterday following a technical problem that saw him lose around six minutes to rally leader Isidre Esteve Pujol (KTM). The 33-year-old Frenchman put in a strong performance aboard his two-wheel-drive Yamaha WR450F 2-Trac and was in tenth place at the day's second checkpoint. Unfortunately, in his haste to make up time, Frétigné crashed a few kilometres before checkpoint three. He was not seriously injured and eventually finished the 338km special in 15th place to move up to 16th overall, 23m54 behind Pujol.

"Up until checkpoint three everything was going fine and I was really enjoying myself -- maybe a little too much," explained a sore Frétigné. "I got carried away, bottomed out and was thrown out of the saddle. I landed next to the bike and my elbow is really hurting. I have taken some anti-inflammatory medication and the swelling is going down a little, but I have the feeling that I made a stupid mistake. It is a real pity as I was feeling great on the bike and having a lot of fun. Going through the dunes at Chebbi was a piece of cake with the two-wheel drive -- it works very well in the sand. The navigation was easy too as there was a line of spectators each side of the route. It was like riding at the Le Touquet Enduro. Tomorrow I promise that I will calm down a little!"

The first long special of the event saw victory go to the Spaniard Esteve Pujol who beat Nani Roma (KTM) by 16 seconds and Fabrizio Meoni (KTM) by 22 seconds. Overall Pujol increases his lead to just 36 seconds over Meoni, with Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM) third, a further 23 seconds adrift.

Tomorrow sees the riders continue through Morocco, with an 803km ride between Ouarzazate and Tan Tan, with 351 km of special stage.

-yamaha-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Nani Roma , Isidre Esteve , David Fretigne