Dakar: Yamaha update 2005-01-04

A change on the horizon Davide Frétigné made a brilliant start of his 2005 Dakar challenge winning the opening special stage held at the beaches of Barcelona, Spain on Saturday January 1. With his WR450 2-Trac Davide was a clear favorite for...

A change on the horizon

Davide Frétigné made a brilliant start of his 2005 Dakar challenge winning the opening special stage held at the beaches of Barcelona, Spain on Saturday January 1. With his WR450 2-Trac Davide was a clear favorite for the win as he could take maximum use of the two-wheel drive in the soft beach sand. Also the nimbleness, smaller size and lower weight of his WR gave Davide the possibility to resist the larger 1000ccc competitors that have dominated the Dakar for so long.

Day two was the longest distance that the caravan travels over a single day, no less then 920 km had to be absorbed traveling from Barcelona to Granada. This stage was a liaison route and not much of a challenge, with Davide trailing his support truck for the entire distance at 110 km/h.

It soon dawned on the competitors that 'Fretos' will be very hard to beat on the technical and short special stages when he again won day three of the race, going from Granada to Rabat (Morocco). The Enduro specialist was fastest over the special stage of 10km, giving him an 11 second gap on Despret (KTM). The other 563 km's were liaison.

All expected that at the fourth day the rally would start in all earnest with a special stage of 123 km, but it was not to be when the organization cancelled the stage for the motorcycles due to weather conditions (wind). As a result Frétigné still leads the race, but he was disappointed just the same. "It's a pity because the stage looked to be fast and I think I would have been well equipped to make a good result. But in the end I agree with the decision to cancel the stage as our safety could not be guaranteed."

" I don't feel so good as I arrived very late in the bivouac of Rabat and got only 3.5 hours of sleep, hopefully I can recover some sleep today. More importantly my bike is in the best shape, we only had some small problems with the carburetion along the route probably caused by the dust. I don't worry about it as my mechanics Christian and Nicolas are on top of it'.

Tomorrow January 4, a special stage of 381 km will start to separate the men from the boys and it is sure Davide is not shying away from it; "It the first long special stage we encounter and it seems very fast with many rocks so I will be careful and closely watch my close rivals. It's a bit strange to lead the race and having to defend my position after four days of racing, I will have to keep the pressure under control and ride at my own pace, making sure I enjoy it".

-yamaha racing-

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Series Dakar