Stage 7 quotes


Francisco Lopez: "A good day"

It was not easy. There was a lot of dust in the beginning. I went a little faster afterwards but I lost my exhaust at mid stage more or less. So after that, I was afraid my engine would break. Fortunately, it was the shortest special stage since the beginning of the raid; if it had not been the engine would have been hit bad. I won and that is all that matters. I had a good day. Everything is fine. Last week, I had a cold, but I feel better now. I am in great shape. I feel that I am driving well.

Cyril Despres: "Thank you David Castera"

"The rest day was a good thing for the bike and for the man. Today was one of the best days of motocross-type racing of my entire life. Thank you David Castera for such a fun riding experience. Not only was it a beautiful stage, it was also a fantastic one to ride. A really great day, even in terms of results. This morning, we were wondering if we would have our fill with 272 km; now my answer is YES."

Pal-Anders Ullevalseter : " Je m'amuse bien plus "

This stage was a rather good one for me. I am really getting used to the bike now. I know how to handle it. And - by the way - I am having much more fun now and I am much faster as well. The feeling is getting better every day. I know I will not be able to win anymore. A few days ago, the aim was to finish in the Top 10. Now that it's done, I must keep climing the ranks. The race is still long.

Marc Coma: "A technical stage"

"It was a technical stage. There was a purely motocross part to the stage... nice but demanding. I suffered in the first part, because I was behind Ruben Faria and I was getting a lot of his dust; it was hard to pass. But in the last part, the sand dunes, I could ride at my own pace."

Helder Rodrigues: "A place on the podium, or even better..."

"I had to open the road in the first kilometers. It was going pretty well. After the sand dune, Cyril Despres overtook me. I stayed behind him till the end. My aim is a place on the podium, or even better. But it will be a tough call. Chaleco is a fast rider and he is on home turf."


Sebastian Halpern: "Today, I rode with my head"

"In the last two stages, I did not ride as well as I would have wanted to. And I had some bad luck too. But today, I was more careful, I used my head more and I had a bit of luck as wekk. All I do is think about my own race... for the rest, we will see."


Krzysztof Holowczcyc : " Peut-кtre que les pilotes VW conduisent de facon plus propre "

It was a hard stage. We saw that Peterhansel had stopped because of a flat tire and we slowed down to wait for him. He overtook us again and we ended up in his dust. Then we caught up with Terranova who would not let us pass. In his dust we had two flat tires. Maybe VW drivers drive cleaner? Or maybe our car is just too heavy?

Carlos Sainz: "We are happy"

"It was really hard. But in the end, I am happy. It was not easy to open the road today. There was for instance a very tricky sand dune section. But Lucas does a great job. We are happy. It was a good day, I am sure. But a tough one...really!"

Giniel De Villiers: "A treacherous stage"

A treacherous stage in terms of navigation. Crossing the dunes was a tough call. There were bikers riding in all directions. It was almost hard not to follow them and to keep looking at the roadbook. We attacked at the end after having lost a bit of time. It is always hard after a rest day. Mistakes are easy to make then. We have to get back into the rythm. We are getting really close to a blue, blue and blue podium. It would be great but there is still a long way to go in this race.

Nasser Al-Attiyah: "Attack from now on"

We had a very difficult stage. We quickly joined Carlos Sainz but it was impossible to overtake him because of the dust. We decided not to take any chances and stayed in his tail. We still took 1'20 back from him and I am thrilled to be the winner of today's special stage. From now on, I really have to attack. In order to avoid flat tires, we have to avoid sliding sidways too much. Last year, I had 6 flat tires. This year, I really focused on my driving to avoir flats and stay on course as much as possible.

Stephane Peterhansel: "Bye bye victory"

In the beginning, one of the Volkswagen must have had a problem because we ended up in its dust. It was hard to drive 20 km/h because of the dust while there was no wind. We let them drive ahead and after 15 km we had a flat tire. That was just what we needed to lose confidence for the rest of the stage. I don't have the right speed to drive through this kind of rocky fesh fesh. Minutes add up and it's getting pretty bad. It is my fault. I drive too fast on this terrain. I don't have the right pace. Anyway, on the podium, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 8th, it's all the same. The only thing we wanted at the start was final victory and that seems to be getting out of reach... for sure!


Josef Kalina: "We can be a match against Kabirov"

Today went well. When we don't get flat tires, we can win stages; all it takes is for everything to go well. Sometimes navigation was tough on this special stage, in the sand dunes, but also in a fairly long pass on a plateau, just before the special stage. There were a lot of different trails and some seemed parallel but were not. I saw that the young Russian had spent half-an-hour in there. Getting to first place is not impossible. We are 16' behind Kabirov, but we can be a match against him. Trouble is that Vladimir Chagin is not very far behind and if he stops making mistakes, we know he is faster than we are.

-source: dakar

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Stéphane Peterhansel , Cyril Despres , Marc Coma , Nasser Al-Attiyah , Josef Kalina , Vladimir Chagin , Helder Rodrigues , Francisco Lopez , Sebastian Halpern