-- 2013 Dakar Rally Stage 14 - La Serena to Santiago: total distance 467 km – timed special 346 km
Frenchman Cyril Despres took his fifth Dakar after finishing 17th in the 14th and last stage of the 2013 edition, won by Chilean Francisco "Chaleco" López, which puts him on par with Cyril Neveu in the race's palmarès and just one win away from Stéphane Peterhansel's record. He can also pride himself on the fact that he helped his Portuguese lieutenant Ruben Faria onto the second step of the podium, rounding off a historic double for the KTM Red Bull Rally Factory Team. The car race saw another Frenchman celebrate his fifth win... on four wheels. Stéphane Peterhansel was crowned in Santiago, broke Ari Vatanen's record for most wins in the car category and raised to 11 the bar for most Dakar victories overall.
Chaleco was betrayed by his motorcycle. Chile's Chaleco López lost his fourth gear towards the end of the 13th stage, necessitating an engine change which cost him a 15-minute penalty and therefore pushed him back to third overall, 8′34″ behind Faria and, most importantly, a mere 1′30″ ahead of Slovakia's Ivan Jakeš. With his podium spot in jeopardy and his honour hurt, the Chilean gave it his all in the last, 126-kilometre special. This was enough for him to win his fifth stage in the rally, 29″ ahead of Ruben Faria and 37″ ahead of his rival for the "best performer" title, Spaniard Joan Barreda.
But, at the end of the day, the Chilean's last stand changed nothing in the overall classification, where the official KTM team's dominance earned them a one-two. A master strategist on the course, defending champion Cyril Despres took his first back-to-back win and his third victory in South America (2010, 2012 and 2013) to go with his two wins in Africa (2005 and 2007). This fifth triumph puts him on par with Cyril Neveu in the race's palmarès. In the end, he was 10′43″ faster than his lieutenant Ruben Faria, now the highest-placed Portuguese rider in the history of the Dakar, and 18′48″ quicker than local hero Chaleco López. Behind them, a great performance by low-key Slovak Ivan Jakeš: Mr Consistency finished fourth, 23′54″ back but more than 20′ ahead of fifth-placed Spaniard Juan Pedrero.
The winner's iron grip on the race was also striking in the quad category. Marcos Patronelli finished third in the closing special, which saw South African Sarel Van Biljon grab his third win in 2013, to take his second Dakar after the 2010 edition and move within one victory from his older brother Alejandro, who didn't participate this year. Even more striking was the fact that the Argentinean led the rally from the second stage and won it with 1 h 50′35″ to spare over Chile's Ignacio Casale and 3 h 16′40″ over Poland's Rafał Sonik. He was in a league of his own!
In the car category, the final stage saw Nani Roma take his fourth win in 2013, more than anyone else, by 13″ over Argentineans Orlando Terranova and Lucio Álvarez. Nevertheless, the Catalan's ninth career win was not enough for him to topple teammate Leonid Novitskiy (seventh today) from the bottom step of the podium. The X-Raid team will no doubt be happy to take four of the top five spots and, most importantly, to defend the title won last year with an unbeatable Stéphane Peterhansel. The Frenchman tackled today's stage just as cautiously as the rest of the last week to finish his 25th Dakar with no surprises and take his fifth victory in the car category, which is also his eleventh overall. Peter ended up beating the consistent South African Giniel de Villiers by 42′22″ and Russian Novitskiy by 1 h 28′22″.
Finally, the last special in the truck category saw Team Veka-MAN leader Pieter Versluis take his maiden Dakar win by 2′04″, but Team Kamaz's collective strength was the star today! Karginov had a big scare and had to drive his truck to the finish on the front right rim, but that didn't prevent the blue trucks from making it a one-two-three at the end of the 35th edition. Eduard Nikolaev conquered his first Dakar with 37′10″ to spare on Ayrat Mardeev, who finished fifth in today's stage and moved just ahead (47″) of teammate Karginov to take second overall. Defending champion Gerard de Rooy missed the podium by 4′19″.
2013 Dakar Rally Stage 14 Results - La Serena to Santiago: total distance 467 km – timed special 346 km
1. Chaleco Lopez, CHL (KTM) 1:42:37
2. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 1:43:06
3. Juan Barreda, ESP (Husq) 1:43:14
4. Helder Rodrigues, PRT (Honda) 1:43:30
5. Juan Pedrero ESP (KTM) 1:44:02
6. Mario Patrao, PRT (Suzuki) 1:44:27
7. Kurt Caselli, USA (KTM) 1:44:51
8. Olivier Pain, FRA (Yamaha) 1:45:20
9. Paulo Goncalves, PRT (Husq) 1:45:38
10. Israel Esquerre, CHL (Honda) 1:45:43
11. Frans Verhoeven NLD (Yamaha) 1:45:45
14. Michael Metge FRA (Yamaha) 1:46:23
2013 Dakar Rally Final Standings
1. Cyril Despres (KTM) 43:24:22
2. Ruben Faria (KTM) 43:35:05
3. Chaleco Lopez (KTM) 43:43:10
4. Ivan Jakes (KTM) 43:48:16
5. Juan Pedrero (KTM) 44:19:51
6. Olivier Pain (Yamaha) 44:30:52
7. Helder Rodrigues (Honda) 44:35:44
8. Javier Pizzolito (Honda) 44:50:29
9. Frans Verhoeven (Yamaha) 44:50:57
10. Paulo Goncalves (Husq) 44:52:42
18. Michael Metge (Yamaha) 46:36:30
- Francisco Lopez - "I had a problem with my gearbox yesterday and had to change my engine. Unfortunately, I was second in the overall classification. But making it to Santiago was more important than chasing an impossible second place. I'm happy because I won yesterday's stage. I went the whole nine yards every single day. With four stage wins under my belt and a podium spot, I'm happy for myself, for everyone, for Chile, for my family, for my wife. Changing the engine was the right decision. If I hadn't, I'd still be on the course. Now, this third place counts more than a second place. Especially after what happened last year and the terrible accident. It's just like winning the Dakar."
- Cyril Despres - "It's true that I needed to cross the line and see all these pictures and people here to know that no-one can take this win from me anymore. I went for it, with all the surprises a Dakar can throw at you: little navigational mistakes, perhaps fewer than the others, dosing my motorcycle and a good team. In the end, I've got a good reason to be very happy. The day when winning the Dakar becomes easy, it won't be interesting any more. And this day is still far! It's too long, it's too tough, it's too hot, it's too cold, you've got to rise early in the morning, you've got to find your way out of the dune mazes in Peru and Chile, you've got to tackle the stones and cactuses on the courses near Córdoba... It's just too tricky for it to be easy to win. And it's even better when you win a difficult race. I'm always focused on what I have to do: I think too much about this race to be impressed. We're up against a gruelling element, the desert. Then there are the stones, the Andes... and we experience them. It's as real as it gets."
- Ruben Faria - "Yesterday I lost second place and I thought that just being on the podium was great for me, Cyril Despres' lieutenant. It could never happen, it's inconceivable. Chaleco changed his engine, so I thought there were few kilometres left and I was going to defend my place. I fell within the last ten kilometres as I was riding in Pozzolito's dust. Nothing serious. I'm over the moon."
- Olivier Pain - "I had an amazing first week, leading the rally for five stages. Then, a small navigational mistake cost me dearly. I started the first week further back and had a run of bad luck. I fell on my back and, during the same stage, I got a hole in my tank and lost loads of time. Then, I hurt my elbow. I calmed down for a while in order to recover, and over the last few days I managed to claw my way back up the classification. Now I'm sixth. I was aiming for the Top 5, I'm just outside it but the first week makes up for it all. It was a nice Dakar for me."
- Joan Barreda Bort - "Personally, I'm very happy with this Dakar, but obviously not as happy with my overall place. I was unable to do better because of a mechanical problem in the fifth stage. But I had very good days. The mechanical cost me 3 h 30 and I finished 3 h 05 behind the leader, which means I had a good rally. We collected tonnes of data and we'll use them to further improve the motorcycle and mount a stronger challenge next year. I still don't know what I'll do the rest of the season. I'm not going to take part in all the World Championship races but we'll think of a programme which helps us get many kilometres under our belts and improve the motorcycle. Our objective is to lay the groundwork for the next Dakar."
-- KTM Report - Triumph for Despres and KTM at Dakar 2013
Red Bull KTM factory rider Cyril Despres of France on Saturday picked up his fifth Dakar trophy when he crossed the line of the 2013 edition of the world’s most famous rally as the winner after more than 8000 km. It was KTM’s twelfth consecutive title and KTM riders took all five top overall paces.
Despres’ long time ‘water carrier’ or factory support rider Ruben Faria of Portugal won the final stage and finished second overall, ten minutes 43 behind the leader. Chilean Chaleco Lopez (KTM) was third overall while Slovak KTM rider Ivan Jakes was fourth and KTM factory rider Joan Pedrero of Spain was fifth.
The French rider, a veteran of this amazing race said it all after securing his fifth title: “I went for it, with all the surprises a Dakar can throw at you,” he said. “Little navigational mistakes, perhaps fewer than the others, taking care of my motorcycle and being in a good team. In the end, I've got a good reason to be very happy. The day when winning the Dakar becomes easy, it won't be interesting any more. And this day is still far! It's too long, it's too tough, it's too hot. It's too cold. You've got to get up early in the morning. You've got to find your way out of the maze of dunes in Peru and Chile. You've got to tackle the stones and cactuses on the courses near Córdoba. It's just too tricky for it to be easy to win. And it's even better when you win a difficult race. I'm always focused on what I have to do. We're up against a grueling element, the desert. Then there are the stones, the Andes... and we experience them. It's as real as it gets.” Despres won Stage three and led the overall standings from Stage 10.
Faria too was thrilled to finish second. “Yesterday I lost second place and I thought that just being on the podium would be great for me; to be Cyril Despres' lieutenant. I didn’t believe it could happen that I could finish second. It's inconceivable.”
Alex Doringer KTM’s Factory Team Manager praised Despres’ riding, his tactics and strategy and said after the race that he was very proud of his entire team. “The result is amazing. The whole team did an exceptional job and we have to thank them all. We believed in our bikes and we believed in our riders. All seven of our factory riders finished and to have five KTM riders on the top of the list was a fantastic result.”
The Dakar 2013 had more than its share of dramatic moments for the KTM Factory team, including the last minute withdrawal just before the race by Despres’ long time teammate and rival Marc Coma. Coma’s injured shoulder, banged up in a crash in the Morocco Rally late last year was still giving him problems and doctors declared he was not fit enough to compete.
Despres also suffered a major setback in the marathon Stages 7-8 during which riders were unable to call upon outside mechanical help from their team. He was put back on track after being offered the engine from KTM supported rider Marek Dabrowski of the Orlen Team and by the collective effort of his fellow KTM riders who banded together to work at night and change out the engine themselves in the riders’ bivouac.
Jakub Przygonski of Poland and Riaan Van Niekerk of South Africa of KTM’s Factory B team finished eleventh and thirteenth. Kurt Caselli, KTM’s American rider drafted in to ride for injured Coma and Darryl Curtis of South Africa both recovered well from crashes and technical setbacks to put adversity behind them and finished a creditable 31st and 32nd.
Another outstanding performance came from KTM Australia’s Ben Grabham who entered this test of man and machine after a massive crash one year ago while competing in the Australian outback when he hit a kangaroo at high speed and broke his back in several places. KTM had five riders in the top ten and 10 in the top 20 finishers in the 2013 edition.
-- Husqvarna Report - Twelfth podium place for protagonist Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain as Dakar finishes.
The final fourteenth stage of the thirty-fifth edition of the Dakar wound up today in Santiago. Frenchman Cyril Despres became overall winner for the fifth time in a race that had been wide open right up until the end of the last special test.
Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain was once again a main protagonist in this incredible rally with a second place in today’s stage, for Spaniard Joan "Bang Bang" Barreda taking the team’s tally to twelve podium places. Joan himself has scored four partial stage wins, showing just how competitive the Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain is.
The final standings don’t really do justice to Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain or its riders, who were excessively punished for insignificant but costly technical setbacks which had previously not occurred all season. Joan Barreda, in particular, should have finished higher after he dominated the early stages, likewise Alessandro Botturi, who until three days ago was in fifth place.
The best of the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain on the final leader-board was Portuguese Paulo Goncalves finishing tenth overall, after a consistent ride always up amongst the leaders.
Also noteworthy in their performances were the three privateers who finished the Dakar 2013 aboard Husqvarna TE449s, Portuguese Bianchi Prata, Australian Simon Pavey, and Spaniard Alex Bousquets on the TE449 RR by Speedbrain.
Joan Barreda: “I’m extremely pleased with my race, with the bike and with the team. We’ve taken a giant leap forward from last year’s race, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that this is only the second year with a completely new bike. Obviously, if I hadn’t broken the wheel at the start of the race, I’d have certainly finished on the final podium, which was always our aim."
Paulo Goncalves: "We showed that we are highly competitive and capable of competing with the best. It’s been a really positive race, in spite of the final result that definitely didn’t reflect my real performance in this Dakar. The team will go home well satisfied, as we’ve proved that both the bike and the quality of the riders are up to the job. It’s a shame for Botturi who didn’t manage to finish the race despite the fact that he gave his heart for the team and fitted in with us right from the start.”
Matt Fish: "This has been my first Dakar and I’m thrilled to have been able to finish such an amazing race. I came here to help the team and my team-mates. It was a tough challenge, and I did my best. An incredible experience, especially when I had to finish the special test at night in the middle of the desert.”
-- Yamaha Report - Double Bike Top Ten and Quad Victory for Yamaha in 2013 Dakar
Yamaha Racing France’s Olivier Pain completed the final stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally in eighth place to hold on just outside the top five in sixth in the final standings. The Frenchman’s Dakar has been a rollercoaster, leading the rally for five stages before mixed luck dropped him down the standings and required a fight back.
Fellow Yamaha rider Frans Verhoeven finished today’s final stage in 11th position to secure a top ten place of ninth in the final standings. The Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven Team rider has also experienced the highs and lows of the Dakar, after an impressive start fighting with the front riders Verhoeven was hit by bad luck and forced into the catch up game. Catch up he did, taking an impressive stage win on Thursday and completing the 2013 Dakar in ninth position. Today’s final stage saw him denied eighth in the final standings due to a lucky escape when he missed a turn and dropped his bike into a ravine. Verhoeven was able to continue, securing his final position of ninth.
Pain’s French team mate Michael Metge had a late surge, the Yamaha Racing France rider wrapping up today’s stage in 14th to take 18th overall.
Yamaha Racing Argentina quad rider Marcos Patronelli never looked in doubt for the quad title, the Argentinian rider effortlessly defending his substantial time lead, finishing today in third to take the Rally win with a margin of one hour and fifty minutes. Patronelli led a Yamaha one-two-three in the standings.
“I had an amazing first week, leading the rally for five stages. Then, a small navigational mistake cost me dearly,” said Olivier Pain. “I started the first week further back and had a run of bad luck. I fell on my back and, during the same stage, I got a hole in my tank and lost loads of time. Then, I hurt my elbow. I calmed down for a while in order to recover, and over the last few days I managed to claw my way back up the classification. Now I'm sixth. I was aiming for the Top 5, I'm just outside it but the first week makes up for it all. It was a nice Dakar for me.”
“It was a very dangerous last stage,” Frans Verhoeven said after he finished the special in the village of Limache. “The first part of the stage was 100 kilometers and it was filled with many ongoing turns. To be honest I took a lot of risks. In the first 50 kilometers I was very fast but also very precise. Afterwards I heard I had opened a one and a half minute gap on Pizzolito. That would have been more than enough to pass him in the standings. Unfortunately I lost the bike and it slid downwards into the ravine. Luckily it got stuck on a big rock. I had to climb down to recover it. It didn’t take much time, but there was a big hole in the fuel tank. I knew I had more than enough fuel and took the risk to open the gas again. It took me a minute, I think. Now I am ninth with just a few seconds difference to Pizzolito. It’s fine like this. I realize it could have been much worse. For now it’s just a matter of getting to Santiago and find my hotel. I am looking forward to a bath and a bed.”
"It has been spectacular,” said Marcos Patronelli. “This Dakar was like a dream come true for me. Everything went smoothly from the first day in Peru to the last in Chile. I'm surprised at how the stages went. It was all thanks to the team, which worked every single night. I'd like to thank Yamaha Argentina and Yamaha France, which provided me every day with a quad that didn't miss a beat. This victory means a lot to me. My brother won last year, but I ran into trouble. I was here to get my own back on myself. Ale [Alejandro] and I don't compete with each other. I wanted to prove myself that I could win again. It was a perfect Dakar from the beginning to the end. It's the first time that everything's played out so well."
-- HRC Report
After having covered 8,420 kilometres on all kinds of terrain throughout 14 hard stages, from Peru to Chile passing through Argentina, Helder Rodrigues, Javier Pizzolito and Johnny Campbell finished today’s final stage reaching the target: Santiago.
The protagonists of the 2013 Dakar had to maintain their concentration for the very last 346 km of a fast stage on stony and hard ground. Only 53 seconds separated Helder Rodrigues, fourth, from stage winner Chaleco Lopez who finished ahead of Faria and Barreda. With Javier Pizzolito,15th and Johnny Campbell 21st, Team HRC celebrated two riders in the top ten overall with Rodrigues and Pizzolito in 7th and 8th place respectively and Johnny Campbell 40th, while Cyril Despres sealed his fifth Dakar title.
Having the complete team at the end of the toughest rally in the world was the result of perfect team work with the three Team HRC riders, helping and supporting each other, stage after stage.
When the project started six months ago, the challenge was to be at the starting blocks in Lima with a completely new team and a new machine. Team HRC engineers worked very hard to prepare a competitive machine and on the 5th of January Helder Rodrigues, Javier Pizzolito and Johnny Campbell set off for the 2013 Dakar on board of their CRF 450 Rally.
In a race where a navigation mistake or a small mechanical failure can spoil the whole result, some fuel issues on the second and third days made Team HRC riders lose valuable time and the contact with the first riders. Despite that, Helder Rodrigues, Javier Pizzolito and Johnny Campbell continued to fight and recover positions.
Rodrigues was ready to attack on stage 11 to close the gap from the front runners, when a branch caught a wire of the machine, ripping it out and stopping his machine. It was a small problem that had big consequences as Helder had given an incredible performance that would have allowed him to make a big step forward towards the podium.
Team mate Pizzolito gave also a great performance. Javier was very good at preserving the machine and his condition, riding with a constant pace throughout the whole rally on the same engine.
Johnny Campbell couldn’t take advantage of his experience due to a mechanical problem on the third stage that made him lose more than 3 hours, but he scored the team’s best result with a great second place on the 8th stage. Unfortunately a crash the following day compromised his second part of the race, but Johnny continued until the end despite the intense pain from suspected broken ribs.
Helder Rodrigues SS14 4th +0.53”, 7th overall: “It was a great challenge and an honour for me to be part of this project and bear the Honda colours on the Dakar. I cannot be happy with my results in terms of my final position because with this team and this machine we had the potential to fight for the podium, but we don't have to forget that this is a young project and we couldn’t test as much as we would have liked. We had some bad luck and also some fuel issues on the second and third stage that spoiled our result but the team has worked hard and the bike has improved a lot stage after stage. I’m very satisfied that we are all here in Santiago and that the team is very motivated to continue this experience”.
Javier Pizzolito SS14 15th +4’11”, 8th overall: “I’m very satisfied to have finished the Dakar and even happier of the 8th position in the overall classification. After last year unlucky incident where I suffered from a broken femur and elbow, I had to train very hard to prepare this year event. The machine proved to be really reliable as I rode the whole event with one engine. We are very excited and motivated to continue this amazing project”.
Johnny Campbell SS14 21st +6’01”, 40th overall: “This is a brand new team we worked very hard together to get to the finish. Dakar Rally is about keeping the body and the bike together, it was very hard for me after the crash on the 8th stage. It was challenging and hard at the same time, for me to return to racing after 5 years out and to finish this tough rally you need a 100% dedicated preparation. It was a dream come true to race the Dakar with this team and help with bike development”.
Katsumi Yamazaki, Team HRC Director: “We reached our first target which was to have all the machines get to the end of the rally. It’s the result of great team work, everyone in the team has contributed with a common target in mind. It’s a young project and with 6 months of work we never expected to win, even if we hoped for it, and we have fought hard to get the best possible result. We have faced several issues during the rally and fixed them. In a very competitive race with strong rivals and 14 demanding stages, we have gained an incredible amount of data and experience that will be extremely useful to continue the development of the CRF 450 Rally to return stronger and make a bike capable of winning in 2014. I want to thank Helder, Javier and Johnny, the team members and all our sponsors and partners for their great work and support”.
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