Dakar Rally – Stage 13 (Final)
Stage 13 Results
1, Frans Verhoeven, Belgium, BMW
2, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 00:05
3, Jean De Azevedo, Brazil, KTM, 26:04 at 00:05
4, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, at 00:44
5, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 2:16
6, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM, 2:47
7, Juan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 3:05
8, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 3:51
9, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM, 4:38
10, Miran Stanovnik, Slovenia, KTM, 5:16
Final Overall Results
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM
2, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, at 15:04
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, 1:40:20
4, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia,
5, Juan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 3:07:03
6, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 3:32:56
7, Jean De Azevedo, Brazil, KTM, 3:59:38
8, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM, at 4:13:01
9, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 9:38:41
10, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM 6:14:46
– KTM Report
KTM factory rider Marc Coma rode into Buenos Aires in triumph on Saturday as the 2011 winner of the mighty Dakar Rally, the toughest of its kind in modern motorsports. It was the Spanish rider’s third Dakar title and the tenth consecutive prize for KTM and a triumphant debut for the newly developed KTM 450 Rally bike ridden by all four of KTM’s factory riders.
Fellow KTM factory rider Cyril Despres, the title holder going into the Dakar, fought the good fight right up until the finish, was second overall. He trailed Coma by just over 15 minutes after 9600 km of competitive riding over the most challenging terrain possible. Considering that Despres incurred a 10-minute penalty in the early part of the race, he and Coma rode on equal terms throughout the 13 stages and frequently finished only minutes apart. Indeed in the penultimate stage there was only 37 second separating the two riders at the end of the day. Between them Coma and Despres took victory in eight of the 13 stages – Coma won five stages and Despres won three.
Coma was a worthy overall winner of the 33rd edition of the race that took competitors in a huge sweep through Argentina, across the Andes at 4500 m altitude into northern Chile and up to the border with Peru, over a number of stages in the notoriously dry Atacama Desert, back across the Andes and through Argentina to the finish in the capital. It was his job on Saturday to open the road on what was a comparatively short stage and all he had to do was to keep Despres under control till they got to Buenos Aires. Coma first took control of the overall standings after Stage 4 and remained in front for the remainder of the rally. He conceded 1’30 to Despres in the final stage but the title was well and truly wrapped up.
Marc Coma: “Many sacrifices to get to here”
“Staying focused was essential so I did focus on my riding. It was the only way to win. What was really tough was that I could not let my guard down, not even for a second. When a tough stsge was ending, the next one was even tougher. We all know that a Dakar is a difficult race but this year it was particularly difficult. This victory is the reward of all the hard work, the reward of many years and a lot of tensions over the last few days. It is the bonus you get for steering right and for so many sacrifices over the years.”
Despres, a fight to the end
At the end of Stage 13 Cyril Despres, the consummate perfectionist said he was sad he had not done better. “I made some mistakes, they were two small mistakes but they held some heavy consequences,” he said. “This special is different if you are in first place as it was the case last year… then you want the race to be shorter. When you are second, you would want the race to be longer. But anyway, the feeling of finishing a Dakar is always nice especially here with all the people welcoming you. I am sad I could not do better. I have raced 11 Dakar, won three and been on the podium eight times. One more would have been great. But I just could not make any better.”
Good finish for KTM’s two factory co-riders
Another great result also came from the two co-riders to the leading KTM factory riders. Juan Pedrero of Spain, the water carrier for Coma, finished overall fifth and Ruben Faria who served the same function for Despres was seventh overall. The domination of the brand is further underlined by the fact that nine of the top 11 riders were on the Austrian-made bikes.
With today’s victory, Coma draws equal with fellow KTM factory rider Cyril Despres as they now have three titles each and have together dominated rally sport in recent years.
KTM congratulates all KTM riders who were courageous enough to tackle the Dakar, the rally that is at the very heart of this great sport.
The victory was also celebrated by the presence of Hubert Trunkenpolz, Head of Sales and Marketing for KTM who traveled from Sao Paolo Brazil, where the company has just opened its latest international subsidiary, to be in Buenos Aires to greet the two KTM riders. The 2011 Dakar, over 9500 grueling kilometers, was thrilling from the first to the final stage as the two KTM heroes battled it out for the top podium place. Coma and Despres have dominated rally sport in recent years and there has rarely been two riders who share such passion and skill when competing in the world’s toughest rally. The company’s success was further underlined by excellent performances by many other KTM riders who successfully competed in the 33rd edition of the Dakar Rally.
Following the tenth consecutive win for KTM, CEO Stefan Pierer announced that the company now intends to use the Dakar Rally as its major marketing platform as it enters a new and aggressive era of involvement in rally sport, including the development of the KTM 450 Rally bike in a production model.
Stefan Pierer: “I am confident that this new bike is going to add yet another layer of prestige to our brand, following the unprecedented success we have enjoyed recently with other models like the 350 SX-F and the 350 EXC. As well as developing the best rally bike on the market, we plan to introduce new and interesting packages for both rally teams and individual rally enthusiasts.”
Mr. Pierer confirmed that KTM plans an aggressive involvement in rally sport both with the company’s factory teams and with other riders and teams who are committed to the Austrian brand. “We want to see teams and riders from as many countries as possible competing on our bikes,” he said. “Every KTM rider is a KTM ambassador – whether our own factory team, riders of other teams on KTMs and all the committed privateers who choose our machines!”
Heinz Kinigadner, KTM Sports Consultant, double 250 cc Motocross World Champion and former Dakar racer said the company can be very satisfied with the outstanding results achieved at the Dakar 2011.
Heinz Kinigadner: “We are justifiably proud of our two KTM factory riders and we are especially pleased with what they achieved on the newly launched KTM 450 Rally Replica. This bike was developed to provide an answer to the surprise rule change announced in mid 2009 that restricts professional Dakar riders to bikes not exceeding 450 ccm. We rose to the challenge and today it is clear that we have achieved our goal. The results speak for themselves.”
The new KTM 450 Rally production model is expected to retail for around € 25,000 (net), a very competitive price for a superior quality racing bike that is capable of winning the Dakar.
– BMW Report
The Dakar 2011 came to an emotional end for Team BMW Motorrad by speedbrain. Frans Verhoeven and Pedro Bianchi Prata went into Saturday´s final test with the mission to further improve their position in the overall ranks.
Verhoeven lived up to his intentions and gave a super-strong performance. The Dutch rally ace takes the stage from Cordoba to Buenos Aires and sets an exclamation mark on a race that hasn´t always been kind to the Bavarian newcomer squad. After all the blood, sweat and tears of 9.000 km racing across the south-american continent, Verhoeven claims the second stage victory for the team.
Frans Verhoeven: “I entered the day determined to post a top result for the team. The bike worked awesome today and made this win possible.”
Verhoeven passed three riders during the super-fast stage to finish ahead of Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues. Verhoeven moves up in the standings and finishes 15th overall. A lot more could have happened if the team hadn´t been so badly hurt by crashes and that particular incident when a stone damaged Verhoeven´s engine case.
The final stage marks a forgiving end for the team, which emphasises once more how competitive the speedbrain-developed BMW G 450 RR really is.
Pedro Biancho said farewell to the Dakar 2011 with a satisfying result also. The Portuguese finishes the rally legend among the Top 30, achieving his personal goal.
Team principal Wolfgang Fischer: “I´m happy for the whole team to post such a result as the race ends. We tried throughout our debut to make the best of any given situation. We finish inside the Top 15 and take another stage win today. We led the proceedings during five stages and owned two of them. That´s a solid foundation to keep working hard and keep fighting for wins.”
– David Casteu Report
The last stage is a synonym of release for all competitors, and particularly for David Casteu. He finally made it! The last stage of Dakar 2011, short and fast, finished at the racing track of Baradero.
“I just crossed the finish line,” said David right after his passage through the podium. “I´m morally tired. I´m physically o.k, even if I fell on the concrete plate and my hip aches a little.”
For David, who had been victim of a broken-down engine the day before, the most important thing was to join Buenos Aires in order to complete this Dakar that had been a nightmare.
“I am glad to finish it. This morning I had a stomach ache. There was a long road connection, 645 km, followed by a 181 km special stage. I was scared!”
Casteu started 81st this morning, and climbed to the 58th place by the end of the stage, 24’ 29” from the stage winner. He closes this Dakar in the 66th place overall, 27h 28’ 18” from the leader, far from what he expected, but the Sherco rider never gives up.
“I can say that I marked all the CP, WP, I found the way to change the engine on the race track… It was an enormous experience. I closed the track two times, and once, I was even behind the “camion balai”!”
In spite of the moments of discouragement and tiredness, David kept on going until the end:
“People said to me: “Why do you continue? For a pro, you should have to stop”. But when I see the amateurs, which I was in 2004, people that do everything to be there, when I see all that, when I think of all these months of preparation, it was impossible to give up.”
— Honda Report
Honda’s Quinn Cody has astonished with a top 10 overall finish in what has been his first Dakar Rally. What’s more, Honda’s 10-times Women’s Trial World Champion, Laia Sanz, has taken a stunning victory in women’s category on her Dakar debut.
The final short and quick special stage of the Dakar 2011 finished at the Baradero racing track in front of many enthusiastic spectators. It was an emotional time for both of Honda’s star debutants completing their first Dakar. To complete the Dakar Rally can be considered the culmination of a life dream but to complete it in such style, first time out, is nothing short of spectacular!
American Quinn Cody earns top rookie status on the 2011 Dakar with a truly awesome ride! Quinn is a regular winner on the Bajas and boasts an impressive roll of honour (three times winner of the Baja 1000). But the Dakar is very different animal and one that must be tamed using different skills. Quinn really got into his stride as the rally developed and showed by the end that he is truly a world-class desert racer, finishing in 9th position in the overall classification.
Honda’s 10-time Women’s Trial World Champion, Laia Sanz also showed her class, finishing in 39th position overall and taking victory in the women’s category. It had been a tough and eventful rally for the 25 year-old Spaniard but she displayed the true grit and determination that has earned her numerous world titles in the discipline of Trials. She now has a new title to add to her collection, ‘fastest women on the 2011 Dakar Rally’!
Team Honda Europe’s Mirjam Pol has also experienced many ups and downs over the last two weeks but ended in 69th position and as the second fastest woman of the Dakar, a title she is sure to be proud of. Laia Sanz’s team mate, Jordi Arcarons, came home in a solid 41st position, just two places behind Laia. Alexey Naumov was also making his rally debut and completed the challenge to come home in an impressive 67th position. Vadim Pritulyak fought a private battle for two weeks and can be proud of his personal victory that saw him take 90th position in the overall standings. All in all, a fantastic Dakar Rally for those aboard Honda!
Quinn Cody, Team Honda Europe
“I’m trying to learn and do my best. It’s working well and I’m really happy with the way things have gone. This Dakar has been a great learning experience! What I have learned is that you need to be ready to race from day 1. The first week I needed to adjust to the bike. To do better I need to do more rallies, and do a lot of testing with the Dakar bike. For sure I would love to come back and definitely plan on being back next!”
Laia Sanz, Team Aracons
“It was incredible. I just do not believe it. For me it is a dream come true, and even more with the team that I have, to Jordan (Arcarons), Angels (Rovira), Moi (Gangolells), Paco (Ivars), who have worked hard. It was very hard, especially the second week, with a lot of suffering, but it was worth it because there have been many more good times than bad.”