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.”
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