Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven rider Frans Verhoeven made a promising start to his 2013 Dakar Rally today on his Yamaha YZ450F based machine, wrapping up the first stage in second place, an impressive single second behind the leader. Verhoeven had looked on course to lead the standings on day one with a time of 7’52 on the special stage until rival Francisco Lopez came in nearly 20 minutes later with 7’51. Joining him in the top ten was fellow Yamaha rider David Casteu, the Frenchman, representing the Casteu Adventure Team, completing the first stage in sixth place, just 15 seconds behind the front.
The first stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally was a short loop of just 13km around the bivouac in Pisco, some 250km south of Lima, Peru. On day two tomorrow Verhoeven will face a much bigger special stage after completing an 85km liaison ride. The stage will be another loop around Pisco, but this time a grueling 242km challenge.
“I did what I always do, nothing special,” commented Verhoeven. “To be honest I was on the brakes more than I normally do. It’s a hell of a bike; normally you cannot afford to hold still for a second, the sand is too soft. But with this bike I can ride in a higher gear than I would normally do and it doesn’t stop, it keeps going without wheel spin.”