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Yamaha Continue to Set Dominant Dakar Pace

As day five of the 2013 Dakar Rally draws to a close it does so with the YZ450F based Yamahas of Frenchmen David Casteu and Olivier Pain having raced ahead to again set the pace in the special stage. The 274km trek from Arequipa and Arica became Team Casteu Yamaha Racing France rider Casteu’s third Dakar stage victory. Yamaha Racing France’s Pain was just one minute behind him to make it a Yamaha one-two. The results keep Pain at the top of the overall standings with Casteu just one minute behind him, and then a further six minutes to the next rider.

Frans Verhoeven made up valuable ground from yesterday’s frustrating result following a technical issue. The Dutch Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven Team rider wrapping up the stage in 15th to move four places up the overall standings.

Yamaha Racing Team Argentina quad rider Marcos Patronelli continued in winning form today, taking his fourth consecutive stage victory of the Rally. The Yamaha YF700M based quad looking stronger than ever and taking the top four positions in both the day’s stage and the overall standings.

“The stage I won in 2010 seems a long time ago,” said David Casteu. “I’ve always said to myself that winning a special stage is fabulous. What’s more, winning at the start of the rally when all the riders are still in it, it’s really great. At the end of the Dakar, it can be argued that other riders relax and manage their position. When you win like that with all these riders who’ve got the bit between their teeth, it’s good. Also, it was on a 136-km long special stage, so today it was like a long sprint. I’m really happy about it. I’ve really got the feel of my bike now and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a bike on which I feel good, on which I gobble up the obstacles and behind the handlebars of which I’m relaxed and calm. I arrived on this Dakar having taken stock, with the aim of enjoying each moment, each second. I’m 38 years old and I’m going to take every day as it comes. I’m itching to ride flat out and today I had great fun”.

“This morning, I didn’t know how it was going to work out,” said Olivier Pain. “I wasn’t stressed out, but I wanted to avoid making a mistake so that people wouldn’t say, ‘he got caught out because he got too big for his boots’. I set off in a good state of mind. I was especially concentrating on not falling. I made a small navigation error right at the beginning, but I put it right straight away. I didn’t see Joan (Barreda) stopped next to the track. I don’t know if he had problems or if he made a mistake. I had to open the road for three-quarters of the day. David started to catch up with me a bit in the middle, but I put some distance in between us near the end. It was a good special stage, very dangerous at the beginning with a bit of navigation before a big rocky area. The end was more twisting in a canyon with nice tracks and some fesh-fesh. It was a nice stage to ride and I’m still leader. That makes it two days running now”.