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2016 Dakar: Mixed Results for Yamaha’s Riders as They Battle the Fiambalá Dunes

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In today’s tenth Dakar stage the Yamaha riders left Belén’s isolated bivouac to complete the last half of the second marathon stage, which saw mixed results. Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Hélder Rodrigues did well on the route to La Rioja through the famous and redoubtable Fiambala dunes and crossed the finish line in seventh position, whilst teammate Alessandro Botturi faced some difficulties on the track, ultimately resulting in a DNF. Yamalube Yamaha Junior Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren achieved his goal and ended up within the top-9 of the stage results. His fellow Junior rider, Xavier De Soultrait was not so lucky and was forced to withdraw from today’s stage.

The tenth stage of the Dakar Rally was characterised by its unusual starting order, mixing the leaders of each category; motorbikes, quads, cars and trucks set off together for the first time in Dakar history. The new format made the rally’s spectacle even bigger and added one more difficulty for the riders, who had to make their way on unfamiliar tracks alongside competitors they never race against and usually only meet in the bivouac.

Because of the previous day’s storms, the stage departure was delayed to later in the morning and the arrival was relocated to a point thirty kilometres before the initial finish line due to a rio being flooded 244 kilometres into the stage, preventing any Dakar participants from passing.

Another challenge that the riders faced today was the essential need to preserve the machines through off-piste desert route, dunes and altitude to complete this last steps in the Dakar competition before setting out for Rosario in the final stage.

Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s rider Rodrigues was one of today’s front-runners and did well to sign off today’s stage in sixth position. Despite suffering minor injuries after his fall in yesterday’s marathon stage, he gave his all to keep his ranking position whilst minimising the gap to the race leaders; he is still seventh on the overall timesheet.

Teammate Botturi had a more difficult time on the tenth special, as he ran into some issues caused by the heat in the dunes. He was unable to reach La Rioja’s bivouac and had to drop out of the competition.

Yamalube Yamaha Junior Rally Team’s Van Beveren stood out on the leading board and once again confirmed his great performance as “Dakar rookie”. He completed today’s stage well, avoiding mistakes and preserving his bike to get to the finish of the shortened special in ninth position. Yamaha is glad to have the junior realising performances that exceed their already high expectations for his first Dakar Rally participation. Van Beveren currently holds tenth in the overall classification.

After an encouraging result on yesterday’s stage, fellow junior rider Xavier De Soultrait found himself in a delicate situation on the tenth stage. He lost a filling plug, which resulted in technical difficulties. Despite his best efforts and positive energy, the Frenchman was forced to withdraw from the stage. It’s the end of this year’s Dakar adventure for De Soultrait but not his last; the junior already promised to come back stronger next year.

In the quad category, the Patronelli family adjusted their tempo and were beaten by their rival of the day, the South-African Baragwanath. Marcos and Alejandro completed a safe race and kept everything under control to rank in second and third position on the stage. The brothers stay on course as 2016 Dakar’s leaders: Marcos ranks first with one minute and thirty seconds over Alejandro in second place. They are both in a comfortable situation with a one hour thirty four minutes gap to their rival, the Argentinian Jeremias Ferioli Gonzalez, who is also competing on a Yamaha Raptor 700.

Tomorrow the difficulty will remain the same as the riders venture out on a terrain made of sand and heavy fesh-fesh. Dexterity, patience and speed will be the watchwords of the upcoming eleventh stage.

To track the Yamaha’s riders during tomorrow’s eleventh stage, click HERE.

Additionally, you can follow Yamaha’s progress in the Dakar Rally HERE and click HERE for more imagery of Dakar 2016.

Hélder Rodrigues, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team

7th / +00:12:01, 6th / +00:56:17

“I had great pleasure riding my WR450F Rally in the dunes. Yamaha’s crew did a good job as the bike made the distance from yesterday’s marathon stage in Belén to today’s arrival in La Rioja. It was hard for me today, I completed the race with much pain due to my fall in yesterday’s stage. I will take care of this injury and rest tonight; there are a few more stages to complete and everything could happen in those last Dakar stages. I am 100 per cent focused and confident for the finish.”

Alessandro Botturi, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team

“It’s difficult to accept but the race is over for me. I had a hard time on the Dakar, especially because of the wrist injury I was suffering from in the competition, but I kept fighting to carry Hélder Rodrigues to the end, but I got stopped on today’s Fiambala dunes, where I encountered a technical problem. There was nothing I could do to fix it, which is the rule on the Dakar and I knew it could happen. I’m thankful for Yamaha’s support this year again. I count on a comeback next year.”

Adrien Van Beveren, Yamalube Yamaha Junior Rally Team

9th / +00:18:01, 10th / +01:21:55

 “The last two days were tough and exhausting! But I am glad I joined La Rioja’s bivouac with my WR450F Rally in good shape. This second week on the Dakar, the stages are mainly focused on navigation, with typical rally-raid routes, and all I wanted was to avoid mistakes and cross the finish line. I’m focused on this goal and I won’t give up until Rosario. At the same time I have the satisfaction of getting good results. I’m really enjoying Dakar so far.”

Xavier De Soultrait, Yamalube Yamaha Junior Rally Team

 “It is obvious that I’m disappointed; I had a hard time this year on the Dakar. I made a bad start to the Prologue and had to double my efforts stage after stage to climb up in the classification. Yesterday I was really happy with my result and I thought I was on route for a good finish in Rosario… Ultimately I had to give up on the stage today, as I ran into some technical issues that I was not able to fix myself. It’s a sad turn of events but it is the Dakar Rally, the toughest race of the world. I would like to thank Yamaha for their support on this year’s Dakar journey. I will be back stronger next year.”

Alexandre Kowlaski, Yamalube Yamaha Rally Teams Director

“As we expected, the second half of the race and the second marathon stage were tough for the riders and the bikes. In spite the bad luck Xavier De Soultrait and Alessandro Botturi faced today of being forced to withdraw from today’s stage for technical reasons, the race is not over and there’s still a long route to go until the finish in Rosario. Hélder Rodrigues, despite a fall yesterday, still has the motivation and firm will to complete this Dakar Rally in a good tempo and so does Adrien Van Beveren, They will battle for Yamaha proudly until the finish line. Everything can happen in the last days of the race; the riders and the team need to stay a 100 per cent focused.”

Dakar Rally Classification of Stage 10

1. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, 03:47:23?
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 03:50:17, +00:02:54?
3, Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 03:53:10, +00:05:47?
4. Paulo Gonçalves (PRT), Honda, 03:53:24, +00:06:01?
5. Antoine Méo (FRA), KTM, 03:55:06, +00:07:43?
6. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 03:57:18, +00:09:55?
7. Hélder Rodrigues (PRT), Yamaha, 03:59:24, +00:12:01?
8. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 04:01:10, +00:13:47?
9. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 04:05:24, +00:18:01
10. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), KTM, 04:14:09, +00:26:46?
11. Ian Blythe (USA), KTM, 04:17:25, +00:30:02?
12. Adrien Metge (FRA), Honda, 04:18:10, +00:30:47
13. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA), Huqsvarna, 04:18:42, +00:31:19?
14. Hans Vogels (NL), KTM, 04:18:52, 00:31:29?
15. Frans Verhoeven (NLD), Yamaha, 04:26:27, +00:39:04?

33. Bruno Da Costa (FRA), Yamaha, 05:08:37, +01:21:14?
60. Mauricio Javier Gomez (ARG), Yamaha, 06:21:43, +02:34:20

Dakar Rally General Classification after Stage 10

1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 34:49:04
2. Stefan Skitvo (SVK), KTM, 35:12:16, +00:23:12
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 35:31:53, +00:44:04
4. Antoine Méo (FRA), KTM, 35:33:08, +00:44:04
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 35:34:14, +00:45:10
6. Hélder Rodrigues (PRT), Yamaha, 35:45:21, +00:56:17
7. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 36:01:12, +01:12:08
8. Paulo Gonçalves (PRT), Honda, 36:03:49, +01:14:45
9. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), KTM, 36:04:13, +01:15:09
10. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 36:10:59, +01:21:55
11. Armand Monleon (ESP), KTM, 37:23:05, +02:34:01
12. Mikael Metge (FRA), Honda, 37:40:32, +02:51:28
13. Emanuel Gyenes (ROU), KTM, 38:01:42, +03:12:38
14. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA), Huqsvarna, 38:01:47, +03:12:43
15. Jordi Viladoms (ESP), KTM, 38:09:06, +03:20:02

18. Frans Verhoeven (NLD), Yamaha, 38:13:03, +03:23:59
44. Bruno Da Costa (FRA), Yamaha, 44:00:52, +09:11:48
51. Mauricio Javier Gomez (ARG), Yamaha, 37:27:20, +11:21:54