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Two Yamahas Inside The Top 10 After Dakar Rally’s Stage Four

Battling their way through another gruelling day of racing in South America, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren and Yamaha supported Xavier de Soultrait are both placed inside the top 10 of the Dakar Rally’s provisional overall standings after stage four of the event. Enjoying his best stage performance so far, WR450F Rally mounted Hélder Rodrigues is now within striking distance of the overall top 10.

Featuring yet more racing at high-altitude, stage four of the 2017 Dakar Rally proved to be challenging for all competitors. Determined to get as close as possible to the top, Adrien Van Beveren put in a committed day’s riding to wrap up the stage in seventh position. Battling his way through a long and exhausting day the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider is currently placed eighth in the provisional standings.

Going from strength to strength as the race enters its most demanding part, Adrien’s teammate Hélder Rodrigues went on the attack today to wrap up the stage in ninth place. With one third of the race now completed, Hélder is currently placed very close to the top 10 in the rally’s provisional overall standings. Following a well-calculated plan the Portuguese rider is aiming to continue pushing hard to get closer to the top of the results during the coming days.

Continuing to impress aboard his rally modified WR450F, Xavier de Soultrait was Yamaha’s highest placed rider during today’s stage four. Claiming a runner-up result on today’s stage, the Frenchman is very well placed inside the top 10 in the rally’s provisional overall standings. With Dakar organisers yet to confirm Xavier’s provisional placement in the overall standings, the Frenchman is expected to be very close to the top six.

Suffering a technical issue, Australian Rodney Faggotter was unable to complete today’s stage and will sit out the rest of the event. Entering the day hoping to make up time lost during the opening stages of the event, Alessandro Botturi suffered a crash 30km before the finish of the stage that left the Italian unable to finish the day.

Including a 447km-long timed special tomorrow’s stage five of the 2017 Dakar Rally will take competitors to the Bolivian city of Oruro. Featuring a large variety of terrain tomorrow’s stage is expected to be one of the most demanding of this year’s Dakar Rally.

Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Team rider
7th Stage 4

“I’m happy to end this stage with a second consecutive top 10 result. I made a few mistakes in the beginning of the first special and lost some time there. For most of the day I was running close to the top six but ended up claiming seventh overall from my times in both specials. Midway through the second special I saw Toby [Price] had crashed. I stopped to make sure he was ok and a couple of minutes later I was back on my bike. The altitude kind of got into me today and I was suffering from headaches. But it’s the same for everybody I guess. I just have to get used to it. There’s still a long way to go at this race and my plan is to continue taking one step and one stage at a time.”

Hélder Rodrigues – Yamalube Yamaha Official Team rider
9th Stage 4

“We’re slowly but steadily gaining back the time lost during the opening stages. For me it was a disadvantage to start the day way back from the leading group of riders. Everywhere in the special stages there were 20 or more different tracks so I had to remain 100% focused on my road book to avoid making mistakes. Overall, I’m satisfied with my performance today. I feel that the Dakar has now entered its most demanding stages. The last three days have been tough for everybody but there’s still a long way to go. I’m happy with how my WR450F Rally is performing. Despite tough conditions and the high altitude the bike’s top speed is perfect. We will continue pushing hard to get as closer to the top as possible.”

Xavier de Soultrait – Yamaha Viltaïs Experience Michelin FFM rider
2nd Stage 4

“The feeling has been really good today. It was one more exhausting day of racing but I managed to stay away from mistakes and bring my Yamaha home fourth for seventh overall. It was a good stage today, with high speeds and lots of navigation. Everything has been going great so far for us. My bike runs great and I’m able to push whenever I think it’s necessary. During the last two stages I’ve been experiencing some problems with my tracking device that made me lose some precious time. That is also the reason why my name doesn’t appear in the provisional overall results list. We spoke to organisers and they are currently investigating the issue. It’s going to be another tough stage tomorrow and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

José Leloir – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team manager

“It’s been quite an eventful day but we’re happy both Adrien and Xavier are inside the top 10 overall and with a good chance for the top. Our riders were faced with one more gruelling stage today. There were lots of dunes, too many waypoints and some pretty demanding navigation from start to finish. Despite a few mistakes early on Adrien rode a great stage. We’re also positively surprised by Xavier’s performance at this year’s Dakar. Racing a stock WR450F Xavier was fourth again today. Starting from the back of the leading pack Hélder made some passes and gained a few spots in the overall standings. Unfortunately, Rodney and Alessandro won’t be able to continue the race. It’s a harsh blow for the team but we are motivated to keep on fighting for the best. The race still has a long way to go and we will continue giving our all until its end.”

Dakar Rally 2017 – Stage 4 – Provisional Classification
1. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 04:57:22
2. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 05:03:20, 05:58
3. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, 05:05:55, +08:33
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 05:06:44, +09:22
5. Gerard Farres (ESP), KTM, 05:07:46, +10:24
6. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, +05:09:52, +12:30
7. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 05:10:33, +13:11

9. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 05:17:20, +19:58