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Riders Battle Scorching Heat On Second Day of Dakar 2015

Over the longest special of the rally, 518 kilometres, between Villa Carlos Paz and San Juan, the Yamaha Factory Racing Rally Team Yamalube’s riders were confronted with pretty much every type of going they could expect to find on a Dakar. The wildly varying terrain combined with extremely high temperatures, made the stage very challenging. The heat was so intense that the organisers actually neutralised the special at CP3 for safety reasons, with those stopping there being allowed to continue tomorrow with a fixed time penalty.

Michael Metge was the fastest of the Factory Yamaha’s today, securing 17th place. Alessandro Botturi took 18th and Olivier Pain arrived not long after in 19th. Today’s leading Yamaha was Spanish rider Juan Pedrero Garcia. The Spanish rider battled the heat to finish an impressive 10th.

Despite the heat, it was a good day for the Yamahas in the quad category. Rafał Sonik won the special stage with his Yamaha Raptor 700 as he created an over three-minute lead from Ignacio Casale (3’33), who was closely followed by Sergio Lafuente (4’14). The three Yamaha riders top the general ranking, with fellow Yamaha rider, Sebastian Halpern, less than five minutes behind in fourth place.

Tomorrow’s shorter stage will take the riders to one of the most scenic regions of Argentina: the canyons. However, the riders won’t have much time to enjoy it as this quads and bikes route will also include some gruelling sections.

Oliver Pain

19th / 26’19 / 17th overall

“The organisers promised us a hard day today and they kept their promise! I struggled to find my rhythm early on in the mountains and then managed to pick up the pace a little around the half way point. Towards the end we had 40 kilometres of ‘Le Touquet’, except instead of it being freezing cold it was like riding in an oven! Both mentally and physically it was very tough. It was so hot that I opened by jacket to let some air in, something I hardly ever do. I can’t say I’m really delighted with my result but I’m not surprised either. Although the terrain was varied, there was very little navigation, it was more like a Baja. Good for some of the newcomers but not so good for someone like myself who can make the difference with the road book.”

Michael Metge 

17th / 25’25 / 18th overall

“I was looking forward to today’s special and started very motivated. Straight away I found a good pace and overtook several other riders, at one point getting up to seventh place. Then we got into the fesh-fesh and things got a little more complicated. No doubt about it, it was a very hard special and the high temperatures didn’t make it any easier. Tonight we will need to make sure we recuperate as much as possible and be ready for tomorrow. According to the organisers it’s not going to be as hard tomorrow but if the temperatures stay this high everybody is going to suffer.”

Alessandro Botturi

18th / 26’11 / 19th overall

“A really tough stage today. I was doing OK and then about 40 kilometres from the end I crashed. For maybe five minutes I was pretty disorientated and then I got myself back on the bike and rode very gently to the finish. Fortunately the liaison at the end wasn’t too long as I wasn’t feeling on top form!”

Alexandre Kowalski – Team Director –

“Not an easy day today for our riders with the high temperatures pushing all the competitors to the limit. Over some parts of the special the bike went well but on others, notably in the fesh-fesh, it was harder to exploit it to the fullest and we need to look at the chassis set up this evening to improve the bike’s balance. The important thing is to remember that we are only on the second day of this long rally with a brand new bike and we will continue to work as hard as we have up until now to give the riders the best possible package.”

Juan Pedrero 

10th / 16’45 / 10th overall

“The result is good but it could have been a bit better. From CP3, where they neutralised the special, it was so hot that I had to slow down or risk damaging the bike. It’s not a big deal – maybe I lost five minutes… Apart from that everything is good. The bike is performing well and I’m feeling fit. Tomorrow I should be able to attack hard.”

You can follow Yamaha’s progress in the Dakar Rally HERE .

Dakar Rally 2015 Stage 02: Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan

1. Joan Barreda Bort, ESP (Honda) 5:46:06
2. Paulo Gonçalves, PRT (Honda) 5:52:19
3. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 5:55:22
4. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (KTM) 5:55:26
5. Toby Price, AUS (KTM) 5:55:48
6. Matthias Walkner, AUT (KTM) 5:57:31
7. Pablo Rodrigues, PRT (Honda) 5:57:41
8. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 5:58:38
9. Jeremias Israel Esquerre, CHL (Honda) 6:01:55
10. Juan Pedrero Garcia, ESP (Yamaha) 6:02:51
11. Stefan Svitko, SVK (KTM) 6:04:06
12. Riaan Van Niekerk, ZAF (KTM) 6:07:50
13. Alain Duclos, FRA (Sherco TVS) 6:08:01
14. Pablo Quintanilla, CHL (KTM) 6:08:56
15. David Casteu, FRA (KTM) 6:09:26

17. Michael Metge, FRA (Yamaha) 6:11:31
18. Alessandro Botturi, ITA (Yamaha) 6:12:17
19. Oliver Pain, FRA (Yamaha) 6:12:25

Dakar Rally 2015: Overall Ranking
1. Joan Barreda Bort, ESP (Honda) 7:06:44
2. Paulo Gonçalves, PRT (Honda) 7:11:21
3. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 7:17:21
4. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (KTM) 7:18:08
5. Toby Price, AUS (KTM) 7:18:16
6. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 7:18:47
7. Matthias Walkner, AUT (KTM) 7:19:10
8. Pablo Rodrigues, PRT (Honda 7:20:10
9. Jeremias Israel Esquerre, CHL (Honda) 7:23:08
10. Juan Pedrero Garcia, ESP (Yamaha) 7:26:18
11. Stefan Svitko, SVK (KTM) 7:28:58
12. Alain Duclos, FRA (Sherco TVS) 7:29:06
13. Pablo Quintanilla, CHL (KTM) 7:30:51
14. David Casteu, FRA (KTM) 7:30:59
15. Riaan Van Niekerk, ZAF (KTM) 7:32:41

17. Oliver Pain, FRA (Yamaha) 7:34:56
18. Michael Metge, FRA (Yamaha) 7:36:08
19. Alessandro Botturi, ITA (Yamaha) 7:37:49

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