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Interview: Gerard Farrés: “It takes an incredible amount of speed to beat the factory teams”

  • The Spanish rider reflects on his road to third position in Dakar 2017, his best result in the race and an absolute success for the HIMOINSA Racing Team
  • “In Dakar, regularity is vital, it is won day by day”, commented the Manlleu native.

January 16th, 2017

Buenos Aires (Argentina). Gerard Farrés took home the third position of the Dakar 2017 podium after finishing a flawless race during which he defeated over a dozen factory bikes.

With this podium finish, the HIMOINSA Racing Team harvests its best result in the second year as a team in Dakar, presenting itself as a candidate to be among the favorites in 2018.

Gerard Farrés: third place overall in the motorcycle category.

Question. What was the key to your best result in Dakar so far?

Answer. The biggest thing was sitting in fifth place after finishing the first week, which gave us the opportunity to work towards big objectives. Nevertheless, during the second week we were constantly at risk of everything going south on us. The border between success and failure is incredibly narrow. So, being consistent was the main key towards this result, as well as the crucial teamwork from all my teammates during the whole rally, but especially in these final stages.

  1. How were you able to withstand the pressure in the decisive days?
  2. Ideally, you want to find a point where you are hard on the gas but comfortable and not taking unnecessary risks. Here the main aspect is being competitive, and this means thinking before acting, not racing mindlessly and, above all, racing stage by stage. Knowing that there is a stage every day, and only worrying about the present. In doing so we found a great motivation, because each day was a small but huge reward which enabled us to tackle the next stage with more optimism than pressure. Nevertheless, with the bike we have fighting against the best, required holding an incredible pace, as it was visible in the final stage, for example.
  3. Would you change anything from these two weeks?
  4. There is always room for improvement, and in this race everybody makes mistakes, but our team is excellent at this, because we are constantly learning from each other. However, keeping in mind that this is Dakar and we are spending eight to ten hours on the bike every day for two weeks, the possibility of making mistakes is always there. What matters is that in this team we all work together to avoid them.
  5. What sequels has such a tough Dakar left on you?
  6. In that sense we have also been quite fortunate and we have done things profficiently. I have only had a couple of crashes and they were at very low speeds, which shows that we have raced with a cold head, without surpassing our capabilities but staying in the fight with the best. The only harm for me at the moment is a small infection in my right hand from hitting some plant in the last stage. My hand has swollen quite a bit but it is nothing serious. As for the bike, I have to say that since the second stage, when we had out biggest issue, we have not had any serious troubles and whatever issues we have had (with the navigation devices) we have been able to solve.
  7. How do you recall the moment when you climbed onto the podium?
  8. A. Mainly you feel filled with happiness from having finished the race and being surrounded by your team after going through so much hard work. Then you start thinking how much it took you to make it to where you are, how much I have fought personally and the sacrifices my family has made. Then you really do feel happy. It is a very special feeling.
  9. When will you start thinking about 2018?
  10. I will try to keep it off my mind for at least the next two weeks. It will be hard because we are so driven that we cannot stop thinking about it, but we have to. This race puts you through so much suffering that you need to disconnect for a few days, clear your mind and rest your body. When you recover you are then eager to get started on the preparation for next year.
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