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Dakar 2007: Honda Press Release 18Jan

  Posted at 11:27:27 AM
  File under  Dakar Race Honda
  Author: Honda Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar Rally 2007 Stage 12: January 18th, Ayoun El Atrous - Kayes

Liaison : 110 km - Special : 257 km - Liaison : 117 km
Total : 484 km.


Yesterday, the riders arrived in convoy to Ayoun El Atrous on a 250km liaison section. Today, the Dakar entered Black Africa and, if the tracks were always sandy, riders also had to pay attention to animals which crossed the tracks and large numbers of people. The navigation was not clear and it caused quite a few riders to get lost.


Paulo Conçalvez rode a superb special stage and gained the best time in the 450cc category and the second in the overall. It was quite a feat !

Henk Knuiman finished fourth in 450cc, while Thierry Bethys was fifth.

(PORTUGAL) N°33 : « Today, many riders were lost, but I quickly found the correct track. After that, I rode well at a better pace and I was really pleased. The second place is very important for my Honda Repsol team because we have worked hard and I think that we deserve this position. Now, we must continue the work to arrive in Dakar with the best result possible. This second place gave me real pleasure because I began the Dakar with the ‘flu and then I broke my chain tensioner on the Marathon stage… The wheel has turned… »

(FRANCE) N°85 : « At the start I rode well. Then I saw Despres and Coma arrive behind me… They were lost, So they attacked from behind and we rejoined Conçalvez and the other riders. We were about 15 riders and no-one wanted to lead when we arrived at PC2, the bike refuelling, it was like a motocross. After that I left cautiously. I looked around a little and I lost 10 minutes with four or five other riders. I was the first to find the good track but the riders at the front were faster. It was the dust that makes the piste tricky and the navigation more difficult. »

(BELGIUM) N°11 : « The navigation was difficult but I believe that many of the riders cut. The track was also difficult because the terrain was hard with soft sand on the surface that made it slippery. I had a problem to hold the bike because of my thumb, which is painful, but I am happy ! »

(FRANCE) N°83 : « It was a beautiful navigational special stage on twisty tracks in the middle of the trees. I started well and I was really pleased until I had to turn back on the stage and try and find a waypoint that I had overlooked. »

(HOLLAND) N° 208 : « I rode carefully, without problems. I got lost on two occasions and I had to ride for more than 10km extra in the special, but nothing too dramatic. It was a nice stage. »

(HOLLAND) N°82 : « Like my friends, I am happy to be in Mali and to arrive in Kayes. The navigation on the special was difficult with many trees and a lot of dust, but we are here ! »

(HOLLAND) N°173 : « It was a nice enduro stage with beautiful tracks winding through the villages. There was a lot of dust, but I am happy to be in Mali, with the people who smile and who are happy to see us ! It is really a special moment to arrive here ! »


2. Planet (FR) KTM  3h32’48
3. Marchini (Yamaha) 3h48’56
4. KNUIMAN (HOL) HONDA 3h50’10
5. BETHYS (FRA) HONDA 3h50’39
40. BLONDEL (FR) HONDA 5h10’40
43. KROON (NL) HONDA 5h23’17
44. VISSER (NL) HONDA 5h25’14
45.DE BOIS (NL) HONDA 5h25’40


1. Rodrigues (Por) Yamaha 47h44’10
2. Marchini (Yamaha) 48h23’51
3. BETHYS (FRA) HONDA 48h40’40
4. KNUIMAN (HOL) HONDA 49h38’33
11. CONCALVEZ (POR) HONDA 54h22’09
31. BLONDEL (FR) HONDA 66h08’24
42. KROON (NL) HONDA 72h31’55
45. VISSER (NL) HONDA 75h08’45
46. DE BOIS (NL) HONDA 75h23’52

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