Dakar Rally 2007 Stage 14: January 20th, Tambacounda - Dakar
Liaison : 124 km - Special : 225 km - Liaison : 227 km
Total : 576 km.
SEVEN TEAM HONDA EUROPE RIDERS REACH DAKAR
All Team Honda Europe were able to be at the arrival party at the Meridien, the nerve centre of the 2007 Dakar Rally, because the seven survivors of the treacherous route, the most difficult in the world, are in Dakar.
Sadly, 15km from the finish of the liaison section into Dakar, Éric Aubijoux, friend of Thierry Bethys and Grégoire Blondel died of a heart attack. The 42-year-old, from Charente, was taking part in his sixth Dakar Rally.
All members of Team Honda Europe join Thierry Bethys and Grégoire Blondel by offering their sincerest condolences to Eric’s family and friends.
THIERRY BETHYS (FRANCE) N°85 : « It was my friend. I have known him for a long time… We were many bikes together on the stage and it was hard in the sand… He was so kind… a friend of the whole world. It is a real tragedy. »
GREGOIRE BLONDEL (FRANCE) N°83 : The teammate of Thierry Bethys crashed on the stage and damaged his radiator but he is able to repair and reach Dakar.
HENK KNUIMAN (BELGIUM) N°11 : « It was very difficult in the dust today, impossible to overtake without taking considerable risks. I was also lost for a time because the navigation was difficult. »
PAULO CONCALVEZ (PORTUGAL) N°33 : « It was difficult because there was no wind and the dust just hung in the air. At 120km I had to stop to adjust the aerial but it was just impossible to overtake. »
EVERT KROON (HOLLAND) N° 208 : « It was hard and I am happy to be in Dakar. Teus, Thomas and me are all heart with Thierry. »
TEUS VISSER (HOLLAND) N°82 : « The dust was worse than the other days because there was not much wind. But we are finally in Dakar ! »
THOMAS DE BOIS (HOLLAND) N°173 : « Dakar, finally ! We still have a special stage tomorrow but it was really hard to ride all the time in the dust. »
450CC CLASSIFICATION ON THE STAGE (PROVISIONAL)
1. GONCALVEZ (POR) HONDA 2h49’13
2. Marchini (Yamaha) 2h51’27
3. Algay (Yamaha) 2h54’51
8. KNUIMAN (HOL) HONDA 2h57’14
10. BETHYS (FRA) HONDA 3h00’40
16. VISSER (NL) HONDA 3h07’24
41. DE BOIS (NL) HONDA 3h50’04
44. KROON (NL) HONDA 3h53’19
58. BLONDEL (FR) HONDA 4h35’24
OVERALL 450CC CLASSIFICATION (PROVISIONAL)
1. Rodrigues (Por) Yamaha 53h58’27
2. Marchini (Yamaha) 54h26’39
3. BETHYS (FRA) HONDA 54h53’59
4. KNUIMAN (HOL) HONDA 56h04’15
11. GONCALVEZ (POR) HONDA 60h46’13
32. BLONDEL (FR) HONDA 74h41’45
42. KROON (NL) HONDA 81h15’36
45. VISSER (NL) HONDA 83h20’19
48. DE BOIS (NL) HONDA 84h17’37