All set to enter the third and final part of the 2018 Dakar Rally tomorrow, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren has his eyes set on continuing his stellar run of form. Holding on to the provisional overall lead, the WR450F Rally powered rider remains focused on his goal of trying to put his Yamaha on the top step of the podium in this 40th edition of the event.
Following the cancellation of Monday’s special stage, competitors rode the 400km from Tupiza to Salta in groups. Reaching the Salta bivouac early in the afternoon, Yamaha Racing riders had the chance to regroup ahead of the five demanding stages that will conclude this year’s Dakar Rally.
Things could hardly have gone any better for Adrien Van Beveren so far in this year’s Dakar Rally. Finishing outside the top 10 in just one of the eight stages contested so far in South America, Adrien has been holding the provisional overall lead in half of them. Enjoying a great feeling aboard his WR450F Rally, the Frenchman is ready to continue his battle all the way to the finish line in Córdoba.
For Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Rodney Faggotter, the change back to the warmer temperatures and lower altitudes of Argentina will to be closer to what the Aussie racer is used to. Looking to continue his consistent run, Rod is now eyeing a top 20 result at the Dakar.
Forced to sit out the rest of the race following a crash on Sunday’s stage eight, Xavier de Soultrait is receiving medical help in the hospital of La Paz. Xavier is expected to fly back to France tomorrow evening, where he will continue his rehabilitation process.
Enjoying a comfortable lead of one-hour and 45 minutes in the Quad class’ provisional overall, Yamaha powered Ignacio Casale will look to retain his lead in the next stages. Yamaha riders are currently in the first seven spots of the class’ overall rankings.
Tuesday’s stage 10 of the 2018 Dakar Rally will take competitors to the city of Belén. Including a timed special of 373km, it will be a crucial step towards the finish of the rally on Saturday in Córdoba.
Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Team #4
“We arrived in Salta earlier today and got the chance to catch up on some sleep. Everything is going really well for me at the moment. I’m 100% focused on the coming stages of the rally. These next three days will be very crucial. Tomorrow we have a long special stage. It is important to get a good result as on Wednesday we have the first part of the next marathon stage. On Wednesday we will be also be starting after the cars and the tracks will likely be destroyed. So far we had zero issues with the bike. Our mechanics are doing an excellent job and this gives me extra confidence to continue pushing. It is good that we had some time to relax and regroup today and now I am ready to give my best for the rest of the week.”
Rodney Faggotter – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team #44
“Following the cancellation of the special today, we rode in groups on the road. It was about 400km and we reached Salta early in the afternoon. The weather here in Argentina is a bit better and definitely more to my liking. It’s warmer and a bit dryer and that’s good for the coming days. We also got down to lower attitude and this is also a positive thing for the next days of the rally. We had a meeting with our team and made our plans for the rest of the rally. It is unfortunate that we lost Franco and Xavier, but Adrien is doing great so far. As for me, I want to continue my momentum and get back inside the top 20 in the overall. I’m looking forward to the rest of the event.”
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team #44
“I’ve worked really hard to be 100% ready for this Dakar, so it was disappointing to miss the chance to show what I’m capable of. Everything was going well for me and I had a strong and steady run. After the crash the pain was intense and the first few hours, until I reached the hospital in La Paz, seemed endless. My shoulder is ok but I have a side ligament torn in my left knee and a double fracture in my left arm. I got green light from the doctors here so tomorrow evening I am flying back to France to get surgery in my arm. My brother will be joining me here in La Paz soon. Overall, I am proud of the work we’ve all done as a team this year. Adrien is really strong at the moment and I think he deserves to get this win.”
Alexandre Kowalski – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Director
“Our results so far in this Dakar are the best reward for months and years of hard work. Together with our riders, we’ve demonstrated that we have a bike that is capable of winning stages and leading the race, no matter the terrain or the conditions. The new WR450F Rally has more than one-year of development and it was all towards the right direction. It was fast in the sand dunes of Peru, but also really competitive in the mountains and the high altitude of Bolivia. As soon as we learned about the cancellation of today’s special stage, our mechanics started working in the Tupiza bivouac to prepare the bikes for the coming stages. We’ve been getting nothing but positive feedback from our riders in regards to our bikes. There is still some small improvements to make for the future, but overall we are happy to have a bike that’s fast, safe, reliable and ultra-competitive. During the previous two days we were unlucky to lose Franco and then Xavier, but this is an inevitable part of the race. We wish Xavier a speedy recovery and we are looking forward to having him back with us.”
Dakar Rally 2018 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 9]
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 27:22:03
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 27:22:25, +00:22
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 27:28:37, +06:34
4. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 27:29:38, +07:35
5. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 27:30:04, +08:01
6. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 27:31:59, +09:56
22. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 29:41:34, +02:19:31
24. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 29:49:13, +02:27:10
Race Schedule – Dakar Rally 2018
Stage 1 | Jan 6 | Lima to Pisco | SS: 31km | Total: 272km
Stage 2 | Jan 7 | Pisco to Pisco | SS: 267km | Total: 278km
Stage 3 | Jan 8 | Pisco to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 295km | Total: 501km
Stage 4 | Jan 9 | San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 330km | Total: 444km
Stage 5 | Jan 10 | San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa | SS: 264km | Total: 770km
Stage 6 | Jan 11 | Arequipa to La Paz | SS: 313km | Total: 758km
Rest Day | Jan 12
Stage 7 | Jan 13 | La Paz to Uyuni | SS: 425km | Total: 726km
Stage 8 | Jan 14 | Uyuni to Tupiza | SS: 498km | Total: 584km
Stage 9 | Jan 15 | Tupiza to Salta | SS: 242km | Total: 754km
Stage 10 | Jan 16 | Salta to Belén| SS: 372km | Total: 795km
Stage 11 | Jan 17 | Belén to Fiambalá | SS: 280km | Total: 484km
Stage 12 | Jan 18 | Fiambalá to San Juan | SS: 375km | Total: 722km
Stage 13 | Jan 19 | San Juan to Córdoba | SS: 423km | Total: 904km
Stage 14 | Jan 20 | Córdoba to Córdoba | SS: 119km | Total: 284km