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Dakar 2009: Motobikes - What they said after the finish.

Marc Coma - the winner in 2006 gave a masterful showing for this first special. Benefiting from his rivals’ problems, he is already the main favorite for overall victory. "The problem with this special was the distance. I paced myself cautiously, waiting for the moment, on an unusual stage. On this route, there was little work to do with the bike, so I tried to ride my race to avoid problems. What has happened to the others could also happen to me. I saw that Despres had problems with his back wheel after filling up at CP2. After that, I tried to open up the gap!"

Cyril Despres: "The inner tube burst because I got a gash in the tire. As a result, there was no point putting a new inner tube in. If the tire is okay, you can do it, but in this case there was no way of repairing it. So there you have it. What I would have liked is to have had a quieter start to the Dakar. But this morning it was freezing and this afternoon it was too hot."

David Casteu: "I’ve ridden a lot of rallies. I don’t think I deserved that. I give my all for a sport that I love… This morning, I set off with a knot in my stomach. You have to be careful, but it’s difficult to keep telling yourself, ‘attack, don’t attack, attack, don’t attack’… I felt that things were going wrong after 100 km. I just wanted to get to the refueling stop.

I should have stopped and as a result, I completely burst my tire. Once I put a new inner tube in, the tire burst it straight away. Fortunately, I’ve got good team-mates behind me, so I was able to repair the wheel. I hope they will be able to finish.

I won the Pharaohs rally with a lead of 1.30. Today, a rally-raid comes down to a matter of minutes. I lost in Tunisia, over 3,000 kilometers, just 40 seconds behind Isidre Esteve. But this time the gap is a matter of several minutes, even an hour! When you have a day like that, you just lose faith. You just lose faith, so I thought of my family, who have made a lot of sacrifices for this".

2009/01/03 | 19:48 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO

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