|Dakar 2010: "A dream came true" for Italian Aprilia Moto-Team.|
Last night, tension was so high that López couldn´t even sleep, and the mechanics controlled the Aprilia RXV 4.5 in the detail. As we know, the Dakar might reserve surprises on the last stage, but not this time. Francisco López is absolute 3rd in the Dakar rally, his best result ever, with a new bike and a new team that participated in the race for its very first time. It was not an easy way, the South American Dakar has been incredible, exhausting for men and means, but the strength and stubbornness of the Team Giofil Aprilia Racing has accomplished an incredible and unexpected result.
The Aprilia RXV 4.5 has proved being extremely competitive and reliable and after the fuel problems for the first two stages and the breaking of the chain in the seventh stage, but the strong Chilean rider fought for the victory.
For the last special of this 32nd Dakar, López and the team agreed not to take any risk: in a fast stage of 202 km the threat of ruining mousse and tires are high. It was though decided that it was better a 3rd safe place than a possible 2nd full of unknowns. Perhaps no bike in the Dakar´s history arrived so far in its first participation and "Chaleco" was the perfect interpreter of Aprilia´s potential.
A successful completed by the great race of the two Italian riders of the Team Giofil, Paolo Ceci and Alex Zanotti, both for their first Dakar. But not enough, the man from Modena and San Marino´s rider are respectively 1st and 2nd in the 450 class, and 14th and 18th in the overall standings, and they are now ready to celebrate their great success with Aprilia in Buenos Aires.
The only regret is for Gerard Farrés: the strong Spanish rider could have achieved an excellent team work, but a technical problem that cannot be resolved in terrain didn´t allowed him to continue his valuable work of "water carrier" for López. However, Farrés supported "Chaleco" during the whole race.
Tomorrow at La Rural, Buenos Aires, the final parade and the podium of this unforgettable Dakar for Aprilia and the Team Giofil will be carried out. But this finish line is not the end of the race; it is only a new beginning for Aprilia in rally raid.
Francisco Lopez: "It is amazing, I never thought of arriving so high. This is a dream come true, a dreamed about it for years. During the first stages it seemed to be difficult, but then things went better and better. Without the fuel and chain problems who know what would have happened, but the Dakar is a long and difficult race and these are things that must be foreseen. It is impossible to pass two weeks without the slightest problem. My Aprilia was exceptional and all the team did a great job to put myself in the best conditions. For a new bike and a team that is just starting, I could not ask for more. The most difficult time of this Dakar was the seventh stage, when I broke the chain, the most beautiful, besides being on the podium, was when I won the stage in Chile, in my country. Now is all about working immediately to continue the development of the bike and be more competitive, in order to go out for a victory in the next Dakar."
Paolo Ceci: "I am so happy! Crossing the finish line of my first Dakar is, among a thousand daily problems, an enormous joy, it´s too hard to describe it, I can´t believe it yet. This race was incredible, tougher than I expected. Talking to other riders, they confirmed that you need to do the Dakar about five times to do well in the rankings. There is a long way to go, but for the beginning it´s perfect."
Alex Zanotti: "My race started in ascent, but it continued the other way around, but I arrived to the end. Yesterday evening, people told me that in my condition, usually I would not have finished, but I decided to change from strategy and go always 80%. My shoulder came out twice, and other physical problems didn´t make it easy either, so satisfaction in this moment is even greater."
Filippo Assirelli (Team Manager): "In fact, I don´t know what to say, but I see a reward for the tremendous work of these months and satisfaction is priceless. Absolute third, first and second in the 450 class, three bikes out of four arrived to the finish, nobody would have bet on a result like that, even if I did believe on us myself. Chaleco has also won three stages, only Coma in this Dakar won more than him. The potential of the bike is great, given that we are just at the beginning of the development, and now we must begin work immediately, in order to apply what we have learned in this tough Dakar."
2010/01/17 | 23:26 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Aprilia/E.Bauer