|Dakar Rally 2013: Yamaha´s Frans Verhoeven is looking back and forward.|
At the finish of the Dakar Rally 2013 Frans Verhoeven was already looking forward to next year. Even before the podium ceremony he was making his plans. "My physical preparation has been perfect. I hardly even feel the Dakar, except for some bruises. My Yamaha YZ450R has been great as well, as was the team. But there are always some points to improve."
Verhoeven finished the Dakar in ninth position. That was not what he had in mind. Looking back on the more than 8000 kilometers he just covered to reach the podium in Santiago Verhoeven has mixed feelings. "I´m happy the Dakar has finished, but I am not happy with the final result. I think my performance and the performance of the bike have been great."
"Losing time is difficult. You can´t compensate. I have tried as hard as I can, but the others don´t wait for me. And it is not just the day itself on which you lose. It takes a few days to get back in the position that belongs to you. I had to start from behind the next day. Starting from 53th means you have to overtake riders that are not as fast as you are.
"Although it is impossible to say what would have happened without this problems. I also lost some time with a personal mistake in navigation and I crashed into a ravine in the last special. One mistake doesn"t mean you cannot make other mistakes in a different situation. It just happened and I have to settle with that. But look at the results: I have won a stage as well and finished one in second and one in fourth. I have shown what I am capable of. The stage I won was a real difficult one. I am proud of that."
Frans Verhoeven is delighted with his team Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven and with his Yamaha YZ450F Rally. "The bike has performed great and we have learned a lot. Not just about the bike, also for myself. I know what I can improve for a better result. We already have a list of things to look after. One of the things is experience. I need to ride more races to keep up my navigation skills and race rhythm. I have to find the money to be able to ride at least three world championship rounds this year to be in perfect shape for the 2014 Dakar. I´m already looking forward to that."
2013/01/21 | 17:29 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/GRONENDIJK