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Dakar Rally 2014: Interview with French Cyril Despres - "It could go well".




As part of a completely reshuffled panorama in the bikes category, the actual Dakar winner in the bikes Cyril Despres will be at the start line in the Dakar on a Yamaha, after ten years and five wins with KTM. With just two months to go, the French rider gives us his impressions.

MR:: Cyril Despres, this is a decisive season in your career, since you have drawn your brilliant adventure with KTM to a close and have now joined Yamaha. Did you need this change to keep you motivated?

Cyril Despres: "If what I wanted was simplicity I would have stayed at KTM. It's a good idea to change teams after a while, if you stay too long in one place you run the risk of getting stuck in a rut. Quite simply, I wanted to try my luck somewhere else. When I went to visit Yamaha in Paris something just clicked.

There are photos of the early days of the Dakar all over the place, you can feel the spirit of Jean-Claude Olivier or Stéphane Peterhansel; the place breathes and exudes the rally-raid atmosphere, and I realised straight away that I would be surrounded by people with the same passion I have for the Dakar. Right now, there is only one thing that really interests me: to see if I still win the race after changing bikes."

MR:: You have prepared a rather lighter competition programme for this season. Is it sufficient to aim for victory with a new bike?

Cyril Despres: "As a competitor I like to pay attention to detail, and I would always prefer to feel more confident about my chances in the Dakar, I will never have too much of it. At the same time, I know that this approach suits me, and it works. We have done a lot of testing, and if that means I have fewer days of competition with the Yamaha, well, that’s fine. The real test will come in January."

MR:: A sixth win, equalling the record of Stéphane Peterhansel, that’s a really exciting challenge…

Cyril Despres: "You have to stay calm, it’s difficult to venture anything, and everything is new. Basically, I don’t want to disappoint myself or other people. I think it could go well, though, and if I could do it the first time out … that would really be fun!"

MR:: After your first contact with the Yamaha, do you feel it can rival the KTMs?

Cyril Despres: "The problem is that all my rivals have developed a new bike this year, so I really don’t know enough to express an opinion at this stage. Anyway, it’s a very powerful bike that showed its performance in the first stages of the last Dakar. Of the changes that I have experienced, its acceleration is very linear. It is also smaller and more compact, which makes it very pleasant to ride."

MR:: Your competitors have evolved: Apart from the duel you usually have with Marc Coma, some outsiders seem to be really strong aspirants to the title …

Cyril Despres: "Yes, but if you compare it with cycling, for example, some riders just focus on one race … it could be the Tour de France, the World Championship, or perhaps the Paris-Roubaix. That is my case with the Dakar. Basically, not many of us have proved that we can compete in this event on a regular basis, year after year. I think that the key to my success has been experience. I’m not competing against the others: they make progress and they are quick, but they don't frighten me."

2013/11/18 | 17:53 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO











Dakar Rally 2014: Nani Roma und Michel Périn win the legendary desert rally. | 20.01.2014 20:07 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Xavier Foj and Toyota achieves third place in T2 cars class. | 20.01.2014 19:56 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Honda Team HRC satisfied with 2014, begins work for 2015. | 20.01.2014 19:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: GWM/Haval achieves another Top 10 position in Dakar 2014. | 20.01.2014 19:38 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Solid finish for Lucio Alvarez and new Ford Racing team. | 20.01.2014 19:32 |




Dakar Rally 2014: De Villiers and Dabrowski as 4th and 7th best Toyotas. | 19.01.2014 21:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: 2013 winner Cyril Despres finishing fourth after tough race. | 19.01.2014 21:23 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot in fast finish in the Dakar. | 19.01.2014 21:14 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team El Martillo Racing finished in their first Dakar Rally. | 19.01.2014 20:15 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Riwald Dakar Team crosses the finish line in Valparaiso. | 19.01.2014 20:01 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:45 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:43 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:42 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Orlando Terranova celebrates his first stage win in SS11. | 17.01.2014 02:51 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Strong show from Argentine Alvarez in arid Atacama in SS11. | 17.01.2014 02:21 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team HRC riders overcome long stage and maintain posis. | 17.01.2014 01:54 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Third stage victory for overall bikes leader Marc Coma. | 17.01.2014 01:47 |




Dakar Rally 2014: No surprises for Speedbrain team in Atacama stage 11. | 17.01.2014 01:41 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 17.01.2014 01:36 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 17.01.2014 00:31 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 16.01.2014 23:25 |




Dakar Rally 2014: The tenth stage brought gold - Stagewin for Czech Loprais. | 16.01.2014 22:48 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team Dessoude with the last two cars reached the finish SS10. | 16.01.2014 22:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Ford´s Alvarez - "We handled it well and did a good job". | 16.01.2014 22:42 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Carlos Sainz "I'm really disappointed to be out of the race". | 16.01.2014 21:17 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Robby Gordon and his HST Gordini 22nd after Stage 10. | 16.01.2014 20:32 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Great Wall Haval and Lavieille moves up after Stage 10. | 16.01.2014 20:27 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Iveco-pilot Gerard de Rooy still on the lead after SS10. | 16.01.2014 20:00 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Mini´s are leading 1-2-3, second stagewin for Al Attiyah. | 16.01.2014 01:55 |




Dakar Rally 2014 BLOG: Dongfeng Challenge heading forward to Antofagasta. | 16.01.2014 01:54 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS10 Wednesday | 16.01.2014 00:29 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Spectacular double for Honda - Barreda still second overall. | 15.01.2014 23:40 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Bad luck for Speedbrain - Israel Esquerre out after crash. | 15.01.2014 23:37 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Coma continues to lead the Dakar after SS10 Antofagasta. | 15.01.2014 22:26 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS10 on Wednesday | 15.01.2014 21:52 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS10 on Wednesday | 15.01.2014 21:23 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 15.01.2014 01:16 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 14.01.2014 23:14 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 14.01.2014 22:33 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Gerard De Rooy 2nd in SS08 with only a little loss of time. | 14.01.2014 22:31 |




















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