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Welcome to the Dakar Rally 2012 special newssection. To read an article just click on the specific headline below. All articles are visible for several years and under special subdomain [ COPY & CLICK HERE ] or use the SEARCH.




SA-Dakar Rally: After halfway mark KTM´s Despres and Coma in the lead.






When riders set out at Mar Del Plata on the Atlantic coast of Argentina on January 1 there were 178 in the start list of Dakar 2012. Now after Copiapo, Chile for the one rest day of the 2012 rally after nearly 4500 km the 33rd edition of the world toughest motor sports event it has again evolved into the tale of two riders: Cyril Despres and Marc Coma of the KTM factory team.

French rider Despres is in the overall lead with a cushion of almost eight minutes on teammate Marc Coma of Spain. But that is only half of the story. Third placed Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) of Portugal is almost 50 minutes behind Despres and that will be very difficult to overcome. Both KTM riders are attempting to win their third Dakar title and KTM is looking at a potential eleventh consecutive title.

KTM’s riders have one every edition since 2001, except in 2008 when the rally was cancelled on the eve of departure from Lisbon following security threats in North Africa. KTM also overcame a surprise change of engine size imposed by the rally organizers that reduced allowable engine size down to 450 cc. This was a move that was largely viewed as an effort to break the company’s stranglehold on the bike category.

In 2012, organizers introduced a regulation that a change of engine incurs a penalty of 15 minutes. This raised the issue amongst rally observers as to whether, given the substantial lead by Despres and Coma, whether the factory team would fit new engines to their KTM 450 factory bikes at the half way mark. Team Manager of the KTM Factory Team said on Saturday that this would not happen. "There will be no new engines for Cyril’s and Marc’s bikes in the rest day," he confirmed from the bivouac in Copiapo.

Indeed the factory bikes of the two key KTM riders, and those of their support riders Rubin Faria and Joan Pedrero and the 450 Rally Replica bikes of KTM’s 2012 rookies: Frenchman Johnny Aubert of the Enduro Factory Team; Chris Birch of New Zealand who competes in Extreme Enduro events for KTM; Moh Balooshi, the first Arab rider to contest the Dakar and supported by KTM UAE and Felipe Zanol who challenged Cyril Despres in the 2012 "Dos Sertoes Rally" in Brazil, who is supported by KTM Brazil are all on track to finish the rally.

Looking ahead, riders have another 3,795 km including around 1,500 of timed special stages before they reach the finish in Lima. While they still have much hard territory in Chile to negotiate, they will break new ground on January 11 when they enter the coastal desert of Peru, the third country to be integrated into the South American Dakar.

It is clear that the focus will be on Despres and Coma in the coming days and the race to the finish line has a lot at stake for both riders. Despres, with two stage wins to his credit so far will be doing what he can to retain his lead. Coma, who has won three stages, will be doing whatever is needed to erode that same lead.

As Stage Seven indicated, the two riders are so equally matched that they can finish a 420 km timed special no less than two minutes apart. On the other hand, both riders have had the bitter experience in past African Dakar Rallies of seemingly having victory in their hands in the finals stages, only to see it disappear and go to their rival. The Dakar 2012 is still very much open.

Cyril Despres was relaxed going into the second half of Dakar 2012: "Now we are at the bivouac where we will stay for tomorrow’s rest day. The idea is to take it easy and recharge your batteries ready for the second week of racing. It will also be a chance for me to go through my bags, sort out my stuff, talk to my team. If everything goes according to plan I might even squeeze in a siesta."

Marc Coma at the half way mark was still positive about his chances to make up the deficit. "We arrive at the halfway point with options, nearly eight minutes behind Cyril (Despres), a difference that is not impossible to recover. It's true that it will be difficult, but considering how many kilometers are left, seeing the race left, I am an optimist and today's stage (Stage Seven) helped me a lot psychologically".

2012/01/09 | 12:56 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/KTM











SA-Dakar 2012: Robby Gordon loses Dakar excluding appeal and 5th place. | 10.04.2012 16:11 |




SA-Dakar 2012: Imperial Toyota South Africa team now officially 3rd & 10th. | 10.04.2012 15:13 |




SA-Dakar 2012: New rally-book about the Dakar "Tales From The Bivouac" | 29.03.2012 20:51 |




Dakar Rally 2013: Hungarian Opel Team - typical semi-team rallystory | 05.02.2012 01:04 |




SA-Dakar Rally: OSCar eO becomes the first electric vehicle to finish Dakar. | 29.01.2012 22:56 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Recap - Robby Gordon "Ready to start talking about 2013". | 22.01.2012 14:36 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Darren Skilton finished with the help of Australia´s Olholm. | 21.01.2012 22:20 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Third successive truck category win for Japanese Hino Trucks. | 19.01.2012 16:43 |




SA-Dakar Rally: The "real" car heroes - Xavier Foj wins T2 production class. | 16.01.2012 21:33 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Rally costs Peru 400 mio USD, country will be start in 2013. | 16.01.2012 18:57 |




SA-Dakar Rally: "Ginny" and "Schnietz" - A story of friendship and respect. | 16.01.2012 18:18 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Mitsubishi result - "Small moments have significant impact". | 16.01.2012 16:09 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Jihong/Min best Nissan & Chinese, Magnaldi 3rd in buggies. | 16.01.2012 14:51 |




SA-Dakar Rally: André Dessoude - "Not a difficult Dakar, but a complicated". | 16.01.2012 14:19 |




SA-Dakar Rally: History in Trucks - Iveco first time beat legendary Kamaz. | 15.01.2012 23:39 |




SA-Dakar Rally: "Dakar Dominator" - X-raid with 5 Mini and 3 BMW in Lima. | 15.01.2012 23:00 |




SA-Dakar Rally: First X-raid win - Quandt "Achieved our long-awaited goal". | 15.01.2012 22:38 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Sousa/Garcin in Top 10 - Great Wall "Let´s talk about future". | 15.01.2012 21:59 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Peterhansel, Foj, Chabot and De Rooy winners cars & trucks. | 15.01.2012 20:55 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Aprilia without changing engine - Duclos "Think about 2013". | 15.01.2012 20:37 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Husqvarna Speedbrain Team happy about 6 podium finishes. | 15.01.2012 20:19 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Kinigadner "Despres/Coma battle one of tightest in history". | 15.01.2012 20:05 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Cyril Despres 4th Dakar title ever, 11th for KTM from Austria. | 15.01.2012 19:03 |




SA-Dakar Rally RESULTS TRUCKS: Stage and Overall results SS14 - F I N A L | 15.01.2012 18:18 |




SA-Dakar Rally RESULTS CARS: Stage and Overall results SS14 - F I N A L | 15.01.2012 18:16 |




SA-Dakar Rally RESULTS BIKES: Stage and Overall results SS14 - F I N A L | 15.01.2012 17:32 |




SA-Dakar Rally TICKER: Dakar reaches Lima City - De Rooy winner in trucks. | 15.01.2012 16:32 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Third at first Dakar Rally - Toyota makes motorsport history. | 15.01.2012 16:17 |




SA-Dakar Rally TICKER: Peterhansel, Roma and De Villiers the car winners. | 15.01.2012 15:17 |




SA-Dakar Rally TICKER: That´s it for Bikes - Coma penalty, Despres winner. | 15.01.2012 15:07 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Ten Brinke/Baumel best Mitsubishi crew in 2012 and Top 10. | 15.01.2012 13:54 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Dessoude´s Zhou Jihong / Liao Min best Nissan after SS 13. | 15.01.2012 13:10 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Hino Trucks to achieve goal of winning "Under 10-litre class". | 15.01.2012 12:46 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Sensational 3rd place for Toyota - only 29 kms to finish line. | 15.01.2012 12:03 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Carlos Sousa and Great Wall gets back the 7th place overall. | 14.01.2012 22:46 |




SA-Dakar Rally: X-raid Peterhansel and Iveco De Rooy on the edge of glory. | 14.01.2012 21:58 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Aprilia´s Alain Duclos last factory-rider without engine change. | 14.01.2012 21:24 |




SA-Dakar Rally TICKER: Peterhansel wins in cars, Karginov-Kamaz in Trucks. | 14.01.2012 20:28 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Leader Cyril Despres "SS 13 was psychologically very tough". | 14.01.2012 19:59 |




SA-Dakar Rally: Speedbrain - "The final demanding test of this year´s race". | 14.01.2012 19:35 |




















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