2016 Dakar Longest Stage; Rodrigues Snatches Victory for Yamaha

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The battle for a top-5 position gets more intense as the Dakar Rally closes to the finish; anything can happen in the last kilometres. Hélder Rodrigues, sixth in the overall classification after yesterday’s eleventh stage, knows it. It was in his reach to climb to fifth today, but the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider did even better, pulling out a stage win. Yamaha’s junior rider, Adrien Van Beveren, followed closely in his teammate’s tracks and delivered an equally impressive performance, finishing in fifth position.

In his quest to gain one seat in the Dakar Rally overall classification, Hélder Rodrigues claimed the stage title of today’s twelfth special of the competition; a title that bodes well one day before the finish in Rosario. The Portuguese rider and his junior teammate had to overcome 931 kilometres of the Dakar Rally’s longest stage, from San Juan to Villa Carlos Paz. Today they rode on semi-mountainous terrain with dense vegetation, on narrow tracks with mud, and under rainfalls.

If the race started with very tiny chrono between the top-10 riders, Rodrigues significantly widened the gap in the last safety passage control, demonstrating his endurance. He stood out as the winner after almost a six-hour race, with a four and a half minutes gap on the second rider. He climbed up one important place in the overall classification; Rodrigues is now only four minutes from the podium. With a good ride tomorrow, he could have the opportunity to make Yamaha shine in Rosario.

Today’s second great performance comes from Adrien Van Beveren, Yamaha’s rookie, who is participating in his first Dakar Rally. Pulled by Hélder Rodrigues’ tempo, he signed off the day with an impressive fifth position on today’s stage. He had a big smile on his face when he joined Villa Carlos Paz’s bivouac, as he looked back to his journey on the Dakar. Humble and calm, the Frenchman will stay focused on the race to cross the finish line of his first Dakar Rally tomorrow. Van Beveren is seventh on the overall Dakar timesheet.

In the quad category, Marcos Patronelli had to fight hard today to bring another stage win to the family. He was very challenged by the other competitors for most of the stage and managed to rise to first only in the last kilometres; Marcos crossed the finish line as the winner, with less than ten seconds on the following rider. Alejandro Patronelli ended up fifth, which does not impact on his overall classification; he is still second, four minutes behind his brother. The Patronelli brothers don’t need to worry tomorrow on their road to Rosario’s podium, as they still have one hour and fifty-two minutes advantage on their closest rivals.

Tomorrow will be the last race day of the 2016 Dakar Rally. The thirteenth stage will cover a 180-kilometre special section and a 519-kilometre liaison, bringing the competitors from Villa Carlos Paz’ bivouac to Rosario’s finish podium, and set the stage to decide this year’s winner. As anything could happen, tomorrow’s special may be one of the most challenging for the leading board, with twisty, undulating routes, faster sandy and rocky sections leading to significant levels of stress.

To track Yamaha’s riders during tomorrow’s thirteenth and last stage, click HERE.

Additionally, you can follow Yamaha’s progress in the Dakar Rally HERE and click HERE for more imagery of Dakar 2016.

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情報提供元 [ Yamaha Racing ]

           

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