Race leader Marc Coma was happy to maintain his race lead, though he knows that anything can happen and usually does in the Dakar, and will head into stage nine with his usual determination as the race heads back into the sand dunes.
"We had a good rhythm right from the beginning of the stage today so we were able to keep a good level of concentration." Coma explained. "This was very important over this type of terrain because small mistakes can cost you the race.
"The next part of the rally will be crucial and tomorrow I will be out there with my usual determination because the first dunes of the Atacama Desert are waiting for us," he added.
Australia's three remaining riders once again all finished with solid results on stage nine with Yamaha's Shane Diener again leading the way for the day finishing in 27th position on stage. The KTM mounted pair of Allan Roberts and Troy O'Connor finished 35th and 41st for the stage respectively.
In the overall motorcycles standings after nine stages O'Connor leads the way for the Aussies in 43rd postion 10 hours behind the race leader Coma. Roberts sits just one position further back in 44th, though is some 30 minutes behind O'Connor.
Dieners good results over the past two stages see him continue to slowly reel in the riders in front of him and is steadily progressing towards being back inside the top 50, currently ranked 53rd.
Stage 7 Results Salta to Uyuni :
1. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) 05:23:20 hrs
2. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +00:02:09
3. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:02:15
4. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:06:38
5. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:10:40
6. Michael Metge (FRA, Yamaha) +00:12:58
7. Riaan van Niekerk (ZAF, KTM) +00:13:15
8. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +00:13:23
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:13:29
10. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +00:13:34
27. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +00:35:57
35. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +00:41:33
41. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +00:48:30
Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 7:
1. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) 32:06:19 hrs
2. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +00:38:08
3. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +01:27:22
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +01:49:09
5. Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHL, Speedbrain) +01:52:05
6. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +01:59:07
7. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +02:06:06
8. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +02:12:41
9. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +02:23:58
10. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +02:38:51
43. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +10:00:28
44. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +10:31:23
53. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +12:28:34
Top Image: Cyril Despres raced to his first Dakar stage win for Yamaha overnight
Credit: Yamaha Racing