Rallye

Dakar Day 3: Cyril Despres back on top as Coma takes a wrong turn

Posted:



KTM factory rider and three-times Dakar Rally winner Cyril Despres of France turned up the heat on Tuesday to take the Stage Three victory in the world's toughest rally and assume overall lead.

In a change of fortune in the KTM factory team, Despres crossed the line 13 minutes ahead of rival and teammate Marc Coma who ran into difficulties in the final stages of the race.

Endurance alone is not sufficient without a little attention to detail. On the Dakar, this point was proved by Cyril Despres, who took command of the general standings and won the day's stage by remaining calm and collected.

In terms of performance, his confrontation with Marc Coma for a long time seemed like a game of ping-pong: advantage to the Frenchman by 20 seconds at CP1, then to the Spaniard by 14 seconds after 117 km. The likelihood of a slender victory for one rider or the other seemed to grow as the stage went on. However, opening the road is never an easy task.

At the junction between the routes dedicated to the bikes/quads and the cars/trucks, after 164 kilometres of racing, Coma made the wrong choice and followed the car/truck route for more than 4 kilometres. Despite his efforts to try and make up for this lost time, his about-turn cost him 13 minutes at the finishing line. On completion of this 27th special stage victory, Cyril Despres now finds himself leading the rally with an advantage of 10'12" over his biggest rival.

Despres said it had still been a complicated stage and he was not happy about the setback of his teammate Coma. "It didn't start well this morning, because when I hit a hole, I ripped off a fingernail on the clutch. 60 km later, my compass repeater stopped.

"We reached the mountains and I wanted to keep the same pace, because I knew that Marc was riding very fast in front of me, but when we got to a stream, I must have slowed the pace when I had to check my GPS. To cap it all, I broke my rear brake on the big climb, so the descent was very tricky, but I made sure I was careful. I couldn't see many tire tracks over the last 50 kilometers so I wasn't sure that Marc was up ahead. In the end, I finished first and I've been told that he chose the wrong track so that's going to be to my advantage. It's good for my position, even if I'm never happy about other people's setbacks."
Cyril Despres took the stage win and moved into the lead on day 3 after team-mate and leader Marc Coma took a wrong turn. Photo: DPPi
"Yesterday was my day, but today definitely wasn't!" Coma lamented.

"After 170 km, there was a different track for the bikes and the cars. I checked the road-book and thought I was on the right track, but then I saw that wasn't the case, because the next note was after 8 km and it wasn't correct, so I turned round! 16 km is a lot! So, after that, I went on the attack to tray and gain back some time, but today was a difficult day, even if the scenery was spectacular... Well, in the end, I've lost 13 minutes. It's a lot, but when you make a mistake, you shouldn't be surprised that the gaps open up. That's racing for you." he concluded.

The brave challengers to Coma and Despres once again had to admit that there is a chasm separating them from the two men. In the end, Frans Verhoeven picked up 2nd place on the day's special. The performance was encouraging for the new Sherco that he is riding, but the Dutchman still came in 8'37" behind Despres, whilst Paulo Gon̤alves took only 2 seconds more.

"I rode really well at the start without taking any risks, taking care to navigate properly and that turned out well, because I finished 2nd behind Cyril so I'm very happy," Verhoeven said. "What's more, I think that a fair few riders missed at least two waypoints, numbers 23 and 24, but I made sure I found them. I'm really pleased, because I proved today that Sherco is capable of a fine performance!"

More importantly, the lesson about being calm and collected, two essential qualities on the Dakar, was a tough one for two contenders to the podium, who will be leaving the rally by the back door; or rather by his assistance truck for Jakub Przygonsky, whose engine blew after 68 km, and by the medical helicopter for Quinn Cody, who broke his collar bone following a spectacular fall after 173 km of the special stage.

KTM's Dakar rookies Johnny Aubert from the KTM Enduro Factory team and Chris Birch of New Zealand who rides in Extreme Enduro events for KTM finish in 24th and 38th position. They are currently 21st and 34th in the overall standings.

Stage Three Results
1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 3:48.38
2, Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands, Sherco, at 8:37
3, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 8:39
4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, 10:03
5, Alain Duclos, France, Aprilia, at 11:02

Overall Results after Stage Three
1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 7 hours 31: 42
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 10 minutes 12 seconds
3, David Casteu, France, Yamaha at 17:16
4, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 17:37
5, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 19:49

Share Article:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Pinterest
Reddit
Email
Print

More News: Latest Headlines

More News: Latest Headlines

MXGP

Mattia Guadagnini Joins The Early Season Injury List

Motocross

Jake Cannon Signs With Factory Honda

MXGP

Liam Everts To Miss MXGP Season Opener

Motocross

Tim Gajser – Motivated for 2024

Dirt Track

Somersby Super TT Meeting Opens NSW Dirt Track Season

Motocross

MXGP Of Patagonia-Argentina Entry List Released

Supercross

A Patient Jett Lawrence Regains AMA Supercross Championship Lead at Glendale

Supercross

Hand Injury Sees Chase Sexton In A Battle To Salvage Points At Glendale

Supercross

Ken Roczen Takes Glendale Supercross Victory While RJ Hampshire Takes 250SX Class Win

EnduroCross

The Billy Bolt Win Streak Continues At SuperEnduro World Championship in Budapest

Trials

Toni Bou Opens The 2024 X-Trial Season With A Dominant Victory

Motocross

Tim Gasjer Fit And On The Hunt For A Sixth World Championship

What's On This Week

Gippsland Region MX - R1
Wonthaggi
Sunday, February 25th, 2024
NZ Motocross Championships - R2
Balclutha
Sunday, February 25th, 2024
FIM Sand Race World Cup - Round 2
Enduro del Verano (ARG)
Sunday, February 25th, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 8
Daytona International Speedway -Daytona Beach, FL
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 7
AT&T Stadium -Arlington, TX
Saturday, February 24th, 2024
FIM SuperEnduro World Championship - R7
GP UK, Newcastle
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024

Featured:

First Look At The All New 2024 Beta 450RX

2024 Yamaha YZ250F Review

Enhance Your Bike’s Protection With Force Accessories Custom Clutch Cover

2023 Sherco 300 SE Factory Ride Review

Michelin StarCross 6 – Inspected

Drink Wirelessly with SoleStream

What's On This Week

Gippsland Region MX - R1
Wonthaggi
Sunday, February 25th, 2024
NZ Motocross Championships - R2
Balclutha
Sunday, February 25th, 2024
FIM Sand Race World Cup - Round 2
Enduro del Verano (ARG)
Sunday, February 25th, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 8
Daytona International Speedway -Daytona Beach, FL
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 7
AT&T Stadium -Arlington, TX
Saturday, February 24th, 2024
FIM SuperEnduro World Championship - R7
GP UK, Newcastle
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024