Two Yamaha Riders Inside The Top Four As Dakar Rally Reaches Its Halfway Point
Following six long and challenging days of racing in South America, the duo of Adrien Van Beveren and Xavier de Soultrait find themselves well-placed inside the top four of the 2018 Dakar Rally's provisional overall standings. With all four Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team riders successfully reaching the Laz Paz bivouac this afternoon, they are now looking forward to tomorrow's Rest Day in the Bolivian capital.
Following a well-calculated plan of attack, Adrien Van Beveren secured a top 10 stage result, to reach the Dakar Rally's halfway point second in the provisional overall standings. Wrapping up a highly successful first week of racing in South America, the WR450F Rally powered rider is now one-minute and 57 seconds behind the provisional overall leader.
Able to show more of his skills today, Xavier de Soultrait enjoyed a great start to the special stage. Making a few crucial passes, the Frenchman lost some time in the deep mud halfway through the stage, eventually crossing the finish line in ninth position. Gradually gaining positions in the overall standings since the first stages of this year's Dakar, Xavier is now fourth in the overall and within striking distance of the leading trio.
Enjoying yet another steady performance, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team's Rodney Faggotter remains inside the top 20 in the provisional overall standings. Reaching the La Paz bivouac without any issue, the Aussie is now 18th in the provisional overall.
Following yesterday's issues, Franco Caimi was back in the game today. Wrapping up stage five with a 21st place result, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rookie is moving up the overall standings.
Yamaha continues to dominate the Quad class of the 2018 Dakar Rally. With Ignacio Casale retaining the lead in the class' provisional overall standings, there are nine Yamaha powered riders inside the top 10.
The 2018 Dakar Rally's Rest Day tomorrow will give Yamaha Racing riders the chance to get some well-deserved rest ahead of the second week of competition. With eight more stages yet to be contested, week two of the event is shaping up to be equally or even more demanding than the first one.
Adrien Van Beveren - Yamalube Yamaha Official Team #4
10th Stage 6 / 2nd Overall
"It was a very long day but we managed to reach the La Paz bivouac without any problem. It was raining for the most part of the day and in the liaison section it was really, really cold. The timed special was quite fast, without any technical difficulties. The goal was not to make any navigational mistakes and reach the finish with a good overall time. I am happy I made it happen and now we are here in the La Paz bivouac. So far everything is going well and I'm happy I got to the rest day in second overall. The gap to the leader is really small and with one more full week of racing, anything can happen."
Xavier de Soultrait - Yamalube Yamaha Official Team #23
9th Stage 6 / 4th Overall
"The day was shortened due to bad weather so we only raced a short timed special. Conditions were totally different today. There were parts with a lot of mud in the special stage. I attacked from the start and managed to gain some time to the leaders in the first checkpoint. Then I caught Adrien and as soon as I passed him I got a message on my GPS to slow down and ride cautiously as there had been some incident in front. As I slowed down my bike got stuck in the mud and I lost some time to get going again. Apart from this minor issue I had a good day and I'm happy I climbed to fourth in the overall.
Rodney Faggotter - Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team #44
27th Stage 6 / 18th Overall
"It was a pretty long, wet and cold day today so it felt like a big relief to reach the La Paz bivouac without any issues. We got off to a very early start in the morning and rode all the way down to the Bolivian borders. I got through the day pretty all-right. To be honest it was hard to enjoy such a day, especially if you're all wet and it's hard to see. This is the Dakar and we know how to deal with such long days. I had no crashes today, my bike is in good shape so for me it all goes to plan so far."
Franco Caimi - Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team #7
21st Stage 6 / 35th Overall
"I am happy to be here and still in the race, to be honest. Following my crash and all the problems that I had with my navigation instruments yesterday, I had to give my best to bring my bike home. But today was another day and I tried to make the best out of it. It was a wet day, totally different to what we had so far. The race goes on and we have eight more stages to go. My goal is to keep pushing for some good stage results to reach the finish in the best possible position overall."
Dakar Rally 2018 - Stage 6 - Provisional Classification
1. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 01:54:10
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 01:54:40, +00:30
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 01:54:40, +00:30
4. Martin Duplessis (ARG), Honda, 01:55:23, +01:13
5. Dani Oliveras (ESP), KTM, 01:56:05, +01:55
6. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 01:56:10, +02:00
9. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 01:57:22, +03:12
10. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 01:57:37, +03:27
21. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 02:01:02, +06:52
27. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 02:03:41, +09:31
48. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 02:16:12, +22:02
Dakar Rally 2018 - Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 6]
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 16:33:20
2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 16:35:17, +01:57
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 16:36:10, +02:50
4. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 16:42:44, +09:24
5. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 16:42:53, +09:33
6. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 16:42:59, +09:39
18. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 17:38:05, +01:04:45
25. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 18:02:04, +01:28:44
35. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 19:31:03, +02:57:43
Race Schedule - Dakar Rally 2018
Stage 1 | Jan 6 | Lima to Pisco | SS: 31km | Total: 272km
Stage 2 | Jan 7 | Pisco to Pisco | SS: 267km | Total: 278km
Stage 3 | Jan 8 | Pisco to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 295km | Total: 501km
Stage 4 | Jan 9 | San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 330km | Total: 444km
Stage 5 | Jan 10 | San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa | SS: 264km | Total: 770km
Stage 6 | Jan 11 | Arequipa to La Paz | SS: 313km | Total: 758km
Rest Day | Jan 12
Stage 7 | Jan 13 | La Paz to Uyuni | SS: 425km | Total: 726km
Stage 8 | Jan 14 | Uyuni to Tupiza | SS: 498km | Total: 584km
Stage 9 | Jan 15 | Tupiza to Salta | SS: 242km | Total: 754km
Stage 10 | Jan 16 | Salta to Belén| SS: 372km | Total: 795km
Stage 11 | Jan 17 | Belén to Fiambalá | SS: 280km | Total: 484km
Stage 12 | Jan 18 | Fiambalá to San Juan | SS: 375km | Total: 722km
Stage 13 | Jan 19 | San Juan to Córdoba | SS: 423km | Total: 904km
Stage 14 | Jan 20 | Córdoba to Córdoba | SS: 119km | Total: 284km
You may find all the images from the 2018 Dakar Rally here.