Getting their 2019 Dakar Rally campaigns underway today in Peru, all four Yamalube Yamaha Rally riders have completed the event's opening stage without any issues.
Spearheading the team’s efforts in the dunes of South America, Adrien Van Beveren has secured a strong fourth place result on stage one of the rally.
Always a crucial one to shake off pre-race anticipation, the opening stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally took competitors to the first overnight bivouac in the city of Pisco. Enjoying a steady pace from start to finish, Van Beveren posted the fourth best time in the day’s timed special. Less than three minutes behind the provisional overall leader, the Yamalube Yamaha Rally rider is now looking ahead to the coming stages of the rally.
“We got this tricky opening stage out of the way and I’m happy with my result for the day,” said Van Bevern. “Today we got a small taste of what lies ahead. The start of the Dakar is always tricky and there’s some extra pressure. Today I tried to control this pressure and avoid mistakes by any means. I felt good racing in the dunes and my Yamaha was working great. As the race goes on, I want to gradually improve my pace while also staying 100% focused on the tracks and my navigation. Tomorrow we have a long stage and I’m looking forward to going back out there in the dunes.”
The second Yamaha powered rider inside the top 10 on stage one was Xavier de Soultrait. The Yamalube Yamaha Rally team rider enjoyed a mistake free performance on Monday, which put him 10th in the event’s provisional overall standings after stage one. Xavier’s goal for the coming stages is to remain within striking distance to the leaders in the provisional overall results.
Returning to competitive action following his leg injury, Yamalube Yamaha Rally team’s Franco Caimi made a positive start by securing an 18th place result on Monday. Aiming to gradually find a good race pace, the Argentinean hopes to start gradually moving up in the overall standings.
Highly experienced Rodney Faggotter took his time to settle in and wrapped up the opening stage with a 29th place result. Enjoying a good feeling aboard the latest version of the WR450F Rally, the Aussie looks to continue building on his speed during the coming stages.
“Overall, I had a good day. I kept a steady pace from start to finish of the timed special and brought my bike home without any issues,” said Faggotter. “My goal for the start of this race is to be consistent and remain inside the top 30 in the first stages. Today we raced about 70% of dunes and a long, dry and dusty river bed. Especially in that river bed you had to be extra careful to avoid mistakes. So far so good and now my eyes are set on tomorrow’s tough stage.”
With no time to relax, competitors will face one of the rally’s most demanding stages on Tuesday. Taking racers from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona, stage two of the Dakar includes a 342km timed special in a total distance of 553km to be covered by all during the day.
Stage 1 Provisional Classification
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 00:57:36
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 00:59:10, +01:34
3. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 01:00:28, +02:52
4. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 01:00:31, +02:55
5. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 01:00:32, +02:56
6. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 01:00:44, +03:08
10. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 01:03:30, +05:54
18. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 01:05:21, +07:45
29. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 01:09:03, +11:27