Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven Team rider Frans Verhoeven experienced a difficult fourth day, losing valuable time with a fuel hose issue. The Dutchman was forced to stop and repair his bike on-stage, eventually bringing it home in 53rd place to drop to 27th in the overall standings.
On four wheels Marcos Patronelli continues to dominate the Quad competition, taking top honours in today’s stage to further consolidate his position at the top of the overall standings with a 14 minute advantage over his closest rival. Yamaha’s still make an impressive six out of the top ten quad entrants.
Yamaha Racing France Power Bike Team rider David Frétigné was unfortunately forced to retire from the Dakar today, the French rider failing to make the third checkpoint of the special stage after suffering from a technical issue.
“I strayed a bit off track and, being behind the rest of the bikes at the top of the valley, I was able to take the shortest route and make up a lot of time,” said Olivier Pain. “I've been riding at my pace from the beginning, with no pressure, just to have fun, and doing my best not to fall because the rally's just begun. I don't want to get overexcited about my place in the overall, the rally's still long and my objective is to finish in the Top 10 every day, and I hope to continue doing this well until the end.”
“It really was a difficult stage,” commented Marcos Patronelli, “quite complicated especially when we had the sun in our faces. There was also lots of fesh-fesh. It was difficult. But it was such a beautiful stage; I'd almost like to come back here! The big descent was wonderful, very long. At times the stage was really magnificent. There was a ten-kilometre section alongside the beach, which was nice too. After that, there were lots of little tracks that were very rocky and the quad was bouncing from side to side. In the end, it was a tiring stage and now there is a long way to get to the bivouac”.