Arica to Antofagasta
For the third consecutive stage at the 33rd edition of the Dakar Rally, a bike other than a KTM took victory. On Sunday, after a shortened 273-km Stage 7, Chilean rider Francisco "Chaleco" took the victory aboard an Aprilia 450.
Lopez was followed to the line 2:21 seconds later by Cyril Despres aboard the KTM Rally 450; following Despres was the other known KTM rider, Marc Coma.
Francisco Lopez (Aprilia Dakar): "The first part of the stage was very fast, and it took me some time to overtake Svitko. Then, I reached Coma and we continued the road together. He slowed down at the end; there were lots of fesh-fesh. The next stages of the Dakar will be decisive. I’m waiting for the right moment to attack."
This brings Lopez a bit closer, as his is now third in the overall standings, 18:27 seconds behind the leader Marc Coma; Despres trails Coma by 7:24 seconds.
This was Lopez’s fifth stage win in his Dakar career.
On Monday for Stage 8 of Dakar 2011, the riders will travel 268 km of road, and a 508-km timed special as they pummel through the desert from Antofagasta – Copiapo.
2011 Dakar Rally Stage 7 Results
1. Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 3:29.45
2. Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM, at 2:21
3. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, at 3:45
4. Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, at 9:14
5. Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM, 10:44
2011 Dakar Rally Standings after Stage 7
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 26:13:50
2. Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM, at 7:24
3. Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 18:27
4. Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, at 33:04
5. Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM at 40:53