2012 Dakar: Stage Two Aprilia Report
2012 Dakar Rally
Stage Two of 2012 Dakar Rally took riders 182 timed miles from fast sands in Santa Rosa to the gray dunes of Nihuil, a product of past-volcanic activity.
The Chilean Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez remained fast through Stage Two (Santa Rosa to San Rafael), finishing fourth behind Joan Barreda (Husqvarna, Third), Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM, second), and Marc Coma (MRW Red Bull AMV KTM, first).
Lopez finished 2:44 behind the three-time Dakar winner Coma, and is now second overall behind Coma, 2:30 behind.
Team Aprilia Dakar says: “The difference with the previous years is that Team Giofil Aprilia Racing has taken off strong from the beginning, with the motivation of not losing too much time before the race arrives to Chile, his home country.”
As for Lopez’s Dakar “water carrier,” Alain Duclos, the French-Malian rider became comfortable on the Aprilia RXV 4.5, and during the special he “took over many experienced riders such us Gonçalves, Viladoms, Pain, Svitko and even Enduro´s World Champion Johnny Aubert.”
Duclos arrived in San Rafael in ninth position, and is now 11th overall.
As for other Aprilia riders, Arnaud Besnier already closed his Dakar adventure after a luxation of the shoulder. The French rider was carried to the bivouac by the medical staff, while Edouard Boulanger finishing the stage 56th.
On Tuesday, the 2012 Dakar will travel north towards San Juan for Stage Three, which includes a total of 348 miles, 167 of which are timed.
Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez (Team Giofil Aprilia Racing RXV) says: “A stage with no problem, very fast in the first part. I felt well, my Aprilia is really fast, and the team has made a great work on the engine. Only at the dunes Marc got me and I took some risks. Then I decided to let go. I know I´m at 85% of my top physical condition, and I prefer to go stage by stage, with no particular goal. For now, things are running great.”
Alain Duclos (Team Giofil Aprilia RXV) says: “I had so much fun today: I was fast in the sinuous part of the track. My Aprilia worked fantastically and also I went full gas on the dunes. For me, this is a new bike so I am learning its secrets day after day, but I can feel it has a very powerful engine. Today I overtook many riders, and that gives me an enormous satisfaction. I am among the first fifteen, and that was my goal for these first stages.”