2012 Dakar: Stage 7 Results, Motorcycles
2012 Dakar Rally
The back-and-fourth battle has once again begun between the two men who have won the last six Dakar Rally meets, factory KTM riders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres (three apiece).
The latest win arrived Saturday at Stage Seven from Coma, who gained 2:03 on Despres’ overall lead. The stage took the riders on a 356-mile loop from Copiapo to Copiapo, which included a 260-mile timed special.
Arriving in third after Stage Seven was Husqvarna’s Paulo Gonclaves, who finished 2:49.
Dakar reports that “Cyril Despres kicked off the stage by navigating at the front of the race. Marc Coma locked on to him to post the fastest intermediate times and had already put one hand on the stage win by the middle of the special.
“After the neutralized sector, the Catalan pilot overtook his teammate and started blazing a trail through the dunes. Despres played it safe by matching his rival’s pace and conceded 2:03″ at the finish, but managed to keep his lead in the general classification with a margin of 7:48″
With Despres leading Coma overall by 7:48, the two riders have almost 50 minutes on the nearest competitor, Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues. In fourth overall is Gonclaves, who is 55:33 behind, and in fifth is David Casteu, who is 1:05:38.
As for Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez, the Aprilia rider “produced the most disappointing performance of the day: the local hero started the first Chilean special in the 2012 Dakar with a fall which handicapped him for the rest of the stage. He finished half an hour down on Coma and almost fell out of the Top 10.”
The riders will have their only Rest Day Sunday in 14 stages before the 2012 Dakar Rally restarts on Monday for Stage Eight, which runs from Copiapo to Antofagasta; the route will run 448 miles, with 277 timed.
2012 Dakar Rally: Stage Seven Results, Motorcycles:
2012 Dakar Rally: Overall Results Following Stage Seven: