2012 Dakar Rally Video
The final two stages of the 2012 Dakar Rally went to Red Bull KTM’s Cyril Despres, which allowed the French rider to take his fourth title in the “toughest race in the world.”
Despres started fourth in Stage 13 Saturday, which took the motorcycle competitors from Nasca to Pisco 233 miles, with 170 miles timed, allowing him to put much pressure on the man who opened the stage – the Frenchman’s rival and teammate, Marc Coma. And by day’s end, Despres had the win, and Coma had transmission issues on his KTM 450 Rally.
The final stage on Sunday took the riders Pisco to Lima with only an 18-mile special. Due to Coma having a second-engine change, he was penalized. Despres took the victory in Stage 14, and the overall win. Coma would finish second overall, with Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues in third.
Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM 450 Rally) says: “Without doubt this fourth Dakar victory was the hardest – both physically and psychologically. From the very first stage, all the way to the end of the last real stage, Marc (Coma) and I battled it out and mentally that made it particularly exhausting. We are so close in terms of outright speed and navigational ability that the slightest error can allow the other to pull out a decisive lead – there is never a moment to relax. To have such a rivalry doesn’t make either of our lives easy, but it does add to our sport’s excitement and gives our victories greater merit.
“Once again we were both blessed with excellent machinery and a fantastic road book with which to fight our battle, so a very sincere ‘thank you’ to KTM for producing such a great bike and ASO for organising such an excellent event. The last part of the rally in Peru provided some of the best terrain I have ever raced over, the 12th stage in particular left a lasting souvenir. Finally, a big thank you to my team and my sponsors for making this fourth victory possible.”
Attached above are highlights of Stage 13 (below) and 14 (above) from the 2012 Dakar Rally.