2013 Dakar Rally – Overall Motorcycle Results
With main rival Marc Coma out of the 2013 Dakar Rally due to injury, the favorite quickly became the Spaniard’s Red Bull KTM teammate, Cyril Despres.
And though the Frenchman KTM 450 Rally rider Despres began the 14-stage event that took riders more than 8,000 kilometers from Lima, Peru, to Santiago, Chile, on a slow note, he eventually gained his rhythm. He would only win one stage (three), but due to finishing in the top positions, he would took the overall lead from stage 10, keeping it until the end.
Despres would take the overall win by 10 minutes and 43 seconds ahead of his “water carrier,” Ruben Faria of Portugal. Taking the final podium position was KTM’s Chaleco Lopez of Chile, who finished 18 minutes and 48 seconds behind Despres.
But it wasn’t only an all-KTM podium; the Austrian manufacturer took the top five finishes, with Slovak rider Ivan Jakes in fourth, and KTM Factory rider Joan Pedrero of Spain in fifth.
This would be KTM’s 12th consecutive Dakar Rally title, and Despres’ fifth (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013).
Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM 450 Rally) says: “I went for it, with all the surprises a Dakar can throw at you. Little navigational mistakes, perhaps fewer than the others, taking care of my motorcycle and being in a good team. In the end, I’ve got a good reason to be very happy. The day when winning the Dakar becomes easy, it won’t be interesting any more. And this day is still far! It’s too long, it’s too tough, it’s too hot.
“It’s too cold. You’ve got to get up early in the morning. You’ve got to find your way out of the maze of dunes in Peru and Chile. You’ve got to tackle the stones and cactuses on the courses near Córdoba. It’s just too tricky for it to be easy to win. And it’s even better when you win a difficult race. I’m always focused on what I have to do. We’re up against a grueling element, the desert. Then there are the stones, the Andes… and we experience them. It’s as real as it gets.”
Ruben Faria (KTM 450 Rally) says: “Yesterday I lost second place and I thought that just being on the podium would be great for me; to be Cyril Despres’ lieutenant. I didn’t believe it could happen that I could finish second. It’s inconceivable.”
Alex Doringer (KTM’s Factory Team Manager) says: “The result is amazing. The whole team did an exceptional job and we have to thank them all. We believed in our bikes and we believed in our riders. All seven of our factory riders finished and to have five KTM riders on the top of the list was a fantastic result.”
KTM says the Dakar 2013 had more than its share of dramatic moments for the KTM Factory team, including the last minute withdrawal just before the race by Despres’ long time teammate and rival Marc Coma. Coma’s injured shoulder, banged up in a crash in the Morocco Rally late last year was still giving him problems and doctors declared he was not fit enough to compete.
Despres also suffered a major setback in the marathon Stages 7-8 during which riders were unable to call upon outside mechanical help from their team. He was put back on track after being offered the engine from KTM supported rider Marek Dabrowski of the Orlen Team and by the collective effort of his fellow KTM riders who banded together to work at night and change out the engine themselves in the riders’ bivouac, KTM says.
As for the Americans, KTM rider Kurt Caselli, who won two stages, finished 31st overall after some complications, 6 hours, 3 minutes and 40 seconds behind Despres. Team HRC Honda’s Johnny Campbell finished 40th, 8 hours, 11 minutes and 40 seconds behind.
2013 Dakar Rally Stage 14 Results (La Serena to Santiago: total distance 630 km, timed special 128 km):
1. Ruben Faria, Portugal KTM 1 hour 43.06
2. Joan Barreda, Spain, Husqvarna at 0.08
3. Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Honda at 0.24
4. Mario Patrao, Portugal, Suzuki at 1.21
5. Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha at 2.14
2013 Dakar Rally Final Results after 14 stages and over 8,000 km from Lima, Peru to Santiago, Chile):
1. Despres KTM – wins fifth Dakar title; twelfth consecutive title for KTM
2. Faria KTM at 10.43
3. Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM at 18.48
4. Jakes, KTM at 23.54
5. Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 55.29
31. Caselli, KTM, USA, at 6:03.40
40. Campbell, Honda, USA, at 8:11.40