Dakar is over! Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Hélder Rodrigues and Yamalube Yamaha Junior Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren completed today’s thirteenth and last stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally. They signed off with a good third and ninth position on this last special aboard their WR450F Rally and reached the final podium in Rosario, where an admiring crowd applauded the award ceremony and results announcement. The Yamaha riders ended up in fifth and sixth position, respectively, in the overall classification of the toughest rally of the world.
Today’s thirteenth and last stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally brought the competitors from Villa Carlos Paz’ bivouac to Rosario’s podium through a 699 kilometres journey on twisty, undulating routes and faster sandy and rocky sections. The 180-kilometre special of this last Dakar stage was probably the most challenging of the whole competition, with high stakes for the leaders. The battle for the podium was fierce and the front-runners all knew that anything could happen on the Dakar in the home stretch.
The reverse departure order was the main characteristic of today’s stage, making it even more challenging as the last riders of the overall ranking started first and raised much dust on the route, which forced the rider topping the leader board to slow down their pace.
Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Rodrigues, with boosted confidence after his yesterday’s stage win, was fully committed to climbing up one more position in the overall classification today. However, he wasn’t able to attack as much as he would have liked, because of the route conditions; the dust blocked his view and made the special more complicated to handle. Yamaha’s top rider was forced to ride cautiously in order to join Rosario’s podium with his WR450F Rally in good shape and secure a top-5 general ranking. Rodrigues decided to avoid any risks and raced for a big finish. He ended up third of the stage and overall fifth of the Dakar Rally.
Yamaha’s rookie, Adrien Van Beveren, had as main target to get through his first Dakar Rally, but did even better in gaining one more place in the overall classification. He also stole the spotlight from his fellow countryman and Dakar beginner, Antoine Méo; Van Beveren is the first French rider of the 2016 Dakar on the general timesheet. He figures in the top-6 of the competition, in the slot just behind teammate Rodrigues.
In the quad category, the Patronelli supremacy continued. After a year off, Marcos Patronelli, thirty-three years old, offered his third victory on the toughest rally of the world. Winner in 2010 and 2013, the youngest brother did not flinch on this 38th edition and his brother, Alejandro, gave a good performance too, and finished just five minutes behind Marcos, in second overall position. Their closest rival, Brian Baragwanath (also driving a Yamaha Raptor 700) completed the podium but one hour and forty-two minutes behind them on the overall timesheet. Between them, the Patronelli have now accumulated five Dakar titles.
Hélder Rodrigues, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team
3rd, +00:02:37, overall 5th / +00:55:44
“I am very happy to cross the finish line of my tenth Dakar! Today’s reverse departure order made it hard for me to push for a better placement in the overall classification, as the dust thrown up by the first competitors made the stage dangerous. The challenge was more on not to take any risks, in order to cross the timed section finish and complete the liaison section to Rosario’s podium in good shape.This top-5 position is a true satisfaction for me, regarding my bad physical conditions during the first week. It was such a tough Dakar Rally but we did a great job with Yamaha and I think we had a pleasant journey altogether. I want to spare a thought also for my teammates Alessandro Botturi and Xavier De Soultrait, who, unfortunately, have been forced to withdraw from the competition a few days before the arrival; with both of them and Adrien Van Beveren we made a great partnership a shared good moments. Thanks Yamaha!”
Adrien Van Beveren, Yamalube Yamaha Junior Rally Team
5th / +00:14:09, 6th / +01:46:29
“It’s over, I made it! The Dakar is a great adventure! All I wanted, for a first participation, was to complete the distance until the finish line and to sign off from the competition in good shape. Finally I ended up in the overall top-6, just behind my teammate Hélder Rodrigues; we are all very happy with this result. I learned a lot alongside Hélder, who shared his great experience with me and gave me advice daily to better handle this tough competition. I will return to France, boosted by this experience and with a lot of incredible stories to share with my family. I love the rally-raid atmosphere, it is more of a journey than just a competition; I am willing to go further in it. Right now, I already have another challenge waiting for me back in Europe, in ten days, which is the Enduropale du Touquet, on my favorite playground: the sand.”
Alexandre Kowalski, Yamalube Yamaha Junior Rally Teams Director
“A happy ending for Yamaha on this 2016 Dakar Rally. We are really happy with the result today in Rosario, regarding the tough conditions of this year’s competition. Hélder Rodrigues is in the top-5 ranking and Yamaha’s junior Adrien Van Beveren, just behind him, ended up with an impressive sixth overall position for his first Dakar Rally. Our riders did a good job and we are proud of all of them; even Alessandro Botturi and Xavier De Soultrait, who where unlucky in Fiamabala’s dunes. Our brand new WR450F Rally proved to be a strong performing machine for races such as the Dakar and all led us to think that there is great future in rally-raid for Yamaha with this bike. I want to thank the whole Yamaha crew for their hard work: the mechanics gave their all during the project, working closely together and efficiently. We were like a family during those last three weeks of competition and we did a good job.”
Dakar Rally Classification of Stage 13
1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 01:51:27
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 01:53:08, +00:01:41
3.Hélder Rodrigues (PRT), Yamaha, 01:54:04, +00:02:37
4. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 01:55:49, +00:04:22
5. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, 01:57:51, +00:06:24
6. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), KTM, 02:02:19, +00:10:52
7. Ivan Montero Cervantes (ESP), KTM, 02:03:17, +00:11:50
8. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 02:04:10, +00:12:43
9.Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 02:05:36, +00:14:09
10. Mario Patrao (PRT), KTM, 02:06:10, +00:14:43
14. Javier Mauricio Gomez (ARG), Yamaha, 02:06:42, +00:15:15
31. Bruno Da Costa (FRA), Yamaha, 02:13:22, +00:21:55
45. Frans Verhoeven (NLD), Yamaha, 02:22:33, +00:31:06
Dakar Rally General Classification of Event after Leg 13
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 48:09:15
2. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, 48:48:56, +00:39:41
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 48:58:03, +00:48:48
4. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 49:04:02, +00:54:47
5.Hélder Rodrigues (PRT), Yamaha, 49:04:59, +00:55:44
6.Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 49:55:44, +01:46:29
7. Antoine Méo (FRA), KTM, 50:06:02, +01:56:47
8. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), KTM, 50:10:15, +02:01:00
9. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 50:20:42, +02:11:27
10. Armand Monleon (ESP), KTM, 51:37:04, +03:27:49
19. Frans Verhoeven (NLD), Yamaha, 53:28:43, +05:19:28
39. Bruno Da Costa (FRA), Yamaha, 60:01:31, +11:52:16
47. Javier Mauricio Gomez (ARG), Yamaha, 62:09:22, +14:00:07