Four hours in the morning, Goulimine in central Morocco. It's still dark. Thermometer fights to display a positive temperature. Christian Sarron, NewEr sounds down and heads to breakfast. Looking worried, the world champion of the 250 (in '84) grabs the small aluminum tray that contains an egg.
He doesn't have a spoon. With a quick circular glance, measures his entourage and with a smile, swallowed the egg directly. The night before, entering his tent, Christian sighed looking at his unkempt attire: “From the beginning a lot of my principles went to dust.
“Maybe you don't know but my nickname was – Mr. Clean -, are heavily dependent on cleanliness and this lifestyle must be forcibly bowed to the harsh life of the Dakar: “you don't have clean equipment every morning. You can't change even at night. Bags with our belongings are in trucks and they arrive while we are already asleep."
"And then there's not always water. And without water, we don't shower. There's no bed, so we sleep on the floor. And we eat whenever we can. All this greatly reduces our vision of life in the twentieth century when comfort issues are taken for granted."
“This whole story started on 17 September, Philippe Alliot came to me during the Bol d'Or and confessed to me that he wanted to participate in the Dakar on a motorcycle… and he would like me to accompany him. My response was negative categorically. I promised myself I'd come to Dakar in the car… but never in motion."
Philippe, with which I often go out in enduro, had already thought of everything, Dakar goal with a group of friends, Raphael Montrémy, Philippe Bermuda, Pierre Landereau, Thierry Magnaldi and Jacques Laffite. Friends who help each other to go as far as possible. Without worrying about the stopwatch.
Two hours later I had already changed my mind, but I didn't know where I was going to fit. “From the very beginning, the size of the bike surprised me. I didn't think we could ride the dunes on these bikes.. Then I found it difficult to get used to the various navigation tools. I didn't even know where the button was to send the roadbook forward or backward. Driving in the desert is an extremely difficult thing to do: drive by controlling the track, GPS, the master and roadbook is a gymnastics difficult to learn."
"I find that the need for concentration in the desert is even greater than in The Grand Prix. I've always been very focused and that's also what probably allowed me not to fall hard and not get lost."
"At first, with Philippe, I would take the dunes at most 30 km/h for the strong fear they were transmitting to me.”
“But my first big shock remains my first real dune, before Zouerate. I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was really impressive: you climb slowly for tens of meters, then suddenly the bike in front of you disappears and before you realize it comes down headfirst.
My first big fear in the race was when I fell downhill, right in front of a giant Kamaz truck that I Followed. I got stuck under the bike, I really thought I'd pass over! Fortunately he stopped at the top before descending, avoiding ironing."
Christian is a river full in telling his Dakar: “everything takes another dimension. We have a soap to dive for six… At the end of the stage we also share our experiences. For example, desert colors, when it's gray it's hard, but when it's clearer it's soft".
“From Zouerate, the road is still long to Dakar, Senegal's capital is more than ever the target of Gauloises Blondes team drivers. If we arrive then we will decide whether to do it again on a motorcycle or in the car".
Christian Sarron is discovering a new passion with Africa. On the day off mid-race he was still in the race at 34th place in the provisional standings.
Ed. The expert Montremy will come 24th, Landereau 22nd while Bermudes, Magnaldi, Alliot, Laffite and Sarron himself withdrew.
Translated by Moto Revue
Had 14 years when the first rally came in the city where his family had moved 50 years ago, Dakar. French nationality, Erick Farges is already used to the adoption. In 1978 was on Place de la Libération to see the first motorcycles arrive and you are passionate about this rally that would eventually become a myth, the Paris-Dakar. Very soon, in the 1980s, Erick staged his 125, took upon his shoulders a backpack with three bottles filled with gasoline and He left for Mauritania where he wanted to meet the rally and get off with the participants up to Dakar.
"When I left so, alone, I had to find food on the road – Remember – Once I found myself inside the tent of a Mauritanian with all its women and he made me realize that I could drink tea, but then to my health was better run away… Another time instead I came to a hut where there was a woman with children and black slaves. She was very kind to me, and gave me to eat a head of mutton. But the evening her husband arrived with his Sabre and a Kalashnikov and from that moment she didn't look. In ' 91, there was a war between Senegal and Mauritania, and I had to switch from Mali to return home ".
"I can tell many episodes like this, and many more I live; leaving for the adventure I love it ".
And so, every year, Erick Farges found a piece of dream and his friends from the Dakar, because following this way the rally had made many friends among the bike riders.
"The 89 – continues Erick – I was behind Orioli when struck, killing him, a horse. It was on the ground and helped him to his feet and back on his bike. Was very shocked, I followed him up on arrival and every time I fell I helped him. So we became friends, as with The strip contains, Olivier and many more». In 1995 – Go on – the TSO offered two engagements at the Senegalese Ministry of youth and sports, they turned to the moto club of Dakar”.
"So you had a chance to rally (the second pilot was Miki n.d.r. Jovacevic). But I also needed a motorcycle. Some friends they offered me a plane ticket to go all the way to Paris. There I called Jean-Claude Olivier (President of Yamaha-France) to ask for help, and he found the solution: I bought a Tenere standards and Yamaha Motor France he prepared himself for free. Then I was offered spare parts and Olivier gave me even off-road clothing and other necessaries. Saved me, and gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream!”.
A fairy tale that was not a happy ending: Erick failed to arrive in Dakar on motorbikes as he wanted, forced to retire in Ouarzazate for electrical problems. But we will retry: now that the ice is broken, has no plans to stop dreaming.
For the record, Erick took part in the Dakar 1996 always with Yamaha and finally came upon arrival in 48th position!
The Dakar 1995 goes down in history as that of the "hammer borrowed" by Stéphane Peterhansel by the Organization to straighten a dais during the neutralization of a supply. In practice there is no intention to infringe the regulation, but the atmosphere at the stage finish is, as always impregnated with toil and animation.
The pilots are seeking to recover, in that quarter of an hour "stop", maximum energy, and to repair small damages suffered during the first part of the Special. "Peter" has a crooked platform, testimony of a heavy fall. How did he get up there could go, certainly not in maximum comfort, but for a "hard" as the French problem is not serious. The bike is beside the supply truck, and Stèphane borrows a mallet to straighten the footrest and restore it to its original position.
Five hammer blows. The consequences, at the time, He doesn't think anybody.
Then someone suggests the "bias" and, in the evening, Jordi accuses his opponent of having benefited from the strip contains a form of uneven care. After a long discussion, the judge Iberian inflicts a penalty to Peterhansel of 15 minutes, three minutes per shot. The situation is reversed, Stephane passes from chased a pursuer. Tempers are hot, "Peter" bowing to the decision that penalizes ironic smiles. No small.
17th Granada-Dakar you decide between Bakel and Labé, with a stage to make my skin crawl. Peterhansel part heads down, whip his Yamaha twin, a "big beast" powerful but also very heavy, and uses the motorcycle built expressly for the Dakar as a nimble enduro bike, making the most of all its competitive potential and talent, but also of mechanics.
Fly literally on obstacles careless, for once, of the risks to which meets, and maintains the performance always, constantly at maximum. Peterhansel gets solo, He turns, There is no one.
Timescale begins establishing the effectiveness of that attack out of the ordinary, unusual for the "temperate" French champion. "Every passing minute is good, I can wait!” Finally comes the strip contains also, and at that point you might decide that Peterhansel won with 20 minutes of advantage. He slaughtered, disheartened the opponent, and restored the natural order of things. On the shores of Lake Rose, Peterhansel wins his fourth Dakar.
In memory of Peterhansel has no record of the Saffron con, but the memory of a simple and exciting stage in which he attacked as ever in his career. In our memory the memory of an unforgettable, exciting racing Enterprise.
Surely with the simple code of Honda EXP-2 very few will understand what I'm talking about, but this bike was one of the most interesting innovations in the Park competition of Granada Dakar (sigh) of 1995. The motion brought forth by the genius of designers Honda, It was certainly not the first 2s designed for the desert (as we saw with the KTM 495 of 1981) but it was meant to be revolutionary and successful.
In its debut not only saw the beaches of Dakar, but in the Pyrenees,Jean Brucy finished with an excellent fifth place overall, second Honda at the finish (behind Meoni) and first in the category under the 500 CC: a striking result for a prototype born from a new project, and considering also that the bike was only 400 CC, Thumper too!
But why this bike was revolutionary? First the ' Honda EXP-2 has been designed to provide electronic fuel injection, a utopia for the time, and burning then takes place without the use of candle (that is present but is activated only in particularly low schemes), explained in a very simplistic…It was like a diesel!
The use of this technology allowed the engine to release ben 54 horses, just under 20 compared to rivals 800 CC four stroke, but weighed over 100 Kg less than rivals, had significantly lower consumption and intermediate certificates even around 3 l/100 Km in combined and around 6 l/100 Km race.
Still remains a mystery to understand why this bike, the potential enormous, There was no result in competitions to follow.