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Dakar 1997: Peterhansel is from another planet

It was an issue still marred by bereavement: Jean-Pierre Leduc dies (is the 33rd victim from 1979) the 5 January, the second day of competition at a special very hard. The French rider, 45 years, a wife and a son, He fell into a deep pit at km 247 the special and its balise (the device reports a problem and that automatically excludes from the race) was immediately turned on by the crew of a truck arrived at the accident site. The rescue helicopter landed after 13 minutes but could only find the death of French rider resuscitation.

The French Castera on Yamaha was ranked 3rd

The French Castera on Yamaha was ranked 3rd

Despite this year's Edition has had a respectable medical deployment: 35 doctors, 2 helicopters for resuscitation and first aid, a field hospital and one plane for each bivouac. The Dakar this year had to fight against the audience that crowded the route. So in the fourth stage from Nara in Toumbouctou, a path full of sand finissma constituting the fesh-fesh, the special between 2° and 3° check cleared for security reasons. And then there was the change of plans on course with the modified path because of rebel Tuareg guerrilla acts that right in the area of the plateau of the Air have their stronghold. It's been so deleted the “Special” in Niger and the last stretch up to Agadez was done on the asphalt. The “"promise from Auriol, the return to the intuition and the inherent ability of orientation in the desert, in search of the right track in the dunes, was verified by GPS,

II Global Position System, the computer that monitors the Earth coordinates for setting the course of competitors. The actual race

Spanish Gallardo led the Cagiva to 2° place

Spanish Gallardo led the Cagiva to 2° place

own had no history to the first position. Only the certainty of the supremacy of Stéphane Peterhansel and his Yamaha XTZ 850 TRX vs. KTM Squadron and the inclusion of Cagiva Elefant (as private) Spanish Gallardo. After scratching in-the first 4 race days pushing like crazy, the Frenchman has relaxed going literally walking around the rest of the Dakar. At the end of the race he has accumulated more than 2 hours and 30 minutes ahead. A show of force with its bravura (and his 5th win African Marathon) and the reliability of its twin-cylinder Yamaha, a real "official" bike that is updated every year and that has a rated power of 85 HP, a top speed of 195 km/h and a weight of 210 kg.

Missing Edy Orioli, become a journalist for the occasion in an off road vehicle of the press (has consolidated the contracting with Yamaha France and with KTM, but we will try again next year with the bike) the role of prior guidance of Italian team has gone to Fabrizio Meoni. This year has finally become an "official", and exactly in the KTM team along with Heinz Kinigadner,

The first KTM to finish line is to Lewis, 4th overall

The first KTM to finish line is to Lewis, 4th overall

Thierry Magnaldi and Richard Sainct. But already the day 2 our Tuscan rider flew on one of numerous holes while trying to grab Peterhansel. Result: metacarpal fracture, ligament injury and forced abandonment of the race. Others are not as strong Italian Maletti finishers. Honor in Sanna, a Sardinian determined, hard and proud as his land, and first (22th overall) Trai our drivers.

Taken from an article on Motociclismo


Patrick Faure, My Dakar

Category Malles Bike: i.e., the organization takes a case with your spare parts and, I think, two wheels. You in a field set, lighted, with various services type: gazebo, compressor, idropulitirice, welding machine, mechanics of the organization when available, place for tents, showers ... you have to deal with it to do everything.


Pretty much what in Africa in the years ' 80 and ' 90 was a semi-official pilot treatment. In those years the private started with Backpack, and at most, some spare parts on a truck. The most "rich" had a mechanic along with other pilots and some extra spare.
Then there were ten "officers", but they were on a different planet. I could feel lucky, Thanks to a friend, I had loaded on a truck in the race, a case with oil, filters, inner tubes and a replacement motor. And a bag with some clothes over the ones I was wearing since the verifications in Rouen.

At the second stage in Libya on my friend's truck Stefano Pirola Lissone breaks, decide to save what can be saved on my way home. All I managed to do was deliver the bag with clothes in a car by a French team, a Toyota Team South which remained very private walk two stops after. Just in time to leave the bag at the bivouac, the sleeping bag no, What if they left him in the car ... I came months after home with greetings and gadget South Team.


So at the bivouac of the second leg in Libya, I found myself as I was for days, only boots on the feet, without a drop of oil for motorcycle, without sleeping bag (the tent was not expected), filters or anything for the unexpected. The clothes that I found were the last thing I needed, I had been traveling for years alone without providing anything for me, just for the bike, and see me deliver the bag by two gentlemen of bad luck on 4 wheels, It seemed a tease, but they were so beat up that ringrziai, We spent a fine evening together, We exchanged addresses us by promising a nice car and motorcycle team for the following year (dreams from bonfire under the stars).

At the bivouac of the first stage I couldn't even find my truck, the chaos was total, a storm of wind and rain had reduced the area close to an airport in a quagmire of mud and sand. I remember Montebelli and Mabuya, friends who I sold the bike, maintain their 660 under a makeshift space from flood Yamaha BYRD. I I wandered until dawn trying to lie down on the plastic sheeting of whom had managed to open the curtains below a large gazebo. From there onwards, until my abandonment for breaking change between Keep and Chad, I lived by tricks, to latch around, to sleep wrapped in the tarp by survival curve under trucks.


Read today that you are tired because you're sleeping 3 and a half hours, because "touches" the Malles Bike, It makes me smile.

In the picture, are the year after the second stage in Morocco, Guido right foot still on the engine, the platform remained between Montpellier and Marseille maybe got stuck in the machine of Paul Maurice, a drunk that he cut the road in transfer. I left around the ditch all the tools, the headlights, Hull parts, pigtail, waterproof suit (It was raining there, too ...), the little finger of his right hand and two ribs. See Franco Picco and Edi Orioli help me and, a backslapping telling me "by hold on", He let me continue, always with my cash from an individual to seek a platform compatible to be welded with the brake lever stub that I had left.

I left there too, in Algeria, I arrived in late stage over the departure of the day after, 980 km inside and outside the great Western Erg, the classic stage of pruning that relieved the TSO in view of the entrance in black Africa. From the day of the accident in France I slept (bad) just that first night, the ribs were waking up., for four stages do not I lay ever. At the start of each stage doctors, they knew of the accident, I made a visit to see how I was put, pressure, eyes, reflections and other rubbish that I avoided again, just to put things in motion (lights required for es.).


I went home in motion as in my travels, with Tunis-Genoa, fitter than when I started, with the bike crushed but finally in place and efficient.

In ' 97 I discovered the category wellness Malles Bike. To have my mechanic still don't speak. Find me all those services at, It seemed another world, clean the filter with compressed air is important stuff, have a mechanic and a tire shop that sooner or later you over your wheel or spare part (only for owners of ktm at time) sgravava me a lot of hours of work that I could take on the road book and make that beautiful work with colored highlighters that you often see in today's pictures. Always sleeping cheap anyway.

I dropped out of the race between Mali and Senegal before hurt seriously, I took too many risks to keep going at all costs, We left from Dakar and the heat was too. Well for me that I was the hair of lucidity to decide to stop. Bad went to a French colleague who saw him on the ground with the cars around on a red track with ruts funds as the whole wheel. At the bivouac you knew was dead and I was impressed, perhaps too, or fortunately.


FL-1997Even today this Dakar us stories and characters to the limit of endurance, I like less than the Paris-Dakar, but it is still a good race. Pity about all that "civilization" that I see around the pilots, too many people, too many services, too all (at the bivouac turn even of fine ladies ...).

Africa and the Sahara are unique, Luckily I tried.


Reiko Yamamura – Dakar 1997