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Arrivo_1998

DAKAR 1998 | YAMAHA dominates, but Austria Korps are pressing

PeterhanselAnd’ was the victory race – the number 6 and a record – announced and discounted Stéphane Peterhansel and his Yamaha 850 twin-cylinder. If for the driver French there is the satisfaction of having overtaken Cyril Neveu, standing at 5, for the Japanese company is the number 9. And it will probably be the last since Yamaha has announced its retirement from the “toughest race in the world”.

Leave space for single-cylinder, KTM and BMW, Probably, Honda's return. In fact, the supremacy of this fantastic duo has been very evident since the beginning of the race. Let your spirits in Europe, stages in France and Spain where the approach to Africa was a routine fact rather than a real race, “Peter” has quickly accumulated a considerable advantage, a detachment that he was able to administer with the usual intelligence in the second week.

Only small uncertainties in a triumphant path: some fall, slight technical problems with the fast-moving twin-cylinder Yamaha XTZ 850 Trx; In short, nothing that really could worry this great champion who could, though, no longer lining up at the Dakar with a motorcycle: "If Yamaha leaves – so he said on arrival – abandonment too. I'm too tied to this House to accept another offer. I could only go back to Africa by driving a car.".

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He tried to undermine this overpowering KTM squadron.: a kind of motorized army run by the former pilot Heinz Kinigadner, made up of ten official pilots and a large number of private. The KTM LC4 660 they couldn't withstand the same pace as the Japanese twin-cylinder but they defended themselves very well by winning most of the special tests (12 on 19). On 55 pilots arrived on the beaches of Dakar well 31 they were riding a KTM.

Although Peterhansel was unapproachable – the same men of the Austrian House say so – having placed Fabrizio Meoni behind him, with a not-so-impossible detachment on 18 race days, it was a great performance. The Italian driver was the real opponent of the French: careful in navigation despite the continuous malfunctions of its GPS, a real hard man in enduring his 40 years and then the injury to the left shoulder, able to find the right way in a sandstorm and to be able to get to third and fourth place in the Dakars of '94 and '95.

And even he may no longer be kicking off next year since, despite being a “Official” to all intents and purposes, doesn't have a contract with KTM that protects him for the future. Returning to Italy he found his everyday life and a motorcycle dealership to run. Behind him, always with KTM 660, Andy Haydon, New York an Australian driver definitely used to the big spaces and already at ease at the first Paris-Dakar. And then a South African, Alfie Cox, already a valuable pilot in the enduro. These two pilots, beyond their very good ranking, demonstrate how even novices of the African marathon can assert their skills in off-road driving.

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The lack of real tra traps in navigation has therefore brought out those who really go strong outside the asphalt, that is, enduro pilots. Let us not forget that Peterhansel himself is a protagonist of the World Enduro. Even our “Giò” Hall, several times iridescent in the category, went very strong, turning the race into a very long mule track. He placed 17th due to some road-book reading errors and some Ignition problems in his KTM. He also risked not finishing the race alone 2 km from the arrival in Dakar for a fall that left him unconscious for a few moments and with the bike almost destroyed.

OTHER ITALIANS Honour also to the other Italians who finished the very hard race: 24th Guido Maletti (Ben 11 Investments) With the Maletti 1998-1its Kawasaki KLX 650R, but he could have been higher in the rankings if he hadn't taken the nine-hour flat penalty for the electronic ignition malfunction. He did not lose heart and continued to rise in the positions. Gian Paolo Quaglino and his Honda XR400R ranked 29th. Quaglino is at Dakar Number 5 and it's the third that ends. Right behind, Aldo Winkler with the KTM 660. And’ one of the veterans with his eight holdings. The Turiner wins the fair-play award because, like a gregarious old, he generously gave to Giò Hall, blocked by electrical troubles and “Official” KTM, the spare electronic control unit of his Kappa.

And then it comes Roberto Boano (38but with 47 years behind), once a well-known crosser and now known as jarno and Ivan's father, much more than young hopes of the enduro. Made the Dakar with the trusted Honda Africa Twin, which is still a twin-cylinder but is light years away from the performance of the Yamaha that won; were nothing more than for the greater weight, the lower power and the different, and less sophisticated, suspensions. In 50th place Lorenzo Larry with his Suzuki DR 350. He did it all by himself, without a mechanic-co to help him, coming sometime late to the bivoiacks, but always spin-to from the solidarity of the other pilots.

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Pujol Isidro e Giò Dakar Room 2002

In this video of the Dakar 2002 We highlight some very exciting aspects related to this race: the first is the extraordinary solidarity that exists between the bikers. GIO Sala does not hesitate a moment to succor Isidre Pujol found along the track, While there are those who Dodge at the last and doesn't stop.
Not least is the extraordinary tenacity that characterizes the bikers: Hall asks whether it should operate the Balises to get relief efforts, but that estrometpartnership opens up automatically from the race, but Pujol despite being clearly in pain and in shock from the fall, asks him not to enable it to continue. The caresses of the Hall are from goosebumps and require no comments. For the record, both arrived in Dakar, Pujol in 5th position and in Room 6a.

Dakar 1998, Hall and Meoni and small gestures that will remain in history

Many people ask me "Pat" on the helmet of Meoni in a video of the Dakar.
Nothing that, just that with Fabrizio had reached a great feeling and then I could "afford" to do something like.
The feeling grew over the years, starting from my first Dakar in 1998, When in a new year's Eve in Paris, a few hours after departure, asked me if we were to stay in the hotel room in front of the TV watching cartoons, When everyone was partying. I laughed and we started talking about Dakar and revealed to me some tricks to better address the race.
Always together in transfers, hours and hours in the saddle, and often in the rain, (do not wait to arrive in Africa), by sharing a few minutes stop at the outlets. "Forbidden" consummation when we stopped to get gas, told me the Dakar doesn't have to waste time and assistance you should arrive as soon as possible, "I remember it well!”.
In companies at the bivouac was a large, greetings and tips for all, Tuscan oil always in "table" in the sand of the bivouac, and some made him shoot the balls, had the cashier the right amount for race days, but then I did offer again. I wondered then an opinion, believer and active as always, We all know of his mission in Dakar.

Speaking of the city of Dakar, When in 2001 won for the first time the race, the dinner/party I forced to "get drunk". I couldn't see Fabrizio toast with Coke all night while KTM staff, on the contrary, make toasts his victory with wine and beer, so he set a goal to drink at least three glasses of wine during the evening, I replied: "and it takes?”. One two three in a row ... in less than half an hour we had a phenomenal fit Meoni, Austrian speaking like the toscano.

Strategic and combative just like a “Wild boar”, and so they called it, He knew Special assault with force and vehemence, but he also knew spending "without a trace".

In fact, It was the strategy that allowed him to win with the twin LC8, in a stage where you had to go on a Wait Point, situated atop a steep cliff, (What Rome tried to climb but then fell and dissolved). Fabrizio with a quick and clever reasoning of CAP (the degrees of the compass), He realized that Rome and I, We were leaving before him, We were on the wrong track, so went out of the track in order not to leave traces and, by cutting off the track for a few hundred metres, turned down the right track that carried on top of the cliff. So it was the only one to find in a short time the direction while we all "we grazed" in search of the track, wondering where it was finished Mahmoodi. The gap gained enabled him to win his second Dakar with a motorbike – believe me I assure you – really challenging, the LC8.

Outside of competition I shared with Fabrizio also many weeks of testing. On these occasions were consuming days and nights sharing room, discovering the various habits, Le manie, tastes, the most loved television programmes, food preferences, In addition to the ride side by side in the odious Chott soft sand for kilometre after kilometre to test the reliability of the engines under extreme conditions. He came to take 1.007 kilometers in one day on a ring of 38 km, (I made her 150 less). Also the development of LC8 was very interesting because it was an all new bike and Fabrizio surprised me with his sensibility when he realized that the position of the platforms was changed so that the bike will not turn.
Did the test, We were sparring in the gym, in the pool and running, but with him it was impossible, too practiced, even the very well-trained Arnaldo Nicoli knows something.
Forwarding remember the laughter at Battle of King, memorable to Ibiza. There was the race with the Jet Ski from Ibiza to Formentera, Fabrizio and I, "Old Sea Dogs", We chose the wrong model of jet skis to the open sea and arrived at the end so exhausted that we looked like two castaways.

I could tell you many stories, but I will not bore you, and so let me explain why the famous "slap" on the helmet.
Was the Dakar 1998 and we were in Mali, in the stage from Gao Taoudeni basin where for safety, saw your mileage, was cancelled the special that became a transfer of more than 1000 kilometers. As I said before, "he in Africa, He wanted to arrive early at the bivouac ", Thus he went to drive almost as if it was a special and I, by good portant d'eau, I had to be with him, but around km 800 I was beginning to have some balls full of keep a pace like that, so I went over and I gave him the famous "tap" to bring to your attention and warn that we could also slow down for a few kilometers, Since it didn't seem like very late, but he dropped that much on pace. He was right because, even though we were the first to arrive to the assistance, It was night by several hours, Since the last 150 kilometers ran among a tangle of slopes in the Fesh Fesh which, faced with the lights of headlights, It was very complicated to drive while striking the right CAP and balance.
Anyone who has tried knows what it's like.

Unfortunately, his favorite race has taken his own life, leaving a deep sadness to Elena, Joel e Chiara, as in all of us, but we will remember him always for his sympathy and helpfulness from Grand Champion and the person who was.

Giovanni Sala

Taken from Enduro rider Magazine nr. 42

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My Dakar 2002 by Giò Hall

Concluding the “Dakar” 2002 Sixth Giovanni Sala scored its best performance since, in ' 98, He began his adventure in the most established and hard African rally. At the onset had in fact concluded 17°, in ' 99 he was rated 7° and had grasped the first stage win, in 2000 He had been forced to retire and the past year had placed only 14° but had centered four partial victories.

“I am satisfied with my result, There is no doubt” He told us the champion of Gorle upon his return from the senegalese capital “Although the eve I had set as a goal to finish in the top five. I went very close, I got two stage wins, and I gained so much experience that I can leverage in upcoming occasions that may happen. In this area I think much and although I already 38 years I think I can still give a lot. The winner of the race, My teammate and friend Mahmoodi, of years has just turned 44, Yet at present is certainly the best and most complete of all”.

– You had two days of glory but also several mishaps, It's true?
“In fact, especially in the first few fractions of African race, those in Morocco. Our new Ktm twin had been prepared especially in Tunisia and had raced in Egypt, so soft and sandy terrain. On the stones and rocks of Morocco has created some difficulties, especially with the clutch, but when we have identified the cause of the problem and we fixed it up, everything went smooth away. Any anger he then procured the foreign traffic penalty by exceeding the speed when exiting a village but was suddenly anything but dangerous and I don't really remember going so strong so much that I even thought it had been traded my number 7 with the number 1 by Mahmoodi. Him at that point he confessed he had given a lot of gas. A big job in the third last leg I instead naivete, the marathon between Tichit and Kiffa. I had won the day before and then had to leave first and then lead the way. I've gotten pretty well but I took the control stamp secret and I suffered another heavy penalty. The next day I could win again but I lost a couple of minutes to help a competitor cadutomi front and are so finished second behind half a minute while the last brief sojourn on the pink Lake Dakar, that well knew, allowed me anyway to top it off”.

How do you rate this “Dakar” than those which he attended previously?
“It was a bit ' special, sharply divided into two. The first part, up to to Atar, undemanding and selective than ever so that the rest day of the Epiphany proved almost useless, at least for us beginners. The next stages instead really infernal, able to wear anyone. Absurd, then, in my opinion, the villages at night. We must consider that there are potholes and pitfalls everywhere and then over there across the street dozens of animals, all difficulties in the dark it is not easy to evaluate, particularly for us bikers who we will arrange fixtures still limited”.

Riding a Thumper would go maybe better?
“In fact I suffered a great deal on twin-cylinder weight. Even Meoni had similar problems but he drives motorcycle rally all year, I for several months step those enduro, decidedly more agile, and so I find it more difficult to adapt. In any case it is hard to say how it would go and, in any case, If I can compete again in this race, I'd like to try again with the twin. You've got discomfort at some stage but it gives great satisfaction in many other”.

In this race you only grows as pilots or even as men?
“It is true, It gives you much also from the human point of view. Explore deeper into yourself, outbursts of solidarity that inspires you in everyday life are not as spontaneous, You also hardening in the spirit, allows you to know reality so different. Also in the relationship with the other competitors you create something special which is not the case in other races”.

-After five world titles in the enduro his current dream is just win once the Dakar?
“I can't deny that this competition has for me a remarkable charm. I really want to do well in rallying and because the Dakar is the Queen of the rally is clear that I would be able to conquer it. However, realist and I must admit to not being probably not ready yet, too often do I incur in blunders, in crap that someone like Meoni wouldn't. However, taking advantage of each new mistake also feel to improve and who knows that sooner or later you don't learn all the tricks and can put them into practice at its best”.

What are your short term programs?
“After this meal of about ten thousand km riding sleeping little or nothing, I really think I am going to give ten days to stop. I will dedicate to the affections and the fans, then at the end of the month there is the rally enduro blues and then testing with the 520 with whom I will participate to the Italian enduro Championship and in 600 4 times, the displacement that I longed for some time. Finally was accommodated. The first major race will be the opening of the Tricolor, at the beginning of March, While the next rally should be the one in Tunisia, in April”.

Interview with Danilo Sechi
http://www.motowinners.it/fuoriclasse%20Bg/Sala/Sala.htm

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KTM Factory Team – Dakar 2007

The Official KTM Repsol Team before the start of the Dakar 2007.

From left: Marc Coma #1, Giovanni Sala #3 and Jordi Viladoms #2.

Thurs Hall 1998-1

Giovanni Sala to Dakar 1998

Very pleased Giovanni Sala, debuting at the Dakar 1998 and the first real experience with road book and GPS.

"After the first week – tells the enduro champion – I thought I had learned all the tricks of navigation; then I got lost a few times and I knew… not understanding anything. But how do they read the notes?».

John still consider the positive experience and the Dakar an interesting race. Here are the differences with the enduro.

«The most incredHow is that I work out every day, I go into motion at least twice a week, then came here and I'll get a big payday from the belly and the cigarette in his mouth! Enduro you always drive to 100% While here you have to strike the right balance between speed and navigation.

Surely it is an experience to be repeated, Although it is the most dangerous discipline I ever made. As soon as you get distracted, and it's normal when you're maybe ten hours in the saddle, cadi. There are of trails in the midst of the stones where vacations 130 km/h and if you're not used to the speed, If you don't have good reflexes, you end up getting hurt».
Source Motosprint