Monday, December 27, 2010

Yamaha Prepares for 2011 Dakar

Written by Dan Evon
Monday, 27 December 2010 11:37

The 2011 Dakar rally is drawing closer, and the Yamaha team is hopeful
that they can climb back to the top of the podium. This year's Dakar
will take place in South America for the third consecutive year, and
will start in Buenos Aires on New Year's Day. There will be more than
180 bikes participating in the two week event, which is thought by
many to be the toughest enduro race in the world.

The Yamaha team will be bringing Helder Rodrigues, Spaniard Jordi
Viladoms, France's Olivier Pain and David Barrot to the Dakar rally.
Rodrigues will be a contender for the top spot at the Dakar this year.
Rodrigues recently finished second at the Rally of Morocco, and was
fourth overall at the Dakar last year.

Jordi Viladoms will also be a contender this year. Viladoms had a
great Dakar in 2010. He won a stage and earned an overall position of

"We have a great bike for the Dakar," Viladoms said. "We made a two
day test in Morocco recently for the engine and suspension and every
time we rode the bike felt better; the team are really motivated!"

Yamaha will have one more racer who finished in the top 10 during the
2010 Dakar. Olivier Pain earned a ninth place finish last year, and
will help Yamaha to stay toward the front of the pack during the 2011

"We have worked with and developed the WR450F in rallies since 2004,"
explained Alexandre Kowalski, Marketing Director of Yamaha Motor
France. "We have a lot of faith in the light chassis and the
reliability of the four-stroke 450cc WR motor which deals aptly with
the long and difficult races."
Yamaha has a long and successful history in the Dakar. Yamaha has nine
overall victories stretching back to 1979, but hasn't had a rider win
the Dakar since Dakar legend Stephan Peterhansel won his 6th Dakar on
a motorcycle in 1998.

Yamaha has a good shot this year, but they will have to beat out Cyril
Despres and Marc Coma. Coma and Despres have brought KTM the Dakar
rally win for the last five years, extending KTM's win streak to 9.

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