"VIVA CHILE... APRILIA"
THE CONTINUATION OF THE DAKAR AFTER THE REST DAY WAS MARKED BY THE STAGE WIN OF LOPEZ AND APRILIA. THE INCREDIBLE CHILEAN ACHIEVES HIS SECOND STAGE WIN AND ARRIVES TO THE 3RD POSITION IN THE OVERALL STANDINGS. ALSO A GOOD DAY FOR PAOLO CECI AND ALEX
ZANOTTI, WHO CONTINUES DESPITE OF AN INJURED HAND AND SHOULDER.
COPIAPO - The air of Copiapo 's dunes has a great effect in Francisco Lopez. His victory in the 5th stage is now written in the Golden Book of the Dakar, but in the stage Copiapo-Antofagasta, "Chaleco" wanted to surprise everyone: He started today 's special, a timed section of 472 km, in the 17th. He overcame lots of riders and he arrived to mark the best time from about km 200, keeping it up until the finish line, a spectacular drop of sand that leaded directly to the bivouac in the Atacama Desert. Lopez has merged from 5th, then, in his triumphal outing he has passed twelve pilots, fully supported by his Aprilia RXV 4.5 that today reached the top speed of 164 km/h!
After the hard work of Team Giofil Aprilia Racing on the bike yesterday, the few hours of sleep were rewarded with this second stage victory of the Chilean rider. Lopez preceded Marc Coma and Pall Anders Ullevalseter, while the leader of the overall standings, Despres, finished 5th, 6'43'' behind.
Excellent journey for the Paolo Ceci and Alex Zanotti . Both did almost all of today 's timed section together due to the poor physical condition of San Marino 's rider. By the end, Zanotti slowed down because of a strong shoulder and wrist pain, and reached Copiapo in 18th place, while Ceci obtained the final 16th position at 42 'from Lopez. Our knights of steel are in 13th (Ceci) and 20th (Zanotti) positions in the overall standings.
Tomorrow 's special has been shortened to 172 kilometers from the 338 expected, delaying the departure to 11h due to the morning fog. Bikes will start lined up by groups of 20 and the first part will be in the dunes: the show is guaranteed! The rest of the stage will be a road connection to La Serena.
Francisco Lopez: "Today I started the ambush right away; I knew I could make the difference. The first part was a very driven track that became faster gradually, and the last 40 km of sand dunes. I felt well, the Aprilia works great, and I'm delighted to have won here because my parents are here today."
Alex Zanotti: "This morning I took the painkillers the doctors gave me, but at some point the pain became strong, from the shoulder to the wrist. Then I have to lower my rhythm, because I really want to do this Dakar until the end."