Dakar Rally : Bikes - Scrutineering
The winner in 2005 arrived at scrutineering with a smile on his face: this is good news for the motorbike race, because the runner up to Marc Coma in 2006 is not hiding his enthusiasm when it comes to the crunch. Smiling and relaxed, Despres
endeavoured to highlight the qualities of the new KTM:
"It's the fruit of a development process that has lasted several years. The chassis is new, the engine is too and the fuel distribution is different". His Spanish rival will be riding the same machine, but Cyril Despres has returned with the aim to conquer: "Everyone will start from scratch", was his parting shot as he entered the administrative formalities circuit.
Marc Coma confident
The arrival of Marc Coma, winner in 2006, at the scrutineering enclosure in Lisbon was like a scene straight out of Hollywood. Jostling and camera flashes welcomed the grand favourite for the motorbike category who is perfectly at home with his new status: "We have worked well throughout the season. The bike is running excellently and our structure is well-oiled".
The only things capable of denting Marc Coma's shrewd confidence are chance events: "It's important to avoid mistakes", he declared, "because in a race like the Dakar they can be very costly".
Bethys believes in the future
Thierry Bethys, three-times winner of the Touquet endurance event, will be at the Dakar starting line for the second time on a Honda 450. Last year, the Vendée area's finest finished in 18th place.
"I'm very happy that there will be sand during the first special stage on Saturday because it's a terrain I like", declared the rider who will be in heaven amidst the Mauritanian dunes. As part of a team under construction, Thierry Bethys seems to have developed a taste for the adventure: "The Honda team is young but there is a good atmosphere. The constructor's commitment to the race is encouraging. At any rate, personally, I loved last year's Dakar and as long as my partners will support me, I will carry on doing it".