Sam Sunderland – I’m really happy. The bike was fantastic, it’s been a great day with a mixture of different terrains, speed and technical zones. We got to the dunes which I get on really well with. It wasn’t a really long stretch, but it went well. I crossed the river which was deeper than I had expected, which got a few laughs out of the folk. But I’m really pleased for my first Dakar victory and to continue Honda’s winning streak.
Cyril Despres “I arrived a little too quickly on a note in the road book at around kilometre 250 and went over the handlebars. Fortunately it was a soft landing so the bike wasn’t damaged but it took me a while to dust myself down and get going again and inevitably I lost time. Overall a day to forget.”
Rubens Faria: “Today was a good day for me. In the beginning there was a lot of dust. I started one minute behind Ben Grabham and I rode behind him for 300 km but in the end it was a good stage. I finished fourth and that is good for the overall and the KTM bike is amazing. It’s only the second day but I am happy to be here.”
Marc Coma: “Today was not a perfect day. We had some small problems when I got a stone wedged between the gearbox and the gear lever. I had to stop to take it out. The bike was working okay but it cost me some minutes – but it is still a long race.”
Joan Barreda:“It was a long and hard stage, with fast tracks at the beginning. I fully concentrated on the off-track navigation through a 50 km dune section at the last third of the stage. I could manage to build up a gap on my rivals, but a bull decided to run in my way at high speed with 60 km before the finish. I braked hard and had trouble to avoid a crash. I still got in touch with the animal and the impact destroyed my roadbook system. By ´manual´ navigation, I made it to the finish without losing too much time, and I am happy to finish inside the top three and keep the overall lead.”
Paulo Goncalves:“Today I had a very good chance to attack and used my starting position. The first part of the stage went quite well. In the dune section I suffered some problems with my bike, caused by a vapor lock, and I lost some ground. Anyway, the overall position is very good after two days into the race, and the time differences are still small. I will remain concentrated and attack again tomorrow.”