Despres-Yamaha-Dakar-12--1-20-14
A great performance today by the Yamaha Factory Racing riders saw Cyril Despres take his second special stage victory of the 2014 Dakar Rally. Despres had moved into the lead of the special by the second checkpoint and moved into a neck and neck battle with Coma, managing the fastest time of the two to seal the win. The stage victory moves Despres from sixth up to fourth in the overall standings, just 14 minutes from second position with one 350km special stage left to run tomorrow, El Salvador to La Serena.

Fellow rider Olivier Pain was less than six minutes behind Despres in third position. Pain’s result was doubly impressive considering the Frenchman had not one but two falls during the stage, bending his handlebars in the first. The third place finish moves Pain up to third overall in the standings and a provisional podium finish for the 2014 Dakar.

Cyril-Despres-Dakar-2014-Stage-3-1-8-14
The first of the 2014 Dakar Rally Marathon stages saw Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cyril Despres make up valuable time today with an impressive ride on his YZ450F machine to close the gap to the front. The five-time Dakar winner’s experience and race craft saw him make short work of the day’s timed riding, finishing in second position, 4m’41s behind the leader. The result moves him up the overall standings from eighth to second, now just 13m04s behind the current Rally leader. The special was reduced in distance at the last minute to 243km to avoid instable terrain at the start of the route.

As part of the marathon stage, the riders are unaided tonight in their own bivouac and are responsible for the maintenance of their own bikes before continuing tomorrow.