With only three stages remaining in this year’s Dakar, Yamalube Yamaha Rally team riders – Adrien Van Beveren and Xavier de Soultrait – are pushing hard to grab the top points. Dakar is one of the most demanding rallies in the world. It brutally tests both the rider and his machine. There is no stopping or relaxing in this rally.
Monday’s stage 7 was one of the most demanding stages of this year’s Dakar. Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team Rider Van Beveren managed to move up three spots in the provisional overall standings. He made full use of his acute navigational skills in the dunes of Peru.
The first rider to find the right tracks in one of the most crucial sections of this special stage. This helped Adrien to gain time over his rivals. Earning a strong fourth place result for the day, he added yet another top-five stage performance to his 2019 Dakar Rally campaign. Currently holding the runner-up spot in the overall standings, the WR450F Rally mounted racer is less than eight minutes behind the provisional race leader with just three more stages to go.
Speaking about his progress, Adrien said, “I’ve put it all on the line today for a good result and I’m happy I climbed a few places in the overall. I had a good day and really gave my best. I knew it would be a tricky stage in the dunes, so I decided from the start to be extra careful on my navigation. At one point I saw a big group of riders lost and searching for the waypoint. I remained calm and was the first one to find the waypoint. I thought I would be able to make up some good time there, but the other riders followed me in the right tracks. I am still in the game and the next few stages will be very important. I feel I’m on top of my game at the moment and I will continue giving it all here in Peru.”
Xavier de Soultrait is catching up with the leading group inside the special stage. At the end of stage 7, he earned a seventh-place result. He picked up a small one-minute penalty for exceeding the limit in a 30 km/h speed zone. Hence, he is now 10th in the provisional overall standings.
Sharing his views on his performance, Xavier, said, “It was a much better day for me and my speed was on point today. I was fast while also riding safely and not taking any big risks. I caught up with the leading group of riders in the special and decided to attack. Unfortunately, then I started feeling the effects of my sea sickness and was unable to give 100%. I took some more pills and I feel better now. Tomorrow we will have a different stage, with bikes, cars and trucks starting together in large groups. The stage will again be in the dunes so navigation will be the crucial factor.”
Both the riders are now eyeing for moving up in the overall rankings during the last stages of the Dakar. Adrien is in the first wave of riders to start the 360km timed special stage 8. And Xavier is looking to take advantage of his starting position from the second wave.