BULLETIN 22

Driver news & comments from Abu Dhabi Aviation Stage 5 (218.57km)

304. Martin Prokop / David Pabiska (CZE / CZE)

“I’m extremely happy of course to finish and it’s amazing to win, especially without making many mistakes over the 5 stages. My biggest issue building up to desert rallies was a lack of experience driving in the sand and I’ve been training hard over the past 3 years in Abu Dhabi and it’s good to see it pay off.”

302. Jakub Przygonski / Tom Colsoul (POL / BEL)

“Really happy and a great rally. It was a good fight between us and 304 and we had a chance to catch them over the stages but a few mistakes on our part meant we couldn’t make the time back. Martin has been really great of the past few days so congratulations to him.”

308. Cyril Despres / Steve Ravussin (FRA / CHE)

“Today was fun, flat sections suit this car, good fast tracks. Feeling okay and good to be back in the ADDC and trying something different. I learned a lot about driving 4 wheels across the desert - very different to riding a motorbike across the dunes.”

310. Luc Alphand / Andreas Schultz (FRA / DEU)

“The five days of racing have been great, the car was okay and had great potential. We were pushing all the way - so a great win for Martin Prokop. It has been great to be back in the ADDC. The first stage was about regaining confidence and after that we had so much fun. Next year would be good. We we will wait and see on a few things - including my physical state.”

324. Georgy Gomshiashvili / Nikita Abramov (ARE / RUS)

“Today was really fast for us and I didn’t want to take any risks. The desert challenge has been one of the most challenging things I’ve done in my life and I’m glad to have completed it.”

340. Danny Pearl / Etai Moldawsky (ARE / ARE)

“We had a lot of mechanical problems on the stages of the rally so we had to take it easy today, but the big dunes provided a really good experience and we’re happy to finish despite our issues.”

320. Eugenio Amos / Filipe Palmeiro (ITA / POR)

“Really happy to cross the line as we had a few problems in previous stages but today we were on fire. We only made a couple of mistakes on the dunes but otherwise we feel good.”

311. Thomas Bell / Patrick McMurren (ARE / ARE)

“A brilliant day and we’re happy to finish. It’s great for us, our sponsors and supporters and we’re feeling really good. It was a fast track with a lot of technical parts so it would be difficult for a driver who’s feeling tired.”

318. Stephan Schott / Paulo Fiuza (DEU / POR)

“A great stage, good flowing sections - better than yesterday. We had a great rally and everything was running well.”

322. Christopher Rosenberger / Nicola Bleicher (AUT / DEU)

“First time in the desert challenge and first time with a new co-driver so finishing in the top 10 isn’t bad at all. We had no issues on the stage - it was a little bumpy towards the end but the car was perfect.”

329. Khaled AlFeraihi / Osama Alsanad (SAU / SAU)

“Very happy to finish the rally. Today was good - except for the flat tyre in the last 10Km. I look forward now to my bed and then coming back next year.”

332. Terence Marsh / Riaan Greyling (ZAF / ZAF)

“It was a nice clean stage today. The car was beautiful so no complaints. Happy to have a rest now after the desert challenge.”

319. Vadym Prytuliak (UKR)

“A very good day and a really good rally. Excellent.”

327. Matthew Telling / Mark Powell (ARE / ARE)

“This is my first major event and it’s been very challenging. I will definitely be back for next year’s event. The track was up and down today but very good.”

323. Abdulla Al Zubair / TBA (OMA / TBA)

“It was a fantastic experience and the desert challenge really is the survival of the fittest. Even today’s drive amazing and even though we had a flat tyre, we all really enjoyed it.”

316. Adel Abdulla / Naser Al Kuwari (QAT / QAT)

“Very happy, pushed hard on the last stage. Passed Al Shegawi, the leader in our classification, was stuck so I think we have won! Very, very happy.”

 

BULLETIN 21

Rider news & comments from Abu Dhabi Aviation Stage 5 (218.57km)

2. Kevin Maximiliano Benavides (ARG)

“Last day was a motocross start and it was really great, but it’s hard in a group as there were no leaders so was a bit tough in the dunes. We had to push a lot in the last 50kms though and some took the front, and I really had to fight #3 to keep my overall position.”

1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL)

“I’m really happy to win the race. I had a great fight with the guys. A big win for me, fantastic. A big thank you to all my team and for all the support I received.”

5. Sam Sunderland (ARE)

“The mass start was a bit dangerous, so I got out front and lead the way. Some of the guys started fighting to gain a few seconds so I got out of the way and let them get on with that. The race is very strategic and we should have a prologue to establish the starting order!”

10. Maciej Giemza (POL)

“It was a good stage today. I feel better about it than stages 2 and 4 where motion sickness was a bit of an issue. The result wasn’t what I expected but I definitely think my speed is better than last year so that’s good.”

27. Benjamin Melot (FRA)

“Super happy to finish, with no injuries. Last year I broke a collar bone towards the end of the rally. Today was a good day, good pace. It was great to ride along with Maciej Giemza (10) as he is very fast. Lots of fun today.”

24. Max Hunt (GBR)

“Great day, the last bit there was really fun and fast. The mass start was a bit crazy with some really fast riders taking off, but I’m just happy to finish the race in one piece.”

201. Kees Koolen (NLD)

“I feel really good about today. The last day is always tricky because your mind is on the finish so you have to put it to the back of your mind and focus. 202 was pushing hard against me again and I think I only lost 1 minute to him so I’m feeling confident about my position. The last day is always a sad one as you want to race one more day.”

17. Richard Brewer (ARE

“It’s great to finish and I’m feeling a lot better now. My hands are paying the price of 5 days of hard riding. Really happy.”

 

BULLETIN 20

News from Abu Dhabi Aviation Stage 5 (218.57km)

301. Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi / Xavier Panseri (ARE /FRA)

Retired 21kms into the stage with mechanical problems

341. Yara Shalaby / Ian Greasby (EGY / EGY)

Stuck 7km into the stage

 

BULLETIN 19

Driver news & comments from ADNOC Stage 4 (244.49km)

309. Yahya Al Helei / Khalid Alkendi (ARE / ARE)

Retired for the day with mechanical problems after PC2

323      Abdulla Al Zubair / TBA (OMA / TBA)– retired at PC1

334      Al Zubair / Mohamed Al Zadjali (OMA / OMA)– retired at PC1

304. Martin Prokop / David Pabiska (CZE / CZE)

“Okay day, but tough. Many mistakes going up the dunes, meaning I had to go around and try again. Feeling in the car was not good - it took a long time to get the right rhythm. It was tough today.”

303. Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS / RUS)

“Good stage, but had a slow puncture for the last 30km which made the car very bouncy.”

330. Ahmed Elshamy / Alain Besancon (EGY / EGY)

Retired with a suspected broken gearbox.

310. Luc Alphand / Andreas Schultz (FRA / DEU)

“Started really well this stage but didn’t have the best day. We crashed out in a dune with some damage to the car. Still, we are here to enjoy ourselves so we make the most of it.

308. Cyril Despres / Steve Ravussin (FRA / CHE)

“Much better than the other day - not sure if I am getting used to the desert, used to the car or the car is getting used to me (chuckle of laughter)! Missed part of one stage, also dropped out card and lost 30 seconds trying to find it. So much happening when in the desert it is easy to forget about the card!”

329. Khaled AlFeraihi / Osama Alsanad (SAU / SAU)

“We had a fantastic days racing, the route may be difficult to those not used to desert driving but being from Saudi it was a great experience for me.”

318. Stephan Schott / Paulo Fiuza (DEU / POR)

“Tough day, very, very hot and the sand was very soft, also difficult to read because of the angle of the sun.”

335. Patrice Garrouste / Loic Minaudier (FRA / FRA)

“Had a really fun day, great racing on the stage very soft sand and technical.”

325. Michel Fadel / Craig Tyson (ARE / ARE)

“Great, really enjoyed today - it was very good.”

322. Christopher Rosenberger / Nicola Bleicher (AUT / DEU)

“Got stuck 3 times - had one puncture, so a lot of work today. It is my first cross country rally and I am loving it.”

 

BULLETIN 18

Rider news & comments from ADNOC Stage 4 (244.49km)

5. Sam Sunderland (ARE)

“A bad, bad day with a big crash early on. My camelbak (water bottle) spilt so I had no fluid.”

6. Toby Price (AUS)

“Not too bad a day, a decent stage but hard to get through in places because of the soft sand and difficulties in predicting the route. I had to be careful. I made the finish and look forward to tomorrow.”

3. Matthias Walkner (AUT)

“There were some scary moments out there on the stage and I had a pretty frustrating race. I spent a lot of time trailing Sunderland and eating his dust.”

1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL)

“I had a really tough day. But I’m happy to finish the stage and go on to race tomorrow.”

12. Michael Metge (FRA)

“Today was a good day. The first part had some dangerous dunes and I didn’t have a good feeling about it but the second part of the stage was a bit slower with some really big dunes which made for a nice finish.”

8. David McBride (ARE)

“A good day, especially the first part and also after refueling. But it got choppy and soft. But overall okay. Good to have finished stage 4.”

27. Benjamin Melot (FRA)

“A good ride, especially the section after refueling. But the last 30km or so was difficult because of the sun being so high, making it hard to read the terrain.”

24. Max Hunt (GBR)

“A good day. I was trying to catch the rider in front and Benji (27. Benjamin Melot (FRA) ended up catching me up and we rode together. There we some great flowing dunes which made for a nice ride today. This bike took me through Dakar and I’m glad it’s still going.”

202. Aleksandr Maksimov (RUS)

“I had a good ride. I had a crash in a dune smashing the helmet off the dash. No visible injuries.”

201. Kees Koolen (NLD)

“Today has been the nicest day of the rally. It was really fast with a lot of dunes which I really enjoy. Most of my day was spent following 202 but he was pulling everything he could to keep ahead. Today felt really competitive. A lot like motocross”

17. Richard Brewer (ARE)

“I ended up stuck in bowl for about 4 minutes and had other falls throughout the stage. It’s a tough track with soft sands but there were points where we could get some good speed. This bike is pretty heavy when it’s full and it was a bit of a battle after refueling.”

9. David Mabbs (ARE)

“Really sore hands after this stage and the route was all cut up from yesterday’s racing. About 20km the sand turns white which makes it difficult at this time of day to judge but I still had fun.”

 

BULLETIN 17

Competitor news & comments from ADNOC Stage 4 (244.49km)

340. Danny Pearl / Etai Moldawsky (ARE / ARE) / Polaris RZR 1000

Stopped on the road section leading to the start of the stage with mechanical problems and retired for the day.

341. Yara Shalaby / Ian Greasby (EGY / EGY) / Toyota Landcruiser

Retired with mechanical problems 12kms into the stage.

10. Maciej Giemza (POL) / KTM 450

Left the stage suffering from exhaustion and returning to the bivouac by road.

 

BULLETIN 16

Did not start ADNOC Stage 4 (244.49km)

305. Yasir Hamed Seaidan / Aleksei Kuzmich (KSA / RUS) – retired yesterday with blown engine

331. Luke Olholm / Dale Moscatt (AUS / AUS)– retired yesterday with a gearbox failure

18. James West (ARE)

19. Kurt Burroughs (GBR) - leg injury

20. Neil Pentland (GBR) - exhaustion

21. Mark Davidson (ARE) – wrist injury

 

BULLETIN 15

News from Al Ain Water Stage 3 (281.38km)

7. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE)

Al Balooshi, who was transferred to Madinat Zayed Hospital by helicopter after crashing on the stage, is being kept under observation for 24 hours. Although concussed, he has no other injuries. But he will not re-start the rally.

Speaking from his hospital bed Al Balooshi paid tribute to 6. Toby Price (AUS) who stopped to help him after his crash on the stage.

“The day was going really well for me,” he said. “Toby came by me before the refuel and the day got even better because I was happy to ride with somebody so fast. I was really honoured to be doing the stage with him.

“After the refuel we were riding together and I went to take the lead, and then I honestly don’t remember what happened next. I only remember that Toby stopped to help me and I have to give a big thanks to him for being such a great champion who showed such sportsmanship.

“He was there until I left the ground in the helicopter. He was talking to me all the time before the medics came, reassuring me. I think now I remember that the bike stalled before the accident. It was a mechanical problem not a rider error. Everything went so fast. I think I was out (unconscious) for about two minutes.”

 

BULLETIN 14

Driver news and comments from Al Ain Water Stage 3 (281.38km)

304. Martin Prokop / David Pabiska (CZE / CZE)

“Very nice stage today. We don’t want to say it is easy but we made no mistakes, our navigation was good, we found a good rhythm and we had a lot of fun.”

302. Jakub Przygonski / Tom Colsoul (POL / BEL)

“We had a long, tough stage and tried to catch 304 for a lot of it, but we’re feeling good and had no issues with the car.”

303. Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS / RUS)

“Had a good day, made it through with no technical problems, A lot of fun - good stage.”

310. Luc Alphand / Andreas Schultz (FRA / DEU)

“It was a perfect day for us. The car was really good, especially in the dunes, we really enjoyed it. Yesterday’s gearbox problem started at just the 40k mark. It was the gear selection - we could only go downwards, so we stayed in 2nd gear. Ah, but that is what happens with development of a car.”

301. Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi / Xavier Panseri (ARE /FRA)

“We had a broken drive shaft 30kms and we had to stop for 30mins. Lots of big scary dunes today.”

309. Yahya Al Helei / Khalid Alkendi (ARE / ARE)

“A good day, I really enjoyed it. We had a few problems with the clutch slipping. But I drove well and had a good time.”

335. Patrice Garrouste / Loic Minaudier (FRA / FRA)

“We had a good stage, no problems. It was a beautiful track, much better than yesterday.”

332. Terence Marsh / Riaan Greyling (ZAF / ZAF)

“All good. We had a nice clean stage with only two minor issues getting stuck, nothing serious.”

322. Christopher Rosenberger / Nicola Bleicher (AUT / DEU)

“All good, one flat tyre that we had to get out and sort but everything else was perfect.”

325. Michel Fadel / Craig Tyson (ARE / ARE)

“All good, a great stage. The dunes were fine and we can’t complain.”

329. Khaled AlFeraihi / Osama Alsanad (SAU / SAU)

“A good, nice stage for us, very fast and the car was running good.”

308. Cyril Despres / Steve Ravussin (FRA / CHE)

“A really bad day for us. We had problems with the pressure of one of the tyres on the left. We got stuck 6 or 7 times and lost a lot of time.”

314. Ahmed Al Shegawi / Laurent Lichtleuchter (KSA / FRA)

“We had a good day of racing. It was soft sand but we can’t complain. No issues. We didn’t get stuck once - everything was perfect.”

 

BULLETIN 13

Rider news and comments from Al Ain Water Stage 3 (281.38km)

5. Sam Sunderland (ARE)

“It was a very good day. We benefitted from the earlier start which made it easier to read the tracks. A really good stage and I’m confident I can hold my position.”

1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL)

“I enjoyed today and feel confident. The early start was a big help with the sun being lower and making it easier to read the tracks. I’m feeling very upbeat for tomorrow.”

2. Kevin Maximiliano Benavides (ARG)

“That was a very good days racing and I feel very confident today. The dunes were much better and with the earlier start it made for an easier ride with the lower temperature.”

4. Paulo Goncalves (POR)

“A great stage and another long day’s racing. I was pushing hard but in the middle of the stage I impacted a dune and I’m dealing with some lower back pain. But it was important for me to finish and drive day by day.”

11. William Richard Brabec (USA)

“Today was much more fun than yesterday. I felt it was safe as well, especially at high speed as it was easier to read the dunes. More like moto cross!”

12. Michael Metge (FRA)

“I did not like the stage today - it was too fast. I don't like fast.”

14. Jose Ignacio Cornejo F (CHL)

“I had a better day than yesterday. It was a very fast stage and I had to concentrate to keep my pace and rhythm. It was hard packed sand so fast moving. It was about dust today but due to the earlier start it was easier to see and predict the dunes.”

6. Toby Price (AUS)

“For me I had a good day but right near the end Balooshi fell off his bike so I stopped to make sure he was okay and to wait for the helicopter to pick him up. Rider safety is so important and I’d happily throw a race to make sure a rider is okay.”

8. David McBride (ARE)

“A very nice flowing stage today. Some soft sand but I didn’t have any issues. I had a lot of fun and I’m glad to be in one piece.”

201. Kees Koolen (NLD)

“A good day, easier than yesterday which surprised me. The tracks were easy to read except for the last part with the white sands.”

 

BULLETIN 12

News from Al Ain Water Stage 3 (281.38km)

327. Matthew Telling / Mark Powell (ARE / ARE)

Retired with mechanical problems

341. Yara Shalaby / Ian Greasby (EGY / EGY)

Stopped 14km into the stage

7. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE)

Transferred by helicopter to Madinat Zayed Hospital after crashing on the stage. No serious injuries and rider due to have a scan. 6. Toby Price (AUS) had stopped to assist him.

19. Kurt Burroughs (GBR)

Transferred by helicopter from stage to the bivouac medical centre with a minor leg injury

 

BULLETIN 11

Early news from Al Ain Water Stage 3 (281.38km)

308. Cyril Despres / Steve Ravussin (FRA / CHE)

Receiving assistance from the sweep team after getting stuck 20km into the stage

310. Luc Alphand / Andreas Schultz (FRA / DEU)

After a 2nd leg plagued by gearbox problems which dropped him from contention, the 2006 Desert Challenge champion was fastest to each of today’s first two check points.

Did not start the stage

306. Yazeed Al-Rajhi / Timo Gottschalk (KSA / DEU)

Receiving treatment at Madinat Zayed hospital after falling sick

313. Essa Al Dossery / Ali Hassan Obaid (SAU / ARE)

20. Neil Pentland (GBR)

 

BULLETIN 10

Driver news and comments from Nissan Stage 2 (287.92km)

304. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (CZE / CZE)

“I had a tough two thirds of the stage and PC3 was full of soft sand and big drops. We caught up with Al Qassimi and rode alongside with him for 2 hours but I think we came off line a little. We crashed into a dune near the end.”

302. Jakub Przygonski / Tom Colsoul (POL / BEL)

“Got stuck really bad and had a lot of digging to do. Lost around 15 minutes. Really soft sand with no shadows hard to read. We are here so we are happy.”

305. Yasir Hamed Seaidan / Aleksei Kuzmich (KSA / RUS)

“Today wasn’t my day. We had an oil pressure problem meaning our AC had to be cut making it very difficult to drive in the heat. Also we punctured a tyre 3km before the finishing line.”

308. Cyril Despres / Steve Ravussin (FRA / CHE)

“ A very hot and exhausting day. I finished my water about 15km from the finish and started seeing stars. The dunes were good, however the car is heavy when full of fuel. We lost a few minutes to help someone stuck in the sand.”

318. Stephan Schott / Paulo Fiuza (DEU / POR)

“It was a tough stage in the beginning with some steep dunes around PC2 and soft sand. Overall though we had no issues didn’t get stuck and have no stops or alerts. We’re happy with today and feel we’ve made up some time. If every day is like this, we’ll be happy.”

331. Luke Olholm / Dale Moscatt (AUS / AUS)

“After the few issues we had yesterday I am pleased to say that today was great. It was fantastic. We did not get stuck once. The car is running well, we are developing the car and we are developing the team.”

309. Yahya Al Helei / Khalid Alkendi (ARE / ARE)

“I had a good drive although I feel there isn’t enough power in my car, there’s definitely something wrong. I was even getting stuck in small dunes. Anyway I’m having fun and even helped out a couple of competitors along the way.”

315. Claude Fournier / Szymon Gospordarczyk (FRA / POL)

“A good drive and the buggy is going well.”

329. Khaled AlFeraihi / Osama Alsanad (SAU / SAU)

“Not an easy track today we had some tough dunes. We didn’t have enough speed and power for some of it.”

332. Terence Marsh / Riaan Greyling (ZAF / ZAF)

“We didn’t have a good day. It was difficult to see the sand. It turned from yellow to white quickly which made it hard to see the line.”

 

BULLETIN 9

Rider news and comments from Nissan Stage 2 (287.92km)

5. Sam Sunderland (ARE)

“I had a difficult day today. A lot of the track was off piste and the sun was pretty high and I reckon I lost time today. I managed to catch Toby early on and we rode together. It was an extremely hot and long day.”

3. Matthias Walkner (AUT)

“Rough stage and really hot. Big peaks and dunes which were difficult to read. In the end we rode together to the finish.”

1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL)

“Really good stage today. I started fifth so it was a good opportunity to catch some time on the guys, some big dunes and soft sand made it hard to maneuver.”

4. Paulo Goncalves (POR)

“It was a long stage today with 100% dunes and it was tough especially due to my physical condition. It’s my first race in 5 months and I’m happy to be back. My main target is to enjoy it and race the kms, and we have 3 tough days ahead of us.”

11. William Richard Brabec (USA)

“Abu Dhabi is always a fast challenge and we were keeping a fast pace for at least the first 40kms. For me not having as much desert riding experience like other competitors, I find it hard to judge the sand so I feel I’m working twice as hard. Also a lot of these guys are running with the enduro back tyre which makes it easier to ride through the sand.”

14. Jose Ignacio Cornejo F (CHL)

“Very fast day with a lot of speed from the front drivers. I tried to push hard - felt good, and it’s so nice out here with the big dunes, but I had to be careful. Faster than yesterday!”

6. Toby Price (AUS)

“Tough day, losing a lot of time with a broken fuel pump which I had to fix. Lost so much time, which will be hard to make up - but, that's rallying. I will keep cruising over the next few days.”

7. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE)

“The Desert Challenge really started today. Very difficult stage and it was hard to judge the sand up until the refuel. Managed to pick up after the refuel and joined up with another Honda rider and we rode out until the stage finish. A lot of fun today with some great jumps over the dunes and I definitely feel I’ve done better than last year’s stage.”

8. David McBride (ARE)

“A good run this morning, tougher during this last part and very hot. The soft sand was slow and the worst part of the stage.”

27. Benjamin Melot (ARE)

“It was a really long day and up until the refuel I was scared to take risks as there were a few big drops. After the refuel I joined up with McBride and let him open up a bit - some really cool dunes and a really fun ride.”

 

BULLETIN 8

NEWS FROM NISSAN STAGE 2 (287.92km)

306. Yazeed Al-Rajhi / Timo Gottschalk (KSA / DEU) – did not start the stage

338. Ravil Maganov / Kirill Shubin (RUS / RUS)– did not start the stage

10. Maciej Giemza (POL)– continued on the stage after receiving treatment for dehydration at the refuel

 

BULLETIN 7

DID NOT START NISSAN STAGE 2 (287.92km)

307. Harry Hunt / Sebastien Delauney (GBR / FRA)

Driver decided not to start after aggravating a neck injury when the car rolled on yesterday’s stage. The injury did not require medical attention.

312. Shameer Variawa / Zaheer Bodhanya (ARE / ZAF)

20. Neil Pentland (GBR)

 

BULLETIN 6

ADVANCE NOTICE FOR TUESDAY’S AL AIN WATER STAGE 3

Please avoid using the main road to Moreeb Hill to access vantage points on the stage on Tuesday as this will be closed by Police at Moreeb Hill.

 

BULLETIN 5

Did not finish Yas Marina Circuit Stage 1 (276.01km)

327      Matthew Telling / Mark Powell (ARE / ARE) – gearbox problems

334      Al Zubair Al Zubair / Mohamed Al Zadjali (OMA / OMA) – co-driver suffering from dehydration but will start tomorrow

20        Neil Pentland (GBR) – oil leak

21        Mark Davidson (ARE) – oil leak

 

BULLETIN 4

Driver news and comments from Yas Marina Circuit Stage 1 (276.01km)

310. Luc Alphand / Andreas Schultz (FRA / DEU)

Crawled across the line and then suddenly raced off.  Did not speak to anyone.

305. Yasir Hamed Seaidan / Aleksei Kuzmich (KSA / RUS)

“Very flat start so we went flat out, faster than the buggy of Luc Alphand. We had a beautiful drive, really enjoyed it.”

302. Jakub Przygonski / Tom Colsoul (POL / BEL)

“A long stage which was not so easy, we kept pushing and do not know how the other two, 310 and 305, got past us. It was quite hot and the sand was soft, but a good start for us.”

307. Harry Hunt / Sebastien Delauney (GBR / FRA)

Finished the stage with the front windshield obviously cracked and damaged. The roof of the car was flapping away and they had a tow rope trailing behind.

301. Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi / Xavier Panseri (ARE /FRA)

“We had a very good race today. The terrain was tricky and it was quite hard to find our momentum over the dunes. Overall I enjoyed the days racing.”

304. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (CZE / CZE)

“I really enjoyed the stage. It was a little fast at times and a little slow other times. We cruised nicely a lot of the time and our only concern is missing out on speed throughout the stage. It’s only the first stage so it’s good to get used the terrain and car. There was a lot of soft sand but we still managed to find a good line to ride.”

201. Kees Koolen (NLD)

“First day I took care and had no accidents. I kept the pace going and I look forward to plenty of nice days, despite it getting hot.”

306. Yazeed Al-Rajhi / Timo Gottschalk (KSA / DEU)

“The first section up to the middle was the best part for us. We have had a good day and there car is going well.”

308. Cyril Despres / Steve Ravussin (FRA / CHE)

“It’s very different doing a long stage with so many dunes. We did not have any problems, so we have done enough for today.”

320. Eugenio Amos / Filipe Palmeiro (ITA / POR)

“We had a really good stage. It was honestly a lot of fun, really fast and I expect the other stages will be too. Looking forward to it.”

317. Khalid Al Jafla / Ahmad Malik (ARE / ARE)

“The track was great and so was the day’s racing. The car ran perfectly too.”

309. Yahya Al Helei / Khalid Alkendi (ARE / ARE)

“There was an issue with the transmission, so I was glad to finish, I didn’t want to take risks and be out of the race. I want to enjoy the rest of the stages here with my friends doing what I love.”

 

BULLETIN 3

Rider news and comments from Yas Marina Circuit Stage 1 (276.01km)

1, Pablo Quintanilla (CHL)

“It was a good days riding but it’s extremely difficult to start the racing and tough to be in front without any tracks. It was definitely a reason for me losing time today.”

3. Matthias Walkner (AUT)

“It was a fast stage with lots of rises and it was rough to focus on, hard to see and hard to start in front. Overall I felt good about the stage.”

5. Sam Sunderland (ARE)

“I had a good stage but I’m a little frustrated with how it went. I ended up lost and due to a bad choice my tyre burned out about 20 km before refueling. The team fixed it quickly and I did well to catch up the rest but made a mistake on the track, ending up off piste. I’m glad the days racing is over.”

4. Paulo Goncalves (POR)

“Today was tough as my physical condition is poor - after breaking my wrist, shoulder and knee in Morocco. So in this my first race for 5 months may aim was to finish and improve my physical condition. Most dunes today were very soft and I got stuck a few times.”

11. Ricky Brabec (USA)

“It was really hot today and a really fast track, not so many big dunes although I feel we are heading for that in the next stages. No issues really although I was worried about burning through my fuel to quickly. It looks like I made a good choice.”

7. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE)

“I’m really happy with today’s riding. I feel that I’ve done much better than last year in speed and performance. It was soft terrain so I had to keep composed and I didn’t make any mistakes. There were a few times where I could catch the rest of the group but I tried to keep pace and not take unnecessary risks.”

6. Toby Price (AUS)

“It was difficult to read the dunes, but all in all a good stage. I finished in one piece and had no crashes.”

12. Michael Metge (FRA)

“It’s my first time in Abu Dhabi and I’m very surprised at the speed of the riders, like Toby Price who went flying past me. I like the big dunes, but the sand was soft in places. Now I’m a little tired, but good.”

14. Jose Ignacio Cornejo F (CHL)

“It was a really fast stage with lots of piste and sloped dunes - a fun day of riding. I’m looking forward to the rest of the stages. My bike was good and I had no issues with performance and I feel I can improve over the next few days.”

8. David McBride (ARE)

“I had a pretty good day but it was extremely hot. It was a fast stage and I had an issue with the front brake early on and I had to get off my bike to fix it.”

 

BULLETIN 2

Competitor news from Yas Marina Circuit Stage 1 (276.01km)