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Yamaha press releases on our motor sports racing activities

Fretigne takes podium place at 2009 Dakar Jan. 23, 2009

The location may have changed and landscape had altered slightly but the rigours and challenges of the Dakar rally remained firmly ensconced for the 2009 edition through South America. It was a positive event for Yamaha with France痴 David Fretigne guiding his WR450F to third position overall in the motorcycle category while Josef Machacek claimed his fifth Dakar victory in the Quad division.

Almost 6,000km of specials were originally planned for the 530 teams (49 nationalities) contestants in bike, quad, car and truck categories as the course weaved in a loop from Buenos Aires, cutting Argentina then up through Chile, the Andes and back around to the Argentine capital. The two week trek saw the cancellation of one stage due to heavy fog but overall 113 motorcyclists reached the finished of the journey (almost 10,000km in total) with 22 Yamaha riders among them.


From the fourteen stages held, 450cc class winner Fretigne ・who was running in a privately owned team and with a limited budget - finished in the top four on seven occasions. His best result was a second position captured on stage nine; a 90km special followed by a 450km liaison through the desert topography of Copiapo, northern Chile. Third position in the final standings represents his best ever Dakar finish.

典o make the podium at Dakar is a dream and I think it is quite an impressive feat to have done it with a 450cc machine against the bigger bikes,・said the multi French Enduro champion, who finished 5th in the 2005 Dakar and has four Special victories to his name. 鄭 lot of people did not think I could make the top three but I always believed it was possible and indeed for long stretches I was in second position, so I am happy.・


展ith the Yamaha we achieved the necessary reliability and performance,・he continued. 的 enjoyed riding the bike. The rally itself was hard but I hoped it would have been even harder as I had trained and prepared well and this allowed me to savour the full two weeks.・

Machacek, who captured Dakar honours in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007, raced to four victories in the 2009 stages, and his tally was part of an impressive haul of ten wins; Jose Maria Pena (Spain), Christophe Declerck (France) and Jose Manuel Gonzalez (Spain) also adding to the dominant score.

Czech Machacek only dropped out of the top two on four occasions equipped with his Dakar tuned Yamaha YFM700R powered Quad. "I am really happy the race is over and I won. It was my eighth Dakar and I have now raced seven on a quad and won five times. I did a good job in the dunes and the more dangerous sections,・the 52 year old veteran commented to the official Dakar website.

Thanks to the likes of Fretigne, Machacek and many others, Yamaha痴 presence at Dakar was maintained at a high level. The manufacturer has a fine record in the rally with nine overall victories stretching back to 1979 and six successes thanks to Dakar 鼠egend・Stephan Peterhansel. Fretigne痴 maiden effort in 2004 saw the introduction of the famous ・-Trac・mono WR450F and he won three stages against the might of the twin cylinders.

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