Pain triumphs with podium finish for Yamaha as 2014 Dakar ends
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Olivier Pain has taken a hard won podium with third overall in the 2014 Dakar Rally after 13 extremely challenging stages. Pain engaged in a close battle with teammate Cyril Despres over the last 157 kilometers of the final special, coming home in second to finally win the third place on the podium. Pain had been 40 minutes back from the podium on the rest day, making his attack on the second half of the Rally even more impressive
Despres had been on track to win his third special aboard his YZ450F machine in a week to finish just behind Olivier in fourth place in the overall standings. Unfortunately a five minute penalty for speeding resulted in a drop from first on the special to fifth. Despres retained fourth in the standings, less than 15 minutes from second place.
The five-time Dakar winner made an impressive comeback over the rally, having been in 12th at the end of stage five and 11th on the rest day. Despite some issues and time penalties, the 2013 champion’s first Dakar with Yamaha showed great potential, with riding hours comparable to the first and second placed riders.
Cyril’s support rider Michael Metge finished the 2014 Dakar with a strong result, taking seventh on the last special of the Rally having set the pace early on in the stage.
The Yamaha Factory rider scored his best ever Dakar stage finish of sixth this year to take 13th overall in the final standings. Venezuelan rider Nicolas Vagnoni’s continued to lead the G2 Marathon class on his Yamaha WR450 machine until the end. With a 41-minute advantage over second place, Vagnoni took a well-deserved class win.
Chile’s Ignacio Casale was the special stage winner again on his Yamaha Raptor 700 quad to secure yet another consecutive Dakar Rally quad victory for Yamaha. He wasn’t alone on the podium. Second place fell to Polish rider Rafal Sonik, making it a Yamaha one-two. The only female quad rider in the event, Italian Camelia Liparoti brought her Yamaha home in 13th overall after an impressive performance.