Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2012 Dakar Rally Stage 1 Results

Monday, January 2, 2012
Francisco Lopez - Stage 1
Francisco 'Chaleco' Lopez has taken the early lead in the 2012 Dakar Rally after winning the first stage.
The 2012 Dakar contest officially launched on Sunday as Chilean rider Francisco Lopez posted the fastest time to take the early lead. The 36-year-old covered the small dunes just outside of Mar del Plata with expert precision on his Aprilia machine, finishing just 14 seconds ahead of defending champ Marc Coma. The strong start for Lopez proved important as last-minute problems before the rally were especially nerve-wracking. Meanwhile, Argentina’s Javier Pizzolito and American Quinn Cody were among the other top finishers, with Cody currently running just 30 seconds adrift of Lopez in fourth.
 
“I´ve been cautious, I started very fast this morning because the first part of the special stage was hard and there were many spectators,” said Lopez. “The Dakar´s first stage must always be faced with caution, avoiding risks and it is useful to take the race rhythm. Fortunately, the last 20 km were fast and I succeeded guiding in an aggressive way, showing of the power of my Aprilia.”
 
After covering the 60km special, riders faced a long liaison close to 800km away in Santa Rosa de la Pampa. Poland’s Jakub Przygonski rounded out the top-five finishers on Day 1, with Great Britain’s Sam Sunderland running more than a minute behind the competition. On a sad note the rally claimed the life of Argentinean rider Jorge Boero on Sunday. The 38-year-old was contesting the first stage when he suffered severe head and chest injuries from a crash.
 
“I want to send my condolences to all the family and friends of Jorge Martínez Boero,” said Coma. “When things like that happen is not good for our sport, but, above all, no one should pay such a high price for a race."
 
Marc Coma - Stage 1
Three-time Dakar champion Marc Coma is currently 14 seconds behind Lopez at the end of Day 1.
It was a great start for MRW KTM support rider Ruben Faria, who posted a time just 13 seconds behind Sunderland during the first stage. Frenchman David Casteu was in close pursuit of Faria during the special, as American Jonah Street kept the leaders in sight after finishing a minute and a half off Lopez.
 
Cyril Despres will have to make up time in the subsequent stages following a sluggish start. The Frenchman is 1:48 behind after finishing 13th during Day 1. Meanwhile Despres support rider, Joan Pedrero, was also slow getting started as he tested the mettle of his KTM 450 Rally bike. The Spaniard finished 18th more than 30 seconds adrift of his teammate.
 
Marc Coma (ESP – KTM) 2nd, 2nd OA
“Happy New Year, everyone! The first special was breathtaking: next to the seaside and with beautiful little dunes. It really was a fantastic warm-up. But we still have a long day ahead of us, with a lengthy liaison.”
 
David Casteu (FRA – Yamaha) 9th, 9th OA
“The start of the special was awesome, with dunes on the seaside. Amazing! The special was beautiful, with technical sections, dunes and a fast finish. A good warm-up... But when I was crossing a river, next to a field, a bug bit me again, just under my cheek! I hope everything will be OK... You will see me deformed again... The first days of the Dakar are definitely not my lucky days!”
 
Cyril Despres (FRA – KTM) 13th, 13th OA
“I am happy to start, to ride my motorcycle, to see my roadbook and notes again... I just need to get used to it again... I took this special quite cautiously because there were a lot of potholes, fesh-fesh, dust... and spectators, so I kept it cool at the beginning!”

Helder Rodrigues (PRT – Yamaha) 15th, 15th OA
“A nice start to the race, with a short special which was quite technical due to the sand and the need to draw upon one's navigational skills. I rode strongly but carefully to make it here. Today is but the first day, the time to attack will come...”
 
Joan Garcia Pedrero (ESP – KTM) 18th, 18th OA
"Today, as it was the first day, we started very nervous, so the aim was to finish the stage and ride calmly to secure the arrival, because we had a stage in front of us where we had more to lose than to win. I set a quiet pace, testing that everything was working well, both the bike and the navigation. Tomorrow we will be more calm."

2012 Dakar Rally Stage 1 Results:
1. Francisco Lopez, CHL (Aprilia) 00:32:37
Cyril Despres - Stage 1
Frenchman Cyril Despres had a slow start in 13th, but look for him to improve as the competition continues.

2. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 00:32:51
3. Javier Pizzolito, ARG (Honda) 00:33:04
4. Quinn Cody, USA (Honda) 00:33:07
5. Jakub Przygonski, POL (KTM) 00:33:26
6. Joan Barreda Bort, ESP (Husqvarna) 00:33:34
7. Sam Sunderland, GBR (Honda) 00:33:42
8. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 00:33:55
9. David Casteu, FRA (Yamaha) 00:34:03
10. Jonah Street, USA (Yamaha) 00:34:07

2012 Dakar Rally Overall Standings:
1. Francisco Lopez, CHL (Aprilia) 00:32:37
2. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 00:32:51
3. Javier Pizzolito, ARG (Honda) 00:33:04
4. Quinn Cody, USA (Honda) 00:33:07
5. Jakub Przygonski, POL (KTM) 00:33:26
6. Joan Barreda Bort, ESP (Husqvarna) 00:33:34
7. Sam Sunderland, GBR (Honda) 00:33:42
8. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 00:33:55
9. David Casteu, FRA (Yamaha) 00:34:03
10. Jonah Street, USA (Yamaha) 00:34:07

2012 Dakar Rally Racing Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
2012 Dakar Rally Standings
Stage

Login or sign up to comment.