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

2011 Dakar Rally Stage 1 Results

Sunday, January 2, 2011
Note: A one-minute penalty was handed out last night to Ruben Faria for exceeding the speed limit, handing the stage victory to Cyril Despres. The results have been amended.

Marc Coma - Stage 1
Marc Coma led ther motorcycle riders out of Victoria for the first racing stage of the 2011 Dakar Rally.
Opening ceremonies are over and the initial 377 km liaison on January 1 is complete. The 2011 Dakar Rally kicked off today with the first stage of racing that left Victoria, Argentina and set off for Cordoba to the northwest. First up was a 482 km transfer and KTM’s Marc Coma led 170 bikes and 30 quads off the start line.

Riders entered the first special section of the year which wound through mountainous terrain and featured three checkpoints along the 192 km stage. The factory KTM rider left at 10 a.m. with the distinction of laying first tracks on the 2011 course. By the time racers started rolling through the first checkpoint at 110 km, KTM’s other superstar, Cyril Despres, had inherited the lead with Coma just over a minute behind. It didn’t take long, however, for the race to start taking shape as riders who left later in the morning were clocked through and Portuguese rider Ruben Faria had worked his way in to the group of fastest riders based on adjusted time. Faria is the support rider for Despres and has done well to get himself physically closer to his lead rider after starting the day as the 11th machine off the line. By CP2 he was into the lead by over 30 seconds and he continued to pull ahead through the final stretch of terrain to record his fourth career stage victory.

Riders finished the special and clocked a short transfer to the bivouac in Cordoba. Once the timing was sorted out, Faria led his teammate by 29 seconds with Coma 46 seconds behind in third. Coma’s support man, Juan Pedrero Garcia, finished fourth with Paulo Goncalves breaking up a KTM top-5 sweep on his BMW. American Jonah Street put in a solid ride on his Yamaha WR450F and landed in sixth while Chilean rider and local favorite, Francisco Lopez Contardo, was seventh on his twin-cylinder Aprilia.

Rider Quotes:
Ruben Faria - Stage 1
Ruben Faria took the stage victory as he pushed closer to his lead rider, Cyril Despres, who finished second.
Ruben Faria (PRT – KTM) 1st, 1st OA
"I managed to keep a good tempo from the beginning to the end. This special stage looked very much like what I am used to seeing in Portugal. I am glad to know that in the end it paid out and I got the day's best clock. I did better today than many great riders with different driving styles. It's already a good point of reference. I am also very happy to see that my teammate Cyril Despres also made excellent time."

Cyril Despres (FRA – KTM) 2nd, 2nd OA
"The day started really early this morning. Waking up at 3 a.m. was a bit of a rough start but the conditions were good. It was not too cold in the liaison but that section was almost the toughest because the special stage was really great fun. It was a great warming-up exercise, a winding route, big sliding sections, a mix between skiing and riding. I am in good shape; all is fine... In the beginning of a Dakar, one always wonders, especially now that all the top riders are riding 450cc bikes. Is this going to change much? Even if we tested our bikes, a Dakar will always be a Dakar. The race is on now and staying focused is of the essence."

Marc Coma (ESP – KTM) 3rd, 3rd OA
"A good warming-up stage; not an easy one though. It had a highly technical section and a faster section. What matters is reaching the end of the first stage without trouble. It's always a bit strange to start a new Dakar. Obviously, the fact that I was opening the route made me lose time on the others but this is the game of the race. The next few days will tell me how to catch up."

Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP – KTM) 4th, 4th OA
"I am very, very happy. It was a great special stage for me; I arrived here without trouble and I am an official pilot. I’m very happy about the bike. We had tested it but in race conditions, things are very different. I am pretty surprise about my timing. I was really motivated at the start; the ground felt like enduro racing and I grew confident after a while. A great motivation."

2011 Dakar Rally Stage 1 Results:
Cyril Despres - Stage 1
Cyril Despres holds a slight advantage over his nemesis, Coma, after Stage 1.
1.  Cyril Despres, FRA (KTM) 01:58:31
2. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 01:59:02
3. Marc Coma, SPA (KTM) 01:59:17
4. Juan Pedrero Garcia, ESP (KTM) 02:00:15
5. Paulo Goncalves, PRT (BMW) 02:00:20
6. Jonah Street, USA (Yamaha) 02:01:09 
7. Francisco Lopez Contardo, CHL (Aprilia) 02:01:16
8. Jose Helio Rodrigues Filho, BRA (BMW) 02:01:25
9. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (Yamaha) 02:02:13
10. Frans Verhoeven, NLD (BMW) 02:02:25

2011 Dakar Rally Overall Standings:
1. Cyril Despres, FRA (KTM) 01:58:31
2. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 01:59:02
3. Marc Coma, SPA (KTM) 01:59:17
4. Juan Pedro Garcia, ESP (KTM) 02:00:15
5. Paulo Goncalves, PRT (BMW) 02:00:20
6. Jonah Street, USA (Yamaha) 02:01:09
7. Francisco Lopez Contardo, CHL (Aprilia) 02:01:16
8. Jose Helio Rodrigues Filho, BRA (BMW) 02:01:25
9. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (Yamaha) 02:02:13
10. Frans Verhoeven, NLD (BMW) 02:02:25
 
2011 Dakar Rally Racing Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
2011 Dakar Rally Standings
Stage
Overall
Related Dakar Rally Articles

Login or sign up to comment.

Comments
brownwrench -MECH  January 2, 2011 11:40 PM
THIS INEZ SAINZ REMINDS ME OF SPEEDY GONZALES
Thomas So- Canada -Reporter  January 2, 2011 09:29 PM
Versus hired Ines Sainz, she's the gal who works for Univision and was involved earlier this year in a semi-scandal/ harassment. Interesting....
RR -Go Jonah  January 2, 2011 08:06 PM
I met Jonah at a media event (we're both sponsored by Top 1 Oil) He's a great guy. I wish him the best. He's the right man to be representing the Red, White and Blue. Go Jonah!
Tessier -Jonah  January 2, 2011 05:25 PM
Nice 6th Place on day one. This is looking good and BTW did better then all the factory Yamaha riders.