Dakar – Champion Despres signs with Yamaha for the Dakar! – A new blue man at Yamaha

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Champion Despres signs with Yamaha for the Dakar !

Dakar - Champion Despres signs with Yamaha for the Dakar! - A new blue man at Yamaha

Yamaha Motor France announces the arrival in its ranks of a new Blue unlike any other: Cyril Despres! Five-time Dakar winner on KTM, the French driver will race on the YZF450 and aim for a sixth success, as much as a certain Peterhansel.

A new blue man at Yamaha

Yamaha Motor France held this morning at the restaurant "Monsieur Bleu" – where else? – from the Palais de Tokyo a press conference. And the event is exceptional, since "such a meeting had not been held since 1988 !", specifies the Managing Director of YMF, Eric de Seynes.

The announcement is just as important: for the "Blues" it is a question of indicating to the press, their fans and their rivals (oranges, reds … of all colors!) That their YZF450 is fine. ready and they will play for the win at the next Dakar 2014 !

Engaged from the first edition of this Rally in 1979, the Japanese brand and its French subsidiary officially participated in 29 Dakar races and won nine. "The Dakar has always been for us a great field of experimentation that helps the customer motorcycle of tomorrow to progress.", continues the big boss of Yamaha in France.

In terms of machines, Yamaha has tried almost everything: monos, twins and even 4-cylinders with the "Rocket" FZ750T (94 hp at 12,000 rpm, 220 kg empty) than the charismatic Jean-Claude Olivier himself. had decided to develop "in order to put a pill to the twin cylinders which had beaten its monos in 1985", remembers Eric de Seynes…

Yam ‘even experimented with a two-wheel drive motorcycle (!) Piloted in 2004 by David Fretigné, then a top rider with the Blues in charge of developing the WRF450 (read)…

Latest model: the Yamaha YZF450 which, when it was released in 2010, encouraged the Blues to come back to competition more intensely "but in a modest way", emphasizes Eric de Seynes,"in particular because of the crisis which limits our budgets".

Yamaha Motor France decides to form a solid team around which more and more big names in rally-raid revolve: "HFP, through Franck Helbert, has been working on the general development of the motorcycle since 2004", details YMF,"Pascal Pons (Axen DP) is in charge of the electronics and injection part and Guillaume Davion (Dragon Tek) is responsible for the development of suspensions".

The hard work of all these members allows Yamaha riders to shine: "during the, we had a wonderful first week where we saw Olivier Pain lead and keep up the pressure for four days with David Casteu".

"I remember calling Jean-Claude (Olivier, NDLR) on Friday evening, the day before his ", evokes the boss of the Blues:"he was absolutely delighted with the results and we were proud to give him this gift, not knowing that it would unfortunately be the last"…

In addition to the disappearance of their great chef JCO, the second week of the Blues at the Dakar 2013 is marked on the track "by various incidents and by fierce competition"… But the bike has largely proved its worth. All that remains is to perch" the "exceptional rider, the one who can hoist Yam ‘to the top of the podium….

Eric de Seynes and his team have no choice: unlike JCO, which was determined to model its own pilots and was wary of top pilots high elsewhere, sometimes with other values, EDS comes into contact with "the enemy "from February…

"The little voice of JCO that trotted in my head vanished the instant Cyril introduced himself to us", evokes the new boss of Cyril Despres:"the current is immediately passed"… And the two-year contract (third year renewable – followed !

Victorious five times on the Dakar (read), the French driver "for 13 years already, he had started as a mechanic", reminds us of Yamaha Marketing and Communications Director Alexandre Kowalski.

In the YMF clan, we welcome the adoption of this new member: "his arrival with us went perfectly"continues Alexandre Kowalski."On the set of the welcome video (see next page, Editor’s note), he discovered another, more convivial atmosphere … It’s easier for him because there is no longer the language barrier".

"I discovered in the brand a very family spirit, with a lot of dialogue and a motivated and invested technical staff, listening to my expectations", attests n ° 1."I am sure that we will form a close-knit team, focused on one goal: to seek victory !"

Inducted by Stephane Peterhansel himself, Cyril Despres declares himself "very motivated to join the blue men of Yamaha, because they made me dream when I was still very young". For him, moreover, to equal – beat?! – the record of victories of Mr. Peterhansel on a Yamaha appears as"An evidence !"

To do this, Despres will be supported by a water carrier "fast !": Mickael Metge."He is an ambitious young man who took part in his first Dakar in 2013 and who gives everything", summarizes Cyril.

For his part, Olivier Pain is logically renewed in the Yamaha Racing team. Besides the Dakar 2014, he will line up (without Despres) on the Rallye du Maroc. The new recruit begins his program next week with the Rally of Sardinia.

The new Yamaha rider will follow the Rally dos Sertões (Brazil), the Desafio Inca (Peru) and, of course, the Dakar 2014 Argentina – Bolivia – Chile! To be continued on MNC: stay connected…

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