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Champion Despres joins Yamaha

2013-05-31 12:10

FLYING NEW COLOURS: 2013 Dakar Rally Champion Cyril Despres has signed up with Yamaha for the 2014 Dakar Rally. Image: Yamaha

Yamaha Motor France has signed 2013 Dakar Rally Champion Cyril Despres for the 2014 race on its YZ450F based machine with Michael Metge as a support rider.

Despres, who took this year's win with KTM, is the most successful Dakar rider of the last decade, winning in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

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The only person to beat the world’s toughest endurance race is Stephane Peterhansel who has six victories under his belt, all too with Yamaha as well.

The Dakar-spec YZ450F has a rear-slanted engine that already impressed at the 2013 Dakar Rally and took rider David Casteu and challenger Frans Verhoeven to a stage victory.

'FEELS LIKE FAMILY'

Despres said: “I am very motivated by the idea of joining Yamaha’s ‘men in blue’. I remember watching them on TV as a boy and dreaming.

“I have discovered a strong feeling of family, excellent communication and a technical staff that is motivated and open to feedback. I am certain we will form a strong, united team, focused on one objective: achieving victory.

“I am also delighted to have Michael Metge as support rider. He is an ambitious newcomer who entered his first Dakar successfully in 2013 and is extremely motivated.”

NEW MOTIVATION

Yamaha Motor France CEO, Eric de Seynes, said: “We had the chance of meeting Cyril after the 2013 Dakar. Straightaway we understood that not only does he have the experience, technical know-how and riding ability to make the Yamaha shine, but also that we share the same values and ambitions.

“He is a new source of motivation for all our technicians and for the brand.

“Both his track record and his personality make him an appreciated public figure who brings an international impact that will benefit Yamaha’s entire global market.”

The boys in blue have a busy year ahead. Despres will be taking part in the Sardegna Rally Race, the Rally Dos Sertoes (Brazil), the Desafio Inca (Peru) and the 2014 Dakar Argentina-Bolivia-Chile.

Watch the video.
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