- The Repsol Toyota Rally Team driver made a great comeback after riding at a fast pace and climbing from 113th place in the starting order to 25th in the standings of the 12th stage of the Dakar Rally.
- The Spaniard and his co-driver Txema Villalobos have changed tactics for the remainder of the Dakar and will be looking for good stage results for the rest of the race.
- "There are two stages left and we will ride to the maximum, as we did today," says Esteve.
Isidre Esteve and Txema Villalobos have completed the 185 kilometers of the second segment of the marathon stage showing a great pace and leaving behind the technical problems of yesterday. The Repsol Toyota Rally Team crew, who started in position 113 of the agenda, has signed a great comeback to conclude the special in 25th place scratch, and 19th of T1. In the overall standings they are 35th overall and 25th in T1.
After the complications of the previous day, the sun came out again for the Repsol Toyota Rally Team drivers. And it did so after a long night, as Isidre Esteve explained: "If it hadn't been for Txema, who made a bridge in the middle of yesterday's special stage to save the problem with a part of the starter motor, we would have spent many hours waiting for the T5 in the dunes. When the race assistance truck (T5) arrived at the bivouac at one o'clock in the morning, they gave us a new unit so that we could change it and continue today without any problems".
The three hours lost yesterday forced the Spanish driver to revise his race strategy, starting with the stage back to Shaybah: "We started very far back and with a lot of dust, especially on the track and the chotts, but this did not alter our decision to attack from the first kilometer and, although it was difficult to overcome the large number of cars and buggies ahead of us, we managed to do so. The biggest difficulty of the special stage was a string of pink sand dunes that was very disturbed by the passing of the caravan, but we overcame it thanks to the car, which is performing extraordinarily well in this terrain".
The driver from Lleida now hopes to keep up the pace for the rest of the Dakar: "It's a real shame what happened yesterday, because our race plan was 100% on track and we were where we wanted to be. Now, there are two stages left and we will go to the maximum. We feel strong enough to do it and the car allows us to do it. We just have to raise the level and attack".
The 13th stage of the Dakar will lead the caravan in the direction of Al-Hofuf, leaving the Empty Quarter after completing 154 timed kilometers, which include the last dune passes of the week.
Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version available on www.todoterreno.pt
Source Repsol Rally Team