Racing News by Laurent Lazard

05/01/2012 | STAGE 6 Fiambala-Copiapo Cancelled



Due to the bad weather continuing over the Andes Cordillera (rain and snow), the Chilean authorities were forced to close,

for the night, the border at Paso de San Francisco, situated at 4700m.

For the 7th time, the Dakar is about to cross over the Andes, and because of very unfavourable conditions, added to the fact that the course has been hit by rain and snow, in order to guarantee the security of the competitors

and those following the rally, the organisers have decided to organise a convoy for all vehicles tomorrow.

The itinerary has been changed after the border (follow the main road on the right which goes to Diego de Almagro).



Compte tenu de l’aggravation continuelle des conditions météo sur la Cordillère des Andes (pluie et neige), les autorités

chiliennes ont été contraintes de fermer pour ce soir la frontière au Paso de San Francisco qui culmine à 4700 mètres d’altitude.

Pour la 7ème fois, le Dakar s’apprête à franchir la Cordillère des Andes, et tenant compte des conditions très

défavorables, ajoutées à la dégradation du parcours battu ces dernières heures par la pluie et la neige, dans le souci

de garantir la sécurité des concurrents et des accompagnateurs du rallye, les organisateurs ont décidé de faire passer

en convoi l’ensemble des véhicules demain.

22/12/2010 | 2011 Argentina Chile DAKAR with 450cc bikes


2011 Dakar ARGENTINA – CHILE, some changes… and all with 450 cc.

We are already there, a few days after the third Dakar in South America starting this coming January 2, with pilots switching brands, new pilots, an extended route, a single 450cc There will be no exceptions will be 450 all up… KTM now has its 450.

This time ASO has made the trip from the hand of David Castera, is preparing to begin on January 2, draw the boundaries Chilean border with Bolivia (east) and Peru (north). The rest day will take place in the last city in northern Chile (Arica), at the gates of the Peruvian border.

Argentina also visit new cities and regions. The further to the northwest of the country, Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán. New cities, new territories and more desert and hard courts that will again test the resilience of men and machines.

All with 450 ………….

In 2011 and shall come into force the obligation, without any exception, to participate in the test with 450 cc bikes. Recall that the ASO last year approved an exception for a select group of pilots could engage with the larger displacement bikes but with a flange that limited power.

Moreover, ASO will limit the benefits of GPS, which only serve to confirm the status of the ‘waypoint’ (mandatory crossing points), giving priority to an essential element in the over thirty year career: the road book.

Jordi Viladoms, the Dakar with Yamaha.

Viladoms has finally found a team that compete in the next edition of the world’s toughest rally, not any team, one of the official, with a consolidated bike with options to everything, and that Yamaha is ready to support three drivers: Portuguese Helder Rodrigues, Spanish and French Jordi Viladoms Olivier Pain. It appears that Yamaha feel bad what Frétigné did ,and are willing to keep on its agenda the Dakar Rally.

BMW-with Frétigné and Verhoeven

KTM, with Despres and Coma

Laia Sanz, will debut in the race with a Honda CRF450X rally and Jordi Arcarons DAKAR will return to this time as a backpacker Trial champion Laia.
Arcarons will ride the bike to run the next edition of the Dakar rally. But his, this time not to win but to make a function always difficult: backpacker.
Jordan is the coach of Laia Sanz and go after her to try to get trial champion finished the Dakar 2011, one of the goals is to win the female category.

Bultaco: objective, Dakar 2011
Ignacio Chivite look on his Bultaco Frontera 370, 1978, becoming the first driver to successfully complete the next edition of the Rally harder and difficult in the world with the Spanish company.

Marc Coma has backpacker
After the loyal squire who has followed in the past five years, Jordi Viladoms, decided to “independence”, Marc Coma has chosen to give him a hand in case of problems …
Joan Pedrero coming to be hes backpacker for the next edition of the Dakar rally

Yamaha makes BMW Frétigné
After 13 years of collaboration with Yamaha, David Frétigné leaves to become the brand new BMW team rider

21/12/2010 | Laurent Lazard and SHERCO waiting for January first


 2011, will be a year to remember, the pilot ( born in France) Uruguayan now representing Uruguay in International Enduros, as the DAKAR, being part of the team SHERCO, where he will be partner with David Casteu (Fra) for the next Argentina – Chile DAKAR 2011, after many years difficult to obtain contracts and sponsors to compete, a chance to hit the door of this.French pilot Uruguayan Official compete with a brand, hes work has been rewarded and we can only wait for the arrival of acomplishment from the hand of a team that will be (the people)talking about in Latin America, the Chilean Lopez was first with the official mark Aprilia and now Laurent Lazard in Sherco, two South Americans with a lot of talent and potential to support new brands in this that was long dominance by the color orange…..


SHERCO… 16 are the current models of this brand among, Enduro, Trials, MX and Supermoto.


Sherco brand, born in 1998


Born as a result of the passion for testing Marc Teissier, Sherco has carved a niche for itself among the leading manufacturers in the market, the success of this brand has been evident since the beginning.Sherco brand among users has enabled rapid popularity.


The number of motorcycles available evidence was increased from one to four (Trial, Supermoto, Enduro MX), including a special model designed for children.


The second Sherco plant, located in the French city of Nimes, will make the brand evolves and has more variety to offer the public newToday, Sherco has a significant presence in 50 countries on five continentsThese new models include the same quality and the strengths that have become associated with the name of Sherco.


So we in Uruguay and why not all of Latin America we have a truly representative….congratulations toLaurent Lazard for this achievement in which deservedly won.


Carlos Galaretto.



03/07/2010 | 25-06-2010 – Trail Hunters…

The reconnaissance team led by David Castera has already driven a few thousand kilometres and had some hitches along the way in Argentina and Chile when finishing the reconnaissance of the final route of the Rally Raid. Here is the story of the first reconnaissance tour.

It all starts with a dive into mapping software systems for weeks. The IT tool provides a realistic, a precise vision of the terrain where drivers, riders and teams of the Dakar will fight for victory. The stage cities are chosen on the basis of the software assessment. It is then time to go there and check the consistency of the draft route. This is the purpose of the first series of reconnaissance that was completed a few days ago in Argentina and Chile. David Castera, the race manager, made three stays in the field with the South-American teams of the rally to check all sites and trails on the agenda. Drawn in details after the first round of recce, the route will then be put forward for approval to representatives of the authorities in charge of environmental protection and to associations in charge of protecting archaeological sites. People from both structures shall also ride along with the team for the second run of reconnaissance that will drive the route once again this summer.

As planned, it is in the North of Argentina that David started previewing the route contenders will have to face. Immediately, the “trail hunter” has his first disappointments: “We moved very slowly because a lot of the trails did not exist or would lead us towards hills and mountains that are too high. Eventually we found a pretty wide corridor that will take us to Tucuman and then to Jujuy. In terms of landscapes, I really liked the fairy chimneys that can be seen in the background in the area. The other satisfaction of the beginning of the raid is to reuse the principle of separate stages for bikes and then cars and trucks, with e.g. more technical sections for the two-wheelers.”

For this third Latin-American edition of the raid, the Dakar will pursue its discovery of Chile up to Arica, just a stone’s throw from the Peruvian border. The stay in the Atacama Desert will – once again – be the highlight of the Chilean part of the raid:“Opportunities are almost endless around the two huge sand banks and dunes of Copiapo and Iquique. I keep finding locations each time I go there. The contenders are in for new surprises”, explains Castera talking about the stages designed in the kingdom of off-road rallying.

When inspiration is missing, chance seems to come to the rescue of the reconnaissance team looking for routes that will challenge the contenders on the way back to Buenos Aires: “After a stage where the contenders will have to fight against the white sand dunes in Fiambala, I wanted to keep the bar high and the race intense up to the finish line. But to reach San Juan, I had found nothing but useless or uninteresting trails. I was getting depressed when we met a tour guide specialized in hiking who knows the area like the back of his hand. We had a chat; he called some of his buddies to the rescue and the next day, we were five men looking for the right track for the special stage in question!” With the help of his new improvised recce team mates, David was pretty happy about the gems found by his table neighbours: “In a nutshell, it is really the most beautiful stage of the rally both for the race and for the landscape. It runs through canyons and rios; it plunges into valleys of red rocks… it is simply amazing!”

27/12/2009 | Alain Duclos: « The mental aspect remains the most important»

On the evening of the opening stage on the 2009 Dakar, Alain Duclos was 210th overall due to tyre problems and his hopes for a strong showing were buried deep in the sand of the Pampas. His main mission of aiding Cyril Despres was also jeopardized when the team leader suffered the same hardship. Despite it all, the South American experience was enriching for the “part-time” rider, who got his chance to ride with the tenors of the category. “It was very instructive to experience the rally alongside Cyril. I learned what it means to be professional and disciplined”. This year, the Franco-Malian is back with the Toni Togo Team in the role of lead rider. After finishing 7th in 2006, Duclos isn’t worried about the uncertainties concerning the performance equivalencies between his bridled KTM 690cc and the smaller 450ccs he’ll race against. “The competition for the top positions is always hard fought. I have the feeling that at the end of the day, the mental aspect is still the most important. I hope I can finish in the top five. After all, I now have some experience and savoir faire…I am going to them all a hell of a run“, concludes Alain with just a lilt of humour.

24/12/2009 | Motorcycle race – Not just the two of them

It might well be a whole different ball game in the motorcycle race from now on… For many years, it was mostly an internal struggle between KTM riders, for a while split between the Spanish and French branches of the constructor. In the last few years, the contest was even down to an exciting showdown between Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, both solid pacesetters in the discipline. But the steady rise of under 450 cc machines led the organisers to opt for such bikes in the future, since they are now more reliable, reasonably cheaper, safer and far less thirsty than their more powerful counterparts. To make the shift easier towards an all-450cc field, top riders have been allowed to start this year with their 690cc bikes, on condition that their engines be equipped by an air input restrictor to curb their power. It remains to be seen whether the two double winners can retain their hold on the race under the new rules. Holder Coma and his arch-rival Despres have amply proved that they are peerless in terms of physical condition, riding skills and navigation. They will again be the leading favourites at the start in Buenos Aires. But the new deal will probably boost the ambitions of their rivals.

Among them, David Fretigne will be closely watched after his third place last year on a 450 cc. This time around, he will fight on equal terms. The test will be one of mental strength and experience as well for the Yamaha rider. Apart from Yamaha and Honda, several constructors have already launched serious programs to develop 450 cc machines with the Dakar in mind. Italy’s Aprilia signed Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez, who is intent on taking his new colours to the very top. Chile’s Lopez will be on home ground in the Atacama desert. As for Frans Verhoeven, winner of two stages in 2009, he managed to convince BMW to return with a 450 cc. French team Sherco, who made a name for themselves on the enduro circuit, are eager to conquer the world of rally raid. They will count on David Casteu, 2nd in 2007 and 4th last year. 
The revolution is underway!



 The last stage, run in the form of two loops around Nefta, allowed Cyril Despres to pull away from his rivals and take his 3rd OiLibya de Tunisie ahead of Marc Coma, a little ‘lost’ first time around. The battle for the third place between the Spaniard Jordi Viladoms and ‘Chaleco’ Lopez finally went in favour of the Chilean for just 13 seconds – incredible after 11 days of racing… In the 450 class Olivier Pain achieved his goal and won his category after a hard fight with Bruno Da Costa and Luca Manca. After having dominated since the start of the rally, Lionel Laine wins ahead of Camelia Liparoti and the current world champion Karim Dilou. In the cars Orlando Terranova wins his first World Cup event at the wheel of his BMW X3 ahead of an incisive Christian Lavieille and his Proto Dessoude. Guerlain Chicherit puts the second BMW on the third step of the podium. In the 2-wheel class Pascal Thomasse and his MD Buggy pips Jean-Louis Schlesser, while Jerome Pelichet takes the Wildcat Trophy. The Russian pairing of Varentsov-Elagin wins the T2 class. Finally Alain Coquelle, Frederic Becart and Dominique Lefevre take the truck victory.

The end of 11 days of intense racing saw an explosion of joy. Right from the first loop this morning, Cyril Despres hit hard, taking advantage of a navigation error by his rival Marc Coma. On the second lap the Frenchman only had to control the situation to take the victory. The Spaniard finally finished 5’57 behind to take second place. Winning here for the third time, after 2002 and 2004, Cyril Despres was delighted with the result on a race of this quality. For the third place the battle was even closer. 4th yesterday evening, ‘Chaleco’ showed his tactical skill. Marking his rival Jordi Viladoms over the first stage he let him cross the finish line first. Then on the second lap, with the Spaniard in his sights, the Chilean attacked hard to win by just 13 seconds. In the 450 class Olivier Pain, very in form over these last few days, wins ahead of Bruno Da Costa, Luca Manca and the first lady home Virginie Premat. Mission accomplished for the 2008 winner , 9th overall. No last minute surprises in the quads. As since the beginning of the race, Lionel Laine won ahead of Camelia Liparoti, with whom he has run a team race these last few days. With the two KTMs in the first two places, Karim Dilou and his Yamaha made it to third place after a multitude of mechanical problems.

In the cars Orlando Terranova made no mistakes to post his first victory on a round of the Rally-Raid World Cup – his BMW X3 running like clockwork over the 4500 kilometres. 38’20 behind, Christian Lavieille achieves a magnificent performance at the wheel of his Proto Dessoude N05. Finishing between the two factory cars, the Frenchman can be satisfied with his performance after having finished third in 2008. Guerlain Chicherit completes the podium. Winner on Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge last month, he increases his lead in the World Cup. A fine performance also from Nicolas Misslin who returns to rally raid with a 6th place. In the 2-wheel class Pascal Thomasse ‘steals’ victory off Jean Louis Schlesser whose new car is currently ‘a work in progress’.

Artem Varentsov takes the first place in the T2 category in his Toyota ahead of Michele De Nora and the Mitsubishi Pajero of Christian Barbier, who announces his retirement from the sport after 23 years of racing. The Frenchman has however promised to return to help pass on his knowledge to the younger generation. Jerome Pelichet, winner of the Wildcat Trophy, was delighted to have participated in this African rally. In the Open Class, victory to another Bowler, that of Pierre Lachaume. Finally in the truck class Alain Coquelle celebrates his victory in the T4 class with 38’19 ahead of Frederic Coudereau, followed by Sylvain Besnard and Richard Gonzalez. Renault ahead of Man and Mercedes. The 27th Rallye OiLibya de Tunisie was varied and demanding, both in terms of navigation and driving. An edition which continues in the great tradition of African rallies.



The ninth stage between Oueni and the oasis of Ksar Ghilane saw victory in the bike class go to the Spaniard Marc Coma ahead of his principle rival Cyril Despres. The Frenchman conceded 4 minutes today but holds onto the overall lead two stages from the end. Third today, the Chilean Francisco Lopez firms up his third place overall. An excellent day for Olivier Pain who wins his third consecutive stage and retakes the overall 450 class lead from Bruno Da Costa who ran into mechanical problems. Lionel Laine continues his unbroken record with a ninth win in the quad category. In the cars the BMW X3s take the first three places with Leonid Novitskiy finishing ahead of Guerlain Chicherit and Orlando Terranova. Overall the Argentinan ‘controls’ Christian Lavieille, still second, while the Russian comes back to within 8’30 of the Frenchman. In the two-wheel drive category Pascal Thomasse still leads Jean-Louis Schlesser, while in T2 Artem Varentsov is virtually assured of victory. In T4 Alain Coquelle posts another victory.

To get to the oasis of Ksar Ghilane, haven of peace in the heart of the palm groves, the competitors on the 27th Rallye OiLibya de Tunisie tackled a challenging 275 km special. Sandy pistes, jumps, stones, for certain bike riders the second half of the route resembled a mini enduro. In the cars the many jumps threw around the co-drivers. On two wheels Marc Coma wins ahead of Cyril Despres who is nevertheless still 5 minutes ahead of his principle rival. It will be very close between the two men and two stages from the end anything could happen. A little way behind them the Chilean Chaleco Lopez is simply trying to keep Jordi Viladoms at bay. Here also the gap is relatively slim and the third place on the podium far from a foregone conclusion. In the 450 class Olivier Pain has succeeded in getting back into the lead ahead of Bruno Da Costa who lost a good 30 minutes with chain problems. Luca Manca also had mechanical woes and losses more than 1 hour. A nice surprise for Christian Califano, who was met by his ‘teacher’ Cyril Despres, who turned back to evaluate his pupils progress. First Tunisian today Hassen Jemili enjoyed himself over the varied going. In the quad class Lionel Laine once again dominated, this time beating the Russian Vladimir Marugov into second place.

In the cars the BMWs took the first three places ahead of Nicolas Misslin and Christian Lavieille. Out of luck again, the winner on this stage last year, Eric Vigouroux was forced to stop for 30 minutes to repair his alternator. A big disappointment for the Frenchman who’s Trophy Truck could have been made for this stage. Jean Louis Schlesser also ran into problems with his inflation system costing the Frenchman considerable time.

In the Widlcat Trophy Jerome Pelichet holds onto his first place, once again posting the fastest time. In the trucks Alain Coquelle also takes another class victory.

In parallel with the race, competitor Gaetan Ge was delighted to get to Ksar Ghilane to visit the herd of goats, sheep and camels that he and his friends bought and then handed over to Moktar Ben Omani. Thanks to this investment the tradition of farming has been maintained in the oasis.

Tomorrow direction Tozeur… announced as one of the hardest stages of the rally, the final result is far from decided. On the menu: navigation, dune crossings, pistes cut by sand tongues, chotts, undulations and a finish at the famous Star Wars set.



The first half of the marathon stage proofed very popular with the competitors. Sadly, today the second half between Oubari and Brack had to be neutralised. During the night a violent storm started to blow at the bivouac in Oubari making the crests of the dunes very difficult to see. This morning the decision was taken, in consultation with the competitors, to neutralise the special and send everybody to the bivouac in Brack by road. And for many, a bit of rest was very welcome after yesterday’s excursions.

Yesterday only two bikes and a few cars failed to reach the bivouac in Oubari and were forced to spend the night out in the dunes. Located by the organisers in the evening, Stephane Clair went out early this morning to serve them a breakfast – room service in the desert!

After a night shaken by the wind, this morning at 9h00 the competitors went to see the organisation and and race directors and asked for the special to be neutralised due to the poor visibility in the dunes that awaited them.

A wise decision, as tomorrow, after having repaired both man and machine, everyone can set off again for the five remaining stages.

OrlandoTerranova in the cars and Marc Coma on the bikes, race leader will have take great care against some extremely motivated challengers.