Yamaha’s David Fretigne won the eighth stage victory of his Dakar career today, the Frenchman finishing 43 seconds ahead of countryman David Casteu – though Casteu continues to lead the overall standings.
Sherco’s Casteu won yesterday’s stage as the 450s have taken the first two stages with Fretigne wininng today’;s 182-mile timed stage from Cordoba to La Rioja on a WR450F.
Fretigne finished third overall in last year’s Dakar on the “little” Yamaha.
Defending Champion Marc Coma lost one minute and eight seconds to Fretigne on the day and trailed Casteu by 37 seconds in the overall standings on his KTM. But Coma was penalized once he got to the bivouac because race officials deemed that he’d sped through a village in yesterday’s stage. The penalty was 22 minutes and it drops him to 14th overall.
KTM’s Cyris Despres, who was fourth today, moves to second overall behind Casteu – two minutes and 10 seconds behind. Fretigne is now third overall.
American Jonah Street was 11th today and sits 10th overall – 16 minutes and 44 seconds behind Casteu in the overall standings.