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David Casteu first winner of the Central Europe Rally

david_casteu.JPG

Details courtesy KTM (April 26th/08):

David Casteu (France) has won the very first Dakar series rally, the Central Europe Rally riding a KTM to victory!

A ‘moment supreme’! It was a memorable day for David Casteu at the shores of Lake Balaton. All he had to do in the last stage was to keep an eye on his main (and only) rival Francisco Lopez to make sure victory was his.

And that’s just what he did. It’s David’s first win in rally-raid, who’s in his fourth season riding for KTM. He was drenched with champagne thanks to Alain Duclos and Francisco Lopez, when he came off the podium.

David Casteu:

“This is a ‘moment supreme’ for me. Finally! It’s my first, but hopefully not last win. When I go to the next rally, I will not be the same person anymore because this victory gives my moral a big boost. The Central Europe Rally is a new kind of race, which we had to adapt to. Now we will have to see in which direction this race will develop.”

Francisco Lopez:

“It’s my first podium for KTM and I’m very happy. Two years ago I couldn’t dream this would happen to me. The bike was just perfect this week, and the team did a great job. It’s still a long way to go before we will race in Chili with Dakar 2009, but I’m going for it.”

Alain Duclos was on and off the podium in the general ranking the last few days, but in the end he secured his 3rd place in the last stage.

Alain Duclos:

“Finally, after all these years of hard work and suffering, I’m on the podium. Thanks to Toni Togo who never stopped believing in me. I rode a consistent race which paid off in the end.”

Cyril Despres was unlucky today, he went down to 5th place overall due to a fuel problem. “Preparing for Chili was the main goal. I’m content about the bike. We tried to push hard to see how the Rally light would manage the different short stages. Now it’s a matter of details, but for the rest the bike is good. It’s too soon yet to talk about the future of this race, I think its important ASO listens to what the different riders have to say about this first edition.

Jordi Viladoms (6th overall):

“This week was a good experience, it was good for my confidence on the bike. A different kind of rally though, which suits me less than the races in the desert. We all know A.S.O. organized this rally in a very short time, so I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them.”

Teammanager Hans Trunkenploz: With 17 KTM’s within the first 20 in the overall classification, we score a maximum result. We all expected the 450’s more upfront, but the 690 proved to be very competitive, also when the conditions were less favorable. It shows we’re in the good direction. In Brasil (Dos Sertoes Rally, which starts June 17th) the whole team will start on the Rally Light. The option to choose from two set-up’s will surely help us.“

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