Determined to give Yamaha a place on the final podium at the Dakar Rally 2017, Adrien Van Beveren put in a committed final stage performance today in Argentina to claim an impressive stage victory. Ensuring a very positive end to his two-week-long adventure in South America, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider wrapped up the event with an impressive fourth in the overall standings. With Adrien's teammate Hélder Rodrigues securing ninth overall, Yamaha's official team saw both its riders finish inside the top 10 of the 2017 Dakar Rally.
Entering the rally's last stage less than a minute behind the third placed rider, Van Beveren gave his best during today's 64-km-long timed special. Locked in a fierce battle for the final podium position with Spain's Gerard Farrés, Adrien pushed hard from start to finish but could not make up any time against his closest rival. Wrapping up the 9,000km adventure in fourth overall, and just 48 seconds behind third, the Frenchman demonstrated his huge potential in what was just the second Dakar Rally of his career.
With the 2017 Dakar Rally being one of the most demanding rally races to take place in South America, Adrien made a cautious start and kept building on his speed as the race went on. Holding on to third in the provisional overall standings for a full five stages he dropped to fourth following a tough stage ten. Temporarily regaining his spot inside the top three, he dropped back to fourth having been hit by a one-minute penalty.
Reaching the finish of today's short stage without any issues Adrien's teammate Hélder Rodrigues managed to add another top ten result to his illustrious Dakar Rally career. The 11th time the Portuguese rider has made it to the finish of the Dakar Rally, the 2017 event marked the 10th time he's also secured a spot inside the rally's top 10.
With Van Beveren battling for the top throughout the event and Rodrigues finishing the rally inside the top 10, the duo of Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team showed the huge potential of their new WR450F Rally machines.
Battling his way through a devastating stage 11, Yamaha France supported Xavier de Soultrait was back at the race today, successfully bringing his rally modified WR450F to the finish of the 2017 Dakar Rally. Suffering a mechanical issue during yesterday's stage the Frenchman arrived at the bivouac after 2:00am in the morning. With Yamaha Racing mechanics spending the rest of the night preparing his bike Xavier took the start of today's stage and brought his bike home in 14th position. Claiming two top three stage results and fighting for the top five in the overall standings during the majority of the event, Xavier showed he has what it takes to battle for the podium.
Claiming today's stage victory, Raptor 700R mounted Ignacio Casale secured an impressive runner-up spot in the Quad class' overall standings. The big winner of the Dakar Rally 2017 in the Quad class was Sergey Karyakin. Aboard his own Yamaha Raptor 700R the Russian dominated the field to top the standings with a staggering gap of one-hour and 14 minutes over the rest of the field. As the leading force in the category, Yamaha saw its riders occupy the first seven spots in the final overall standings of the rally.