Rider quotes from Eurosport.deMarc Coma
“I still can’t believe it. It’s horrible. There was only one Fabrizio. He was unique. His age! His navigation! For me, he was a reference and will always be. I’m young in this race, being here only three years. He was an example for us. Fabrizio was a ‘gentleman’. And now he’s gone. We all have to discuss, the bikers, the teams and the organization, to make a good decision. It’s very difficult for the moment to find a good solution.”Isidre Esteve
“It’s a very tough situation for all of us. We need to take one more day to make up our minds and know exactly what to do, and what the best solution is. We’ll ask the organization to fly us directly to Bamako, to give us more time, then we’ll see. I was just behind Fabrizio when he crashed—maybe ten meters behind him. The track wasn’t dangerous at that place and we weren’t riding very fast at that moment. It’s very hard to explain what happened, because his fall wasn’t spectacular at all.”David Frétigné
“I really don’t understand what happened. According to me, he was maybe looking at his road instruments. We had just refueled so the bikes were pretty heavy, he maybe lost balance on a small dune with the weight. The scene of the crash wasn’t dangerous. We had just lost ourselves and we were looking for the right track. Cyril was on the good track and took off. Fabrizio followed in his dust and 300m later I saw Coma with his hand in the air so I stopped. I immediately knew it was serious. There was a lot of bleeding. I had trouble finding the distress signal and finally launched it. I then waited for the helicopter because I couldn’t just leave. I think that we should continue [the rally] for him and for Richard (Sainct)… He would have wanted us to. It was his passion.”
This day was a tough one for the mechanics. Due to today’s marathon stage the bikes couldn’t be touched tonight in the bivouac at Bamako. Therefore the men had to have already made necessary repairs and preparations last night. This morning they started on their long tour through the Sahara. Surely, this trip wasn’t an easy one for any of them. Their thoughts were with Fabrizio, with his family and centering on the question: Why? But everyone had to stay focused and concentrated. Wasn’t it Heinz Kinigadner’s who explained yesterday? “The Dakar is no walk in the park.”Tomorrow is the second part of the marathon stage. It leads for 668 km from Bamako to Kayes. The special runs for 370 kilometers. The riders will need to proof flexibility on the stage. At first speed is important, then the small track crosses through bush land and towards the end of the special a rugged and rocky scenery demands cross-country skills from the drivers.