Winner DAKAR 2013

[ CAR ]

It's a special moment: fifteen days of racing full of emotions and tension and, now, the pressure vanishes all of a sudden. I'm thinking of Jean-Claude Olivier, who passed away last week. He taught me everything I know, so the second week was quite hard because I thought of him throughout. Now I'm dedicating this win to him, and we'll try to enjoy it despite it all. A race is never won from the beginning. The team did a cracking job. We never stopped, we never had a mechanical. We only had to drive as fast as we could. On the other hand, my co-driver Jean-Paul did an amazing job navigating. We never had to ease up. We always maintained a high pace, apart from the last couple of days, when we started dosing our efforts. This is the first time since I started racing in cars that we've finished a race without a single mechanical problem. This is the best car I've ever driven. It wasn't an easy victory, because we knew the buggies would be fast. But this situation enabled me to focus from the start of the race. I attacked to open up a gap between me and my rivals. It's still a strong flavour because we've got a whole team behind us. Sven Qandt has been involved in the Dakar for over a decade and he'll be sharing in this win together with everyone who works with us.

[ BIKE ]

It's true that I needed to cross the line and see all these pictures and people here to know that no-one can take this win from me anymore. I went for it, with all the surprises a Dakar can throw at you: little navigational mistakes, perhaps fewer than the others, dosing my motorcycle and a good team. In the end, I've got a good reason to be very happy. The day when winning the Dakar becomes easy, it won't be interesting any more. And this day is still far! It's too long, it's too tough, it's too hot, it's too cold, you've got to rise early in the morning, you've got to find your way out of the dune mazes in Peru and Chile, you've got to tackle the stones and cactuses on the courses near Córdoba... It's just too tricky for it to be easy to win. And it's even better when you win a difficult race. I'm always focused on what I have to do: I think too much about this race to be impressed. We're up against a gruelling element, the desert. Then there are the stones, the Andes... and we experience them. It's as real as it gets.
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