Historic victory for Bombardier*ATV at 2006 Dakar Rally
Juan Manuel Gonzales, Antoine Morel and Alan Morel take the top three podium positions in the ATV category
Lausanne (Switzerland), January 16, 2006 - After sixteen very long challenging days and more than 9,000 kilometers from Lisbon, Portugal to Dakar, Senegal, Spanish ATV rider Juan Manuel Gonzales, also known as 'Pedregà', placed first in the ATV category at the 28th edition of the Dakar Rally. Frenchmen Antoine Morel, last year's Dakar winner in the ATV category and his son Alan Morel placed second and third respectively in the ATV category.
Pedregà, who maintained the lead in the ATV category from beginning to end, rode to victory on a DS 650T X ATV by BRP. Antoine and Alan Morel, also riding DS 650 X ATVs, were in hot pursuit of Pedregà as he raced ahead to Dakar.
Pedregà won 9 of the 13 stages of the rally with 92 hours and 25 minutes, followed by Antoine Morel with 96 hours and 28 minutes and Alain Morel with 96 hours and 28 minutes. This outstanding performance by all three Bombardier* ATV riders placed them 79th, 83rd and 85th in the overall classification for motorcycles.
Antoine and Alan Morel, father and son, completed most of the specials riding together as fast as they could. once their closest competitors were out of the race, their strategy was to make sure to make it all the way to Dakar and assure a triple podium finish for the Bombardier ATV team.
"I would like to congratulate the Bombardier ATV team on this outstanding achievement. This is the third consecutive victory for Bombardier ATV at the Dakar Rally, but by far the most impressive! This triple victory demonstrates the talent and endurance of our ATV team who braved some of the most challenging terrains, we are very proud of their accomplishment," said Michel Hade, Vice-President and General Manager, International Sales and Marketing.
The Bombardier ATV team was supported by a superb assistance team of French and Spanish mechanics that rode with them all the way to Dakar and made sure the team members and their ATVs were in top shape. The team's DS 650 X ATVs were virtually 'out-of-the-box' with only a few minor modifications made.
"This victory would not have been possible had it not been for the sturdiness and reliability of my Bombardier ATV and the fantastic support team we had. The organization was excellent and they deserve to share in this victory along with us,'' declared Pedregà.
The two weeks of the race were particularly testing for the Bombardier ATV team, with some stages totaling more than 850 kilometers a day on extremely difficult terrain, going from the wadis(steep-sided and flat-bottomed alleys found in arid regions) of Morocco to the dunes of Mauritania and the winding trails in Mali.
BRP, a privately-held company, is a world leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of motorized recreational vehicles. Its portfolio of brands and products includes: Ski Doo® and LynxT snowmobiles, Sea Doo® watercraft and sport boats, Johnson® and Evinrude® outboard engines, direct injection technologies such as Evinrude E TEC®, Bombardier* ATV all-terrain vehicles, Rotax® engines and karts.
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