As the sixth stage of the Dakar proceeded from Antofagasta to Iquique, the motorcycle riders and quad riders had an extra session to tackle. The terrain was endurance like with tracks and ridges that overlooked the ocean followed by a chain of sand dunes that run along the coast. Finally, the competitors would arrive at the bivouac having stopped at the centre of Iquique for a podium ceremony and to greet the fans gathered there. So it was too for the Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team’s two riders Frenchmen Alain Duclos and Fabien Planet.
Alain Duclos, for one, has proved to be Mr Consistency, powering through into the top 10 on nearly every stage of the rally, therefore also maintaining his position in the overall standings. The sixth stage of the Dakar was no different then. Duclos riding the RTR 450 managed to take the motorcycle to 12th in the stage with a timing of 3hr 56min 14sec, 16min 04sec behind stage winner Helder Rodrigues.
This performance puts Duclos firmly in the top 10, with the rider currently ranked ninth overall in the motorcycle category of the event.
Duclos’ team-mate, Fabien Planet has been consistent too. In what is only his second attempt at the Dakar, the rider has managed to keep within the top 25 on a regular basis. The sixth stage of the event was no different, with Planet managing to finish 27th. This currently puts him 22nd in the overall rankings in the motorcycle category.
We’re sure the boffins at TVS are pleased with the way things have progressed in the Dakar thus far, but with the rally only at the halfway mark, there’s still half the way to go. And Sherco TVS have their work cut out for them. But with riders like Duclos and Planet, there’s still a good chance that we’ll see a top 10 finish at the close of the event.
Photo credit: Shakedown Team