The Dutch rider excelled on the 319km stage of sand, stones, rocks and dunes. In a touching tribute Verhoeven dedicated his first stage victory of the 2013 Dakar to former Yamaha France Dakar legend Jean-Claude Olivier who tragically passed away last week.
“We would not be here without Jean-Claude,” Frans Verhoeven explained. “JCO has been an inspiration for us, ever since the time Stéphane Peterhansel won for Yamaha. Therefore this victory is dedicated to his memory.”
The result places Verhoeven in seventh position in the overall classification.Teamwork was on the agenda for the Red Bull KTM Factory duo of Cyril Despres and teammate Ruben Faria. With Despres supporting Faria throughout the stage, Faria, who started tenth, quickly caught up with the stage leaders and ended the stage in second overall.
Behind him, in spite of a painful shoulder following yesterday’s crash, Spaniard Joan Barreda (Husqvarna) put in the day’s third best time, finishing just 16 seconds in front of fourth placed Alain Duclos (Sherco). Honda’s Helder Rodrigues was fifth.
Husqvarna’s Alessandro Botturi had a day worth forgetting. After holding seventh place for the first half of the race, the rider lost a lot of time looking for the waypoint. Botturi finished fourteen minutes behind the leader, but now runs the risk of being penalized with a one-hour penalty for failure to pass Way Point 13.
In the general standings, Despres’ and Faria’s strategy also functioned flawlessly because the title holder remains untroubled in the lead. Despres is now five minutes and 39 seconds ahead of his Portuguese teammate. Faria increased his advantage over Chaleco Lopez (KTM) by adding a further three minutes on his rival. The Chilean, who was seventh quickest, now trails Despres by 13 minutes and 40 minutes.
Stage 13 sees the penultimate stage of the rally from Copiapo to La Serena that includes 441 km of special test and a total distance of 735 km. It’s the last real stage before they roll into Santiago.
Results – Stage 12
1. Frans Verhoeven (Yamaha) 03:49:15; 2. Rubien Faria (KTM) 03:50:53; 3. Joan Barreda (Husqvarna) 03:52:16; 4. Alain Duclos (Sherco) 03:52:32; 5. Helder Rodrigues (Honda) 03:52:50… 36. Tim Forman (KTM) 04:22:49; 42. Stan Watt (KTM) 04:34:21; 58. Si Pavey (Husqvarna) 04:52:56; 87. Lyndon Poskitt (KTM) 05:23:08; 95. Craig Bounds (KTM) 05:45:24…
Overall Classification (After stage 12)
1. Cyril Despres (KTM) 37:46:59; 2. Rubien Faria (KTM) 37:52:38; 3. Chaleco Lopez (KTM) 38:00:39; 4. Ivan Jakes (KTM) 38:07:15; 5. Joan Pedrero (KTM) 38:28:13…