Following an impressive sixth place result during his first participation at the Dakar Rally in 2016, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren is looking to get even closer to the top this January. Combining his acute talent with a huge motivation to learn, the Frenchman will be pushing for stage victories while trying to collect valuable experience for a bright future in rally racing.
“Last year I learned a lot so now I feel it’s time for me to use this experience to my advantage”, Van Beveren explained. “The race is super long and my goal is to stay concentrated until the very last moment. Physically I’m probably in the best condition I’ve ever been and mentally I feel I’m very strong as well. I’m more mature and more confident to get out there and battle for the top.”
“I’m approaching this Dakar with both feet on the ground. I know I’m fast but that’s not the most important thing out there. What’s important for me is to avoid mistakes and keep pushing to be the best I can be until the last metres. If everything goes according to plan, I know I can to reach the top.”
In 2016 Van Beveren had to deal with the stress of being a rookie. Now this is over and he knows what lies ahead: “My plan is to remain focused on each day and each stage. I want to collect as much experience as possible, while giving my best for a good final result. It’s going to be a long and tough Dakar, but I feel like we’ve put all the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Adrien Van Beveren: “I want to collect as much experience as possible, while giving my best for a good final result”
Adrien was 11th in the first stage, 12th in the second and attacked in the third, in which he finished sixth and moved to 6th in the overall classification.
“The pressure is off now so the plan is to start pushing. It feels great to be back racing the Dakar”, Van Beveren explained.
“[In the second stage] the tracks were destroyed and it was quite difficult to get a good feeling on that kind of terrain and conditions. There were also lots of animals everywhere. I had a close encounter with one of them somewhere around kilometre 30 of the special and that kind of made me lose my concentration. It took me some time to get back to full speed. Every day is like a new race for me and my plan is to continue taking things one step at a time. Every stage is a new adventure and my plan is to continue pushing for the best.”
“I’m now sixth in the provisional overall standings and pretty close to the group of leading riders. It was almost impossible to make passes with all that dust in the special, but I stayed calm and went on the attack whenever I felt it was the right time to do so. My plan for this Dakar is clear – I want to take one step and one stage at a time, without rushing things or feeling stressed about things that I can’t control. I think if I remain focused on this goal I have quite a few chances to do well this year.”