Cyril Despres Ditches Bikes, Joins Peugeot for Dakar Comeback

Now, this was one move we never saw coming: after spending less than a year in his new Yamaha team, Dakar star Cyril Despres is leaving the motorcycle class and joins the ranks of Peugeot, as the French manufacturer makes its comeback to this rally-raid competition.
Cyril Despres joins Peugeot 2 photos
Photo: Cyril Despres
Cyril Despres joins Peugeot
A 5-time Dakar winner with KTM, Despres has decided to put an end to racing under the orange banner and heeded the advice of his friend and racing mentor Stephan Peterhansel, himself a 6-time winner with Yamaha. However, while the entire Dakar community hoped that Despres and his new team are only starting an even more glorious partnership after the Frenchman finished 4th in 2013 on a bike that was all-new for him, the move to Peugeot comes like a shock.

Peugeot have only raced in the Dakar rally 4 times, but each time they did, they won. Still, the last time Peugeot participated in the rally was no less than 25 years ago, but the maker never stopped creating race cars, for the World Rally Championship, Pikes Peak and so on.

Even more, Peugeot has secured the services of another huge name in car racing, Carlos Sainz, a former WRC champion and Dakar winner himself in 2010. The two complement each other, Peugeot top hats believe, and even though the task is not at all an easy one, the French car manufacturer has both high and realistic hopes with the driver duo.

Yamaha agreed to let Despres go from his 2-year contract, but has also made sure he will continue to ride in 2 or 3 motorcycle races each year and will play an active role in training the team’s new riders. The Dakar 2015 starts on January 4th 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentine and ends in the same city on January 17th.

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