With a win in stage 12 Chilean rider Francisco Lopez Contardo has taken the 3rd victory for Aprilia and claimed 2nd place in the overall standings.
The Chilean said: “It was a wonderful stage and very hot at the end, a technical and tough special. I handled the bike well.
"It was a route that suited my machine, but it was difficult. For one of the last few stages of the Dakar, it was one of the toughest”.
Lopez Contardo wasn't the only rider feeling the heat. Catalan rider Marc Coma, who finished in 4th in thsi stage, commented: "I had a small problem with the bike because of the heat. The engine suffered a lot due to the high temperature, so I dropped my pace a little in the second part. But it was a fairly nice special and there was an incredible amount of people”.
Thanks to his victory today, Lopez Contardo has moved into 2nd place on the overall standings, now 1’13 ahead of Ullevalseter and 9’34 in front of Yamaha rider Helder Rodrigues. But French rider Cyril Depres refuses to budge from first place.