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Attiyah: I would like to be the first Arab to win the Dakar

Text by Allaoua MEZIANI , Thibault LIEURADE

Latest update : 2009-01-05

BMW's Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah (right in photo), who came in sixth in the 2007 rally, got off to a flying start this year with two victories in the first three stages.

Read the article about the third stage: 'Coma and Attiyah both take two of first three stages'

FRANCE 24 - What’s your first reaction after this second stage win?

Nasser Al-Attiyah - I’m very happy. This second win on the 2009 Dakar is really comforting and it gives me motivation. I think that’s the kind of thing I need. Moreover, I climbed from ninth to sixth [in the overall standings, editor’s note]. I hope that will count when we cross the finish line.

FRANCE 24 - You ended sixth in the 2007 Dakar rally. This year, you are second after three days of racing. Do you feel your car improved?

Nasser Al-Attiyah - Unquestionably. But I know we will have to stay competitive until the end if we want to succeed. Today’s win is a relief, but I still focus on the what really matters. The adventure is at its beginning. I won’t pretend that I don't have great hopes for the final victory. I feel things are going OK around me; there’s joy, satisfaction and determination. I would be so happy to be the first Arab to win the Dakar. And I really feel capable of doing it.

FRANCE 24 - What’s your strategy for achieving this goal?

Nasser Al-Attiyah - There’s a specific strategy for each stage. The Dakar rally is so difficult that it would be trivial to plan the whole race from the first to the last stage. I would say my assets are determination, confidence and endurance. The rest is unpredictable.

Date created : 2009-01-05