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After its debut, Gas Gas takes stock and will use the information gained to enrich the new EC 450 Raid, and appreciates all of the support in realizing their participation in the 2015 Dakar rally

The Gas Gas Pont Grup Seguros team places a positive value upon their participation in the 2015 Dakar Argentina-Bolivia-Chile. Despite not achieving the expected scores, the work and efforts of all the technical team has been rewarded with obtaining valuable data for the further development of the new Gas Gas EC 450 Raid. A motorcycle which debuted this year, and despite its teething problems, has shown to have a strong foundation for the future.

The goal was to reach Buenos Aires, and although has not been met, the Gas Gas Pont Grup SegurosDakar team is more than grateful to its riders, the team members, their sponsors and all of the collaborators and friends, Thanks to your support, it has been possible for the new Gas Gas EC 450 Raid to debut in the hardest and most demanding test on the planet. Definitely an experience that has enabled the collection of important data that will, in the imminent future, aid in the development and production of the new raids model from the Girona brand. With this base in Dakar, it has shown us the path for the future.

Unfortunately for the team, the Gas Gas Pont Grup Seguros Dakar effort faltered prematurely without one of their riders. A fall with unexpected consequence in the second stage, which resulted in the fracture of the fourth metacarpal of the right hand of Dani Oliveras. The rider from Villablareix was forced to miss the start of the third stage because of the pain. Bad news for the Catalan rider, as Oliveras had successfully finished in a remarkable 36th position overall in the previous edition of the Dakar in 2014.

For his part, Gerard Farrés overcame the problems arising from a complicated and difficult first week of the rally to reach the rest day and face the first marathon stage in favorable conditions. However, the weather did not take pity on the motards, who spent a night soaked and at the mercy of low temperatures at the bivouac in Uyuni, and who, at dawn, reluctantly complied with the final decision of having to start on a impracticable wet salt flats that are extremely corrosive to the mechanical components. A controversial decision by the organization, which eventually resulted in theabandonment of sixteen participants in the bike category during that phase, including Gerard Farrés. Exposed to the weather and with obvious signs of hypothermia, the Gas Gas rider was forced to pull the red button on the Iritrack, a sign of permanent abandonment by the rider in the Dakar and activation of an alert to the Emergency medical teams.

Despite the abandonment of both riders, it was not all bad news for team Gas Gas in Dakar. They can take this as a positive learning experience. Exposing the new Gas Gas EC 450 Raid to extreme, demanding, and the most punishing mechanical competition there is - And not to forget, that one special stage that covered over 500 km under scorching temperatures of about 50 degrees (122F), has allowed the collection of numerous information on the computer, especially valuable for the technicians for the future development of the new Gas Gas model for raids. Participation in the Dakar Argentina-Bolivia-Chile has been, without doubt, the best testing ground for a bike that has shown to have a good base and whose development will result in a competitive machine for the next Dakar rally.

Joan Font (team manager): At a sporting level we cannot be satisfied because the result did not reflect the true efforts we have made as a team. We expected more, but it was a complicated edition and we should stick with the positive part and the work of our team. We have coped with all of the adversities that have arisen day by day, and for all of them, we have provided solutions and improvements that will allow us to evolve our Gas Gas EC 450 Raid. In the future we look with optimism, because our bike has a good base, competitively, it just needs polishing. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our major sponsors: Vodafone, Pont Grup Seguros and Braktec, and all our collaborators for their support and technical assistance to realize this project. The Dakar 2015 has been possible thanks to them. And finally, I also want to thank the whole team of Gas Gas both racing and the factory for the effort you have made, and a special mention for our riders, Dani Oliveras and Gerard Farrés, for their professionalism and dedication before, during, and after the Dakar Argentina-Bolivia-Chile. We look forward to the new challenges and excitement of Dakar 2016."

23# Gerard Farrés:In this 2015 Dakar edition we arrived with a totally new bike that premiered in Buenos Aires and, although we would have liked more time to test it, for us it was very important to be in Dakar and submit this new bike to all the demands of the toughest race on the planet. It is natural to expect problems, but they were solved and we have gained valuable information for development, since we were subjected to temperatures of over 45 degrees under a high speed and have solved all the problems that have arisen. And finally, when all seemed well, and yesterday having my best stage, came the controversial decision to start at the Salar de Uyuni. The bikes ended up destroyed by salt. Not just ours, there were a lot. We were forced to retire and it certainly shortened our progression in the rally, in which we had aimed to finish. I want to thank my team for their efforts, for 'Pelut', my mechanic, Joan Font, our 'team manager', and Dani, my partner, for being always on the ball and never giving up despite the difficulties we have experienced. My family and my friends. And, of course, Gas Gas and all our sponsors, partners and friends, and all the fans, especially in South America, where our importer Mezher Motors and Gustavo, of GMR, have surrounded us with great affection, offering their help at all times."

47# Dani Oliveras:The truth is that, having finished my first participation in the Dakar in 2014, being out of this after having completed only two stages has been a real shame. The fall was not too hard, but its consequences themselves. I broke the fourth metacarpal in my right hand, and unfortunately, I could not go on and had to withdraw. A pity, I repeat, because we had worked hard throughout the year with the whole team to be here. You cannot imagine the effort and sacrifice all that implies. I finished the second stage as I could. I did not want to throw in the towel, but the pain made me see the reality, I really could not continue like that. We went to Dakar with a new motorcycle, aware that problems may arise with the bike, but it was a shame that Gerard could not finish the stage of Uyuni, like many other riders. This is the toughest race in the world and this year it has claimed many casualties among the favorites. I want to thank the efforts of our team and our sponsors, who help us year after year, day after day, and also all those invisible people, who we maynot see but they are always there, supporting and helping in any way they can, and my family and friends. This week they operated on my hand, everything went well and, in a few weeks, I hope to start training and preparing for the next Dakar, to be higher, because this is what we deserve."


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