Peterhansel blames own mistakes

Stephane Peterhansel says it was his own errors that caused him to fall away from the fight for Dakar Rally victory, after coming home only fourth in this year's event

Peterhansel blames own mistakes

X-Raid BMW driver Peterhansel, who has won the rally six times on a motorbike and three times in the car category, was battling for the lead with Volkswagen's Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah for the first week before hitting a string of problems.

Repeated punctures proved particularly costly, but Peterhansel said things began to go wrong when he missed a way point on stage six and lost several minutes trying to get back on the course.

"Things haven't turned out as well as they might have," he said. "We had what was necessary to be in the fight.

"On week one, we were there. We were just a few minutes behind the leaders but it all went downhill from there... because of my mistakes.

"There were navigation mistakes, and of course some technical problems. And in the end, we are not doing better than last year: we are fourth.

"The Dakar is a tricky race, we know that. You have to get over the mistakes and the traps to succeed."

Despite his frustration with this year's outcome, Peterhansel is already upbeat about his chances of taking the fight to VW in 2011.

"We will be here next year," he said. "We will have to reconsider our strategy and find ways to improve the car. We already have a few ideas."

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