Cyril Despres gave a breath of fresh air to his career by joining Yamaha Factory Racing / Yamalube in May 2013 and showed that he could hunt for victory aboard the Yamaha 450F. After just six months of development, Yamaha’s third and fourth places on the 2014 Dakar overall rider standings were the result, including three stage wins by the five-time Dakar champion.

Whilst on the point of prolonging his rally contract with Yamaha for the 2014/15 season, an opportunity to switch to four wheels has caused a major change of plans: “Peugeot Sport offered me a place as a driver on their new rally-raid project. Such an opportunity only comes once in a career!” Cyril explained. “However, because I made a commitment with Yamaha and Eric de Seynes, I will make sure I continue to share my knowledge and experience with the young Yamaha rally-raid riders. Peugeot have allowed me the possibility to train on a motorcycle and to take part in two or three races per year with a Yamaha enduro bike.”

“We can but respect the interest that a large car manufacturer like Peugeot takes in a motorcycle rider like Cyril Despres,” commented Eric de Seynes, Operational Director of Yamaha Motor Europe. “For sure, we had some shared ambitions with Cyril, who is a great competitor, so this opportunity of his means we will have to adapt our plans moving forward. But we have a strong rally team, a very competitive motorcycle, professional assistance and we will have competitive riders with the objective for victory in 2014/15. Cyril will remain in the world of motorcycles as a motorcycle ambassador of Yamaha, and will bring us his support as we continue to challenge for off-road glory with our rally-raid development programme.”