Dakar 2012FeaturedNews


Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel is a wanted man. Race fans and friends of the dirtbike community are outraged as they call foul on the French organizers of the DAKAR rally for turning a blind-eye to Peterhansels blatant disregard for his fellow competitor’s safety. 

Two days ago, Stephane Peterhansel was driving for the race of his life, trying to fend off an attack by Robby Gordon and co-pilot Johhny Campbell as the orange HUMMER “rallied” to a stage 9 victory. Did Peterhansel put Italian biker Filippo Ciotto’s safety (and/or life) in jeopardy when he crossed the river that day? Did French organizers do the right thing?

We present to the court of public opinion the following exhibits:

Photo and video documentation of Stephane Peterhansel’s and his MINI hitting Italian motorbike racer Filippo Ciotti (59).

Exhibit A: Meet Italian biker Filippo Ciotti. Never mind the fancy haircut; he got a major “clipping” from Stephane Peterhansel

Exhibit A: Italian biker Filippo Ciotti #59



This image hit the internet so fast, Ciotti was still on the stage as it went viral

What you see is a collision between car and rider. Filippo Ciotto gets struck and his bike gets submerged in the river. Ciotto cringes in pain from the negligence of little pussy Peterhansel, who he himself is a former motorcycle champion, does not stop neither to check on the victim nor to help him with his bike.


Clearly, Peterhansel made a bad call and was hasty in crossing the river.

The DAKAR organizers (That’s what they call themselves at ASO) have said nothing about the matter, nor disciplined the Frenchman for his mishap. Famed Eurosport announcer Carlton Kirby made the call on the same day broadcast pointing out Peterhansel’s crime and stating, “That is a penalty to me”.


We see the biker and another man as Peterhansel "clips" Ciotti

No such penalty has been leveled but moto enthusiasts throughout the blogsphere have been going bananas over the incident and outraged that the “organizers” have done nothing about it. Some theorists have pitched the idea that, because Peterhansel is a Frenchman and the “organizers” are also strickened with the same curse, that they are somehow colluding to protect their own. While this cannot be proven, it is not that far fetched a concept.


Ciotti's bike gets swamped. "Merci Boku"

Rather than making this a game of “smear the queer” on the French, let’s just call it what it is: A total disregard for the safety of a fellow competitor on Peterhansel’s part and the organizers have turned a blind eye to their fellow countryman’s mis-stepping. American’s fans are outraged and want Peterhansel head on a skewer.


Rightfully, Ciotti gives the MINI a little fend off as his bike takes a dip


This is the internationally known gesture for WTF!

There is a code among former motorbike racers who later race in 4 wheel vehicles: you don’t mess with the bikes. It’s bad karma and not kosher. While RDC has no confirmation of this, it has been rumored that this is what drove Andy Grider to withdrawal from the rally last week: that his driver was purposefully scaring the hell out of bikers on the course. We shall see if that is the case.

EXHIBIT I: Etienne Lavigne- Le Boss:  The one man who could do something about this; he seems to have turned a blind eye to this entire incident.

Etienne Lavigne- "What are you looking at? You canNOT be in this zone!!!"
  • J
    Jeremy King
  • January 12, 2012
Etienne needs to get his head out of his ass. If Robby would of hit a motorcycle rider, you bet your ass something would of been done & god forbid it would of been a French rider.
  • D
  • January 12, 2012
SP is a good driver but he doesn't like competition, as for the ASO . . . chicken $#!t.
  • M
    Michael King
  • January 12, 2012
Well the french are some scandalous racers. Ayrton Senna was robbed by them in Formula 1 way back. So don't look for any frenchman to police his own.
I'm so disappointed; I thought ASO was a legit organization, after all of what has happened with Gordon, Peterfrencheater and Despres I have my doubts now. In my opinion the worst drivers are the cheaters and those who put the lives of others in danger... I don't care if Peterhansel has won 1000 dakars, HE IS THE WORST OF ALL THE COMPETITORS. I think the driver sitting in last place right now is 20 times better than this whimp...
As was mentioned, the French are living up to their cowardice stereotypes.
Very reminiscent of the Balestre-Prost conspiracy.
  • M
  • January 13, 2012
They dq'ed one of the kamaz truck teams for hitting a car. Isn't it the same progression if a car hits a bike?

In the "Motorsports Court of World Opinion", your masterful presentation merits a resounding verdict in favor of rider(s) and against ASO, Etienne Lavigne and PeterInHandStill. However....

In the connundrum called DAKAR (Do Anything to Keep Americans Repulsed), nothing is sacred, "just" nor does anything make since when it comes to tackling the difficult issues of the day.
  • X
  • January 13, 2012
I am French and very much ashamed of Stephane Peterhansel attitude especially as an ex-biker!...real shame on him to put down a biker like this!...did he meet withthe biker at the bivouac to give excuses?

and shame on ...Etienne Lavigne and the rally organizers for keeping their eyes closed on a clear incident and unsafe driving of a so-called "champion"... ASO organization will do whatever to make sure the main factory team(s) wins their respective race. It is clear that there is a conspiracy to make sure the main factory team -XRaid Mini- is not disturbed to win the race offered and designed for them.

shame! Dakar has lost its mind and its guts...
money is running the show that's all folks!
  • M
    matt siegert
  • January 13, 2012
what do you expect. the french are always running away from a fight!
  • I
    ismael garcia
  • January 13, 2012
it wasnt a big hit. small rub, not a big deal. im a motocross racer and dont see the big deal.
I grew up around Baja, in the era that saw Honda and Kawasaki bring many bikes, great riders, and lots of money to these races. One thing I loved was the low tolerance for BS, from any racers, teams, promoters, fans, etc.... Do something stupid during a race, particularly something potentially and unnecessarily harmful to another racer, and you could damn well expect to be in a fist-fight by the end of the day. Win or lose the fight, you sure as hell never pulled the same move again. SP needs to be taken out back behind the bivouac and taught a little respect for his fellow racers. Lavigne is a weasel at best. His days will be numbered most likely, because even Mini won't want to have their image tarnished in a race-fixing scam, and it will come to light eventually. So, with no factory teams, maybe no returning Americans, this potentially great international race can go back to being the domain of Western Euro-trash and Arab royalty toying with each other. Let the real men (and women) continue to bang bars and bumpers in Baja, where there are no "Rest" days, or travel sections. It's all a race, start to finish Let SP bring his Mini to San Felipe, test it out in the whoops. We can see how manly he feels then. Also, they don't inspect and pass your vehicle prior to the race, then fail it 8 or 9 check-points into the event. How chicken-S is that? Come on, race!
  • P
  • January 15, 2012
Maybe the French need a new class to win honestly. It could be like LeMans: lets call it the "Index of French Whiners"
  • J
    Jon K.
  • April 28, 2012
Right on Ismael Garcia.

I have raced off road bikes for 40 years. Motocross and Cross Country. I'm old now, but was pretty good at it "back in the day".

That was nothing. No harm, no foul. You get stuck in the middle of the racecourse, you expect to get roughed up a bit. I didn't make those rules, that's just the way it is.

Ciotti was at fault here. Not that I can let Pete completely off the hook, perhaps an apology is in order . . . :)

But to address Ciotti: First, don't get into trouble. It's rough out there.

Second, you are on the WRONG SIDE OF THE BIKE!!! Never, never, ever get off on the upstream side of the bike. That is rule one for water crossings. You need to go to school. If you were on the proper side (downstream) there would have been no contact, even if there had been, you would be able to hold onto the bike without dropping it like a rookie. Even to the point that you may have been able to get the f**k out of the way had you been in the correct position.

That's the way I see it. Gotta put on your big boy boots to ride Dakar.

Calling Pete a whimp is perhaps the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a quite a while. Hah ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!