Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"We didn't have any unpleasant surprises. The roads were dirtier [on the repeat loop] but the information passed on to us by our gravel note crew enabled us to keep out of trouble. The hotter weather also meant it was more important to take the tyre wear factor into account. The gaps are bigger now, but we still can't afford to start thinking it's all over."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I was aware that the way this stage went first thing this morning would have a big influence on how the rest of the first loop unfolded, so it was important to approach it in the right way and look after our tyres. Had we not done so, the rest of the morning could have been much more complex. I did my best not to ask too much of my tyres so as not to jeopardize their performance on the next two tests, and that way I was able to push hard on SS8 and SS9. I am very happy with the set-up of my C4. It is nicely balanced and that is obviously a big boost for confidence. Our rhythm since yesterday suits me and I think I will keep to the same sort of pace for a little bit longer and try to extend our lead."

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"I essentially kept an eye on the times of my closest chaser in order to keep the gap at about the same sort of level going into the final day. We succeeded in doing just that and we are still second. The set-up of my car is perfect and I am pleased with our run today. Just six more stages totalling 93.88km separate us from another possible Citro?n one-two. That's by no means a foregone conclusion, but we are in a fairly favourable position."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "It was important to look after our Pirellis on the long stage [SS7 - this morning]. It's in situations like this that you realise how crucial experience can be and how that can help you avoid making a mistake. I didn't push my tyres too hard and that enabled me to pull a little further clear of the driver in third place. That's exactly the objective we set with the team before this morning's start and we will try to stick to the same game plan this afternoon."

Francois Duval [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"Some stages were quite rough with gravel on the surface but I enjoy those difficult conditions. It's more interesting to drive on roads like that and yesterday was like driving on a motorway at times. I think the car also works better in these conditions. I was driving flat out all day and made changes to my pace notes again this morning. I'm 23sec behind Sordo and that's not so much so I must stay concentrated tomorrow because the stages are difficult and I want to keep Mikko behind. I'm not planning on making any changes in service tonight, I'll keep the changes until we are in Corsica next weekend. I hope I can keep the same rhythm and pace tomorrow and try to keep the pressure on."

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"We changed the rear differential in service this morning which brought an improvement on the high-speed sections, but it also made the car more difficult to drive so there was still work to do. I had more pace and my times were closer to Loeb and Sordo, but I didn't have the killer feeling that I need to challenge because I wasn't 100 per cent confident. I made the springs harder for the afternoon and the changes helped, but it was me too because I finally found the right rhythm. Finally I remembered how to drive on asphalt and I don't know why I had forgotten that. I was driving like a small boy and rushing into everything with the wrong approach - pushing too hard, trying to go too fast and understeering into corners. I became neater and tidier with better lines and the times came easily. Tomorrow I'll try to catch Fran?ois. I must not make any mistakes because I need the points. I'm too far behind the leading cars to catch them but I need every point I can get."

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

"We have been making some changes to the car today so sometimes it has been better and sometimes not so good. There was so much gravel in the last stage. We lost all our time after this, and now Aava is close. It'll be hard to keep him behind us tomorrow. The team will look at the car tonight and we'll see what we're able to do tomorrow."

Urmo Aava [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:

"I'm very pleased. I enjoyed the stages today, especially the second runs and the areas with gravel. I'm also happy with my times."

Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:

"We were pushing hard all day and moved up a place this morning on the 38km stage which was good. On the final stage of the morning we lost some time though, and on the second pass at the end of the day we had less grip towards the finish and lost a lot of time with oversteer."

Jari-Matti Latvala [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"Today was slightly better than yesterday and we lost less time to the front guys. We were slow this morning when we put new tyres on for the middle stage and it took them a while to bite in to the asphalt properly and get the balance right. I'm not far behind seventh place now so it will be good to be able to put a fight up tomorrow to get that position back. The last stage was tricky as I think we had the car slightly too low and it was touching the ground quite a lot on the cuts. I'm also thinking about Corsica and my car setup for that event."

Andreas Mikkelsen [Ramsport Ford Focus RS WRC]:

"My priority is to finish the rally. I'm aware I'm a bit behind the fastest guys. As I'm not in the points, I have just tried to preserve my position without running too many risks. I'm happy with the day's results. I like the cars behaviour and I'm also pleased with my driving."

Matthew Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"Today has been reasonably good. We had a good run through the long stage both times but I just struggled to get to grips with the middle stage in the loop. We made some changes at lunchtime service and I found a better diff setting which helped for the afternoon. The last stage today was very difficult as there was lots of gravel pulled out and lots of cuts where the car was touching and it felt quite unstable. So with those improvements from today I am looking forward to tomorrow where the stages are cleaner with new Tarmac similar to the first stage from today and these were the conditions where we went best."

Conrad Rautenbach [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:

"I'm battling with Wilson and Tirabassi, although I find it hard to adapt to the pace of these stages, because some are very long and others are very short. I wasn't comfortable at times on the first loop and I was really hot inside the car. I drove safely this afternoon. The pace was better. The settings were very good too. I feel confident in the car now."

Brice Tirabassi [Subaru WRT]

"This morning was ok, but this afternoon the car felt better for me but the times didn't come. We'll look at the data tonight and see what we can do. Our speed on stage eight was good and I'm pleased with the last two days. The long stage today especially was fun to drive! We'll see what we can do tonight in service and I'll start tomorrow the same way."

Henning Solberg [Munchi's Ford WRT]:

"The car is good. I am just not able to drive it comfortably. My goal is to save the car now and to finish the rally. I was not pleased with the changes we made in the differential this morning. I changed the settings for the repeat loop and it is better now."

Federico Villagra [Munchi's Ford WRT]:

"Everything was fine this morning. The pace was pretty strong and I wanted to keep improving. I lost a lot of time this afternoon, especially in SS12. The gravel made driving more difficult."

Toni Gardemeister [Suzuki WRT]:

"We still had a lot of understeer in the morning, which may be related to the way that we use the tyres. The most important thing is that we investigate the reasons why this is happening and try to find a solution. We made some small changes to the set-up in service and these seemed to work well. Tomorrow we will continue to check our findings, and then hopefully we should be in good shape for Corsica. The really positive thing about this event is that so far our car has been extremely reliable: without picking up the puncture yesterday we would have been comfortably in the top 10."

Martin Prokop [Citroen C2 S1600]: [Junior WRC - class leader]

"We had a good day but it was sometimes a bit boring. The gap in front was so big that there was nothing that we could really do to move ahead. Nonetheless, Sebastien's retirement after the last stage means that we suddenly find ourselves in the lead. So our objective now is clearly to stay there until the rally finish for my birthday!"

Khalid Al Qassimi [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"The car was understeering yesterday so we experimented with the settings. We altered the pressure in the rear differential and that was a good step so I'm looking forward to trying more things tomorrow. The road surface was very slippery on the last stage and the car was sliding about on the loose gravel. The stages generally were much tighter. Yesterday I could carry a lot of speed into the corners but today was all about tight turns and I had to be focused on the pace notes."

Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]:

"Having dropped so much time yesterday it's been quite hard to get properly motivated today, so we have just been driving carefully through the stages and doing some bits of testing. I tried a few different clicks on the dampers this morning and we found a couple of interesting things for the future. We've had no problems at all today, which was good, but I wish we were a bit higher up the overall classification!"

Notable retirements:

Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS2 - went off the road - re-started under SupeRally on Saturday]

"What happened on the second stage was my fault. We were just too quick approaching a left-hand corner about two kilometres from the end because my notes were a bit optimistic. We almost got round the corner but then we had a lot of understeer at the exit and went off down a steep bank. The car had no damage at all, but the bank was too steep to drive back up. It's a pity, but at least we have the chance to start again tomorrow."

Khalid Al Qassimi [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]: [retired from day 1 after SS6 - re-started under SupeRally on Saturday]

"I felt I had driven well on the previous stage [SS5] but the time wasn't good so we decided to go for a big push on the last test [SS6]. Unfortunately I had a big spin and the car ended in a ditch. I got out it out and finished the stage but the differential began to make a noise on the road section. It got progressively worse and I had to stop. It's disappointing but I will restart tomorrow under SupeRally rules."

Sebastien Ogier [Citroen C2 S1600]: [JWRC - retired from event after SS12 - radiator damage]

"We started off with a good pace this morning but we weren't pushing to the limit. We wanted to look after our tyres during the long stage, as this seemed to be the most tricky aspect of the day. The ninth and twelfth stage, which was the third one in the loop, was slower the first time round at the end, where the surface changed. Unfortunately, during our second run through the stage, we couldn't avoid making a mistake and had a small impact that damaged the radiator. We realised that we were in trouble on the road section, so we retired before reaching the service park."

"We took the apex of a fast left-hander which was the ideal line. However, there was a coating of dust and gravel on the outside of the exit and I lost the rear end. We span and the front and rear of the car hit the bank, splitting a radiator hose. We were able to complete the last 8km and we tried to repair on the road section. Despite our best efforts, though, the engine had suffered too much damage for us to continue. I am obviously very disappointed. Everything had gone so well up to that point, and we had started to lift. But I suppose it's all experience. We are still in with a chance in the championship and we will try to make sure of the title next weekend in Corsica."

Team principals:

Olivier Quesnel [Citroen Total WRT - team principal]:

"After yesterday's excellent groundwork, we succeeded in delivering the same sort of performance today. Everyone in the team stayed extremely focused and neither crew put a foot wrong. Both cars have been perfectly reliable and competitive, and that enabled S?bastien and Daniel to continue to dominate the leaderboard and take their score to nine consecutive fastest times this morning. They then had the intelligence to take onboard the shift in the weather and stage conditions. Dani and Marc faced a difficult challenge which was to shrug off the pressure from their closest rivals, and I think they have shown that there aren't many drivers around who can beat them today on asphalt. I am obviously delighted with the performance of both crews and with the way the rally has gone so far, but it won't be over until tomorrow afternoon's finish ceremony at around 3pm. I hope that will be a chance for us to celebrate."

David Richards [Subaru WRT - managing director]:

"To the casual observer today appears to have been a fairly uneventful day, but that belies all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes. We've certainly learnt a lot more about the car and we will continue to try some further ideas tomorrow morning."

Malcolm Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT - team boss]:

"It's been another strong day for the Stobart guys. Jari-Matti has now found a set-up that he's happy with so it would be good to see him being able to take the fight to Chris tomorrow and get back into seventh place. With both cars in the points as well it would be an impressive result for the team. Matthew has gone well again today and I'm seeing maturity and consistency from him which is continuing to impress me. Points from both cars would be great tomorrow and good preparation for Corsica."

Shusuke Inagaki [Suzuki WRT - team director]:

"We are very pleased to note that our car has been completely reliable over the toughest day of the rally. Today we have concentrated on testing for Corsica, so we have not really been looking at the stage times. It looks like we are on track to bring two cars safely home to the finish which is satisfying for us. But it is also clear that there is plenty more work to do, so this will be our aim for tomorrow."



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