President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I congratulate you most sincerely on your outstanding victory. Victories are always sweet, especially when they are won through skill. You took first, second and fourth place. That is a brilliant performance, an outstanding result. It is also proof of the top level that our team has always displayed at the Paris-Dakar Rally, and displayed this time too, at the thirtieth jubilee Dakar 2009.
There is a lot of news coming in at the moment, good news and bad news. But it really made me very happy to hear of your victory. I think most people in our country felt the same way. They were with you throughout the race and were naturally overjoyed to hear that you won.
I don’t want to speak banal words. You know yourselves the cost of victory. You know this better than anyone. This victory is clearly the result of immense hard work and the skill that you have perfected over these many years. It is the result of your individual abilities, your collective skill, your strong and united team, and of course the technical perfection of KAMAZ itself, probably the world’s best racing truck.
I think you have every chance of staying on the top. Of course, you know better than I what is possible or not. When we were sitting in the cabin today, we talked about the fact that some new competitors have appeared on the horizon, didn’t we?
Response: Yes, the German team and the Dutch team.
Dmitry Medvedev: I think in the end you always need rivals. Without them there is no success. So long as you have willpower and courage, and you certainly have them in plenty, you will be able to stay on top of your rivals.
I hope the future will bring you more such success, and that you will continue to bring us the joy of your victories and demonstrate the exceptional quality of Russia’s automotive industry, showcase KAMAZ’s achievements in any case. This is propaganda in the good sense of the word, promotion of our country’s technical achievements. Our automotive industry has not produced as many achievements as we would like, but your victories show that top results are possible in the segments in which we earlier established leading positions, and show too that we can hold on to these positions.
I think the company itself should also be grateful to you, because it’s hard to imagine a better demonstration of our technical accomplishments.
Once again, on behalf of us all, I congratulate you from all my heart on this victory. We value your achievements. Thank you.