After racing his BMW G650 Xchallenge almost 5,000 kilometres through to Stage 8 of the punishing 2009 Argentina – Chile Dakar Rally, Simon Pavey suffered his first major problem in the Rally.
The World of BMW Off Road Skills Chief Instructor suffered bike problems from the start of today, but managed to nurse his motorcycle across the first stage in Chile to arrive in La Serena.
Pavey has achieved strong results for every Stage leading up to today’s racing, but today’s situation has seen the determined Australian use his rally resourcefulness to reach the bivouac.
Pavey finished an uncharacteristically 127th in the Special Timed Stage and is now 55th overall.
“I’ve had a bit of a mare of a day,” explained Pavey. “My bike was struggling almost right from the start of the day.
"I’m not 100 per cent sure what the problem is, but I think it may be a head gasket and that means we will have to change the engine. We will wait and see.
“Today I had to keep stopping and put water back in the bike. There was even a point that I had to get some police to push me to get the bike going.
"I managed to get to the bivouac and hopefully now we can get the bike sorted.
“It’s a bit of a shame, but unfortunately that is the way Dakar works. You have your good days and bad days.
"Today was a bad day, but I’ve got a good support team who will help me sort out the problem so that I am out there racing again tomorrow.”