BMW’s Simon Pavey got his Dakar back on track after suffering a crascked head gasket problem on day eight to post the the 34th quickest time on day tens special stage.
Pavey’s impressive result has escalated him up to 47th in the overall standings.
Writing for MCN, Pavey said: “I was obviously worried about whether or not we could fix the bike in time and we did. The boys did an awesome job,”
“Today was awesome. I was a little concerned because I started so far back for the first time in this Rally, which meant that I was getting caught in the dust.
"It made navigation really difficult. There was one point that I needed to navigate, but the only thing I could do was watch the rider’s helmets in the dust cloud ahead of me. If they were flying up and down, I knew that I had to be careful.
“I spent the first 200km in 2nd gear. We were riding over rocks and it was really physical. I just kept on working my way back up through the field. The riding was technical – through river beds and mountain passes - and it was relief to click into 3rd gear occasionally.
“It wasn’t too bad with the cars either. The two quick cars went past me when I was at the refuel and then another three or four went past without much of an issue.
“The route took us right by the coast today where there was a myriad of tracks. I missed the right track down to the way point and had to make a detour which saw me rock hopping along the coastline and down a steep decent that I was lucky to get down. It was great fun.
“Today was about real riding. I’ve had an awesome time. It is like riding an eight-hour enduro with a variety of terrain to ride.
"There were motocross jumps, whoops, rocks and you had to be on your game the whole time. I lost my concentration briefly. I was riding off piste and the front wheel washed out and I fell.
"I got back on and it just didn’t click with me because I wasn’t focussed. I had to get my head back together and get on with it.
“The sand dunes here are different. They are kind of huge, but more like big rolling hills. They also look hard on the surface, but there is a crust and it is soft underneath. They’re not steep, just long. I’ve not ridden anything like them before.
“Tomorrow is going to be fast and will be better suited to the 690s. It won’t suit me as much like the technical riding we have been doing over the past few days. My aim is to stay focussed, keep out of trouble and get to the end of the day.”
Stage 10 of the 2009 Argentina – Chile Dakar Rally is 686km long and is geared up to be the longest and most difficult of the Rally. Again, competitors will endure the South American heat andl face a stretch of sand dunes over 100km long.
To follow Simon Pavey’s progress in the 2009 Argentina – Chile Dakar Rally, visit www.dakar.com
Stage 9 - Day 10 of 16
1. Frans Verhoeven - Netherlands 06:26.33
2. David Fretigne – France +00:03.09
3. Francisco Lopez - Chile +00:03.40
26. Mick Extance – GBR +01:04.24
34. Simon Pavey – World of BMW - Australia/GBR +01:24.46
38. Stanley Watt – GBR +01:29.49
48. Ewan Buchan – GBR +01:49.37
54. Craig Bounds – GBR +01:54.03
88. Gary Ennis – IRE +02:47.37
Motorcycle Overall Results – Day 10 of 16 – 120 finishers, 235 started on 3 January 2009 – 51% of the field remain
1. Marc Coma – Spain
2. David Fretigne – France
3. Cyril Despres - France
20. Mick Extance - GBR
23. Stanley Watt - GBR
47. Simon Pavey – World of BMW - Australia/GBR
67. Craig Bounds – GBR
97. Ewan Buchan - GBR
102. Garry Ennis - IRE
DNF day 5 - Jonathan Stamper – GBR