Stan Watt rode through the pain barrier on stage ten of the 2013 Dakar to claim a more than respectable 45th position to maintain a top 30 spot in the overall standings. Watt suffered a high speed crash on yesterday’s stage nine and a big impact to his shoulder which was later diagnosed as being dislocated. After being heavily strapped my the Dakar’s medical staff Watt was satisfied with the result.
He said: “It’s ok where I finished. Obviously the injury is having an effect a bit, but it’s not actually as bad as I expected just as long as I don’t jolt it. I think a lot of people are starting to get tired now and we’ve got two tough stages coming up. It was miserable riding behind the quads again today and trying to pass them really was dangerous. I just need to try and stay where I am, but there are still some fast guys behind me.”
Tim Forman was once again top Brit finishing the 357km timed special stage in 38th place. He said: “I’m surprised I went that well to be honest because I came off again today. I caught the leading quad up and thought I’d pass him on the next corner but when I got there it went round further than I thought and I ended up going flying into the bushes. It smashed the fairing a bit but other than that the bike was ok.
“I’ve come off a lot over the last few days and I feel that if I could get in front of the quads and ride my own race I could go a lot better. I’m getting tired and as a result I’m making silly mistakes. The dust is a problem and it makes it so hard to judge your speed in the corners.”
Lyndon Poskitt battled through his toughest day on the Dakar, ending the stage in 53rd place. Although he was exhausted on arrival to the bivouac he was buoyed by the fact that he has moved up to 45th in the overall standings.
“That was a rough day. It was a combination of a lot of things. The first 50km was like an enduro track and I’ve been diagnosed with carpul tunnel syndrome so when there’s a lot of down hill heavy breaking my right hand goes numb. It opened up after that and by the time I got to the fuel stop it was ok. But then they must have decided that we’d had it too easy and put this really soft sand section in just to beat the shit out of you – which it did.
“I got out of that and then onto a fire track. I was flat out in top gear and started breaking for a third gear corner. The rear started to come around on some stones a quad had thrown up which was ok, but then for some reason I stalled it and ended up getting high sided. I had to fix the bike so all in all a tough day and I’m really surprised to hear that I’ve moved up the order.”
Simon Pavey told MCN that he was feeling good and riding well on today’s stage which reflected in his result with the Australian finishing 56th which moved him up to 63rd overall.
“It was a really beautiful stage and unlike me I actually took a few risks early on in the dust to get past some riders. There was a big open grass piste with a track going through it and I had the helicopter following me across it the whole way and I managed to pass two guys there as well which I was chuffed about.
The soft sand section was hard, but I got through it and I actually think the liaison at the end was the hardest because it was 41degrees. On route I knew I’d be tight on fuel and there was a fuel station 99km later. Unfortunately I ran out of fuel at 98km, but luckily a couple of young kids on a motorbike came along and pulled me to the fuel stop. It made their day and mine!”
James West had another difficult onboard his factory supported Sherco having spent the entire special with acute brake problems. MCN was unable to locate West in the bivouac this evening but spoke to Simon Pavey who rode with him for part of the day. He said: “James is certainly getting his money’s worth this Dakar! It’s his first one but he’s got stories it would normally take a rider five Dakar’s to accumulate. Today he rode with barely any brakes – I don’t know how he did it.”
Craig Bounds battled his way through the tough stage finishing in 83rd place which moved him up to 82nd overall.
He said: “After spending the day standing all day yesterday my back was starting to relay hurt. I can’t sit down so I had to ride in a bit of a squat today, kind of in between and that means my legs are really feeling it. I’m still not getting a lot of sleep, maybe 2.5 hours a night but the doctors have put be on stronger pain killers which is helping a bit. Now I think we’ve got two tough days coming so I’ll keep chugging along and try to get to the finish somehow.