Irishman Stan Watt secured another strong result on stage three of the Dakar to finish 37th fastest at the end of the timed 242KM special. The KTM rider now sits 37th overall in the standings and is satisfied with his progress at this early stage of the race knowing that his overall position can improve significamtly if he can maintain the same pace.
His FrontrowGB team-mate Tim Forman claimed his best stage result so far finishing in 42nd place after another trouble free day in the dunes. The result means that he is now 45th overall with his confidence clearly growing each day.
Speaking to MCN, he said: “I still feel nervous even when I’m riding and so far I’m just taking it steady. It’s hard for me to say if I’m doing better than I thought because it’s my first Dakar and I just didn’t know what to expect.”
James West’s technical problems continued on his factory supported Sherco leaving him down in 66th place at the finish. The British rider had to deal with a loose header pipe yesterday which he had to continually stop for on the stage to tighten with the one remaining nut and today he suffered fueling issues due to a blocked injector.
He said: “10KM into the stage I lost so much power and the bike would hardly run. I realised what it was pretty quick because one of the other guys had the same problem yesterday. I stopped and fitted the spare injector I had with me and got going again. I was a long way back but put on a pretty good charge and passed a lot of people, but with ten KM of the special to go it happened again and I had to on the limp to the end of the stage. It’s frustrating but I’m still smiling and there is still a long way to go.”
Simon Pavey followed West home on the stage to finish 61st which puts him 56th overall.
He said: “I didn’t feel that I actually rode that well today so as a result I was probably a little bit cautious. It was a typical Dakar stage and there was a lot of stuff that would catch you out. It’s hard to explain but when you ride on an Enduro in the UK or on a MX track the bumps have been made for bikes and they flow, out here it’s just the terrain and it’s not meant for a bike and it’s hard to ride and so easy to make a mistake.”
Lyndon Poskitt ended the day 88th fastest and was satisfied with his performance and navigation. He now sits in 84th overall.
“I’m happy with that. I had one small off at the start of the stage and made one mistake on the navigation, but the rest was ok. There were some pretty big dunes today and one of them I had to have a few goes to get up. I know I could ride faster but it’s all about getting to the finish for me and so far its all going to plan.”
Malle Moto rider Craig Bounds had another solid day and moved up significantly in the standings to 109th overall.
He said: “Because I caught quite a few riders today I was riding in so much dust, but I made certain that I didn’t do anything stupid. I’m not out there racing as my aim is to do not damage to the bike at all as anything I break I’ve got to fix myself.”