Dakar Stage 9: Poskitt jumps up the order as Watt, Forman and West suffer big crashes

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Lyndon Poskitt made the absolute most of his top ten starting position for stage nine of the 2013 Dakar to post the 37th fastest time and move up to 46th in the overall standings.

In what was an incredibly dusty opening part of the timed special, Poskitt only had minimal dust to deal with because iof his high starting place meaning he could ride his own race while being mindful that he had a whole host of fast guys starting behind him.

Speaking to MCN, Poskitt said: “That was an awesome day. Helder Rodrigues came past me 20km into the stage and then Cyril Despres came by at 33km and all in all about ten riders got past. It’s certainly a different experience riding at the front and credit to them how they are able to get up so close in all the dust. I was keeping an eye out for the guys behind me because there is no point me holding them up. I pulled over for the top guys and they even gave me a wave as they went by!”

Tim Forman, Stan Watt and James West all had eventful days after suffering high speed crashes on the super slippery opening stage finishing the day in 45th, 50th and 68th respectively.

Tim Forman: “I’ve been riding in dust all day and it feels like I’ve been behind quads all day. The track was covered in really small loose stones which made it incredibly slippery – I’ve never ridden on anything like it before. I ended up crashing twice today which lost me some time, but I’m alright.

Stan Watt: “There was so much dust today especially when you got behind the quads. My bike was going really well after changing the jest for the lower altitude but as I went to pass the last of four quads I lost the front going around a 70mph corner.

There was a raised edge on track and that sent me up into the air and then I dropped about 30ft, landed on a load of rocks and the came to a stop at the base of a tree. The bike had gone even further but luckily there were some locals around who managed to get my bike out. It was a big hit but I knew I had to get going pretty quick otherwise I would have seized up.

It hurt a fair bit on the rest of the stage and when I saw the medical guys they said I’ve dislocated my shoulder, but luckily it went straight back in.”

James West: “It wasn’t really my type of terrain, it was twisty with a really loose layer of sand on top which made it so slippery. The bike was sideways all the time and there was so much dust. I was stuck behind a quad, saw some grass on the inside of the corner and went for a pass, but there was a massive hole there.

I dropped in and just couldn’t get out as the sides were too steep. Luckily a guy I know from Dubai on a quad stopped and between us we just managed to get it out.”

Simon Pavey finished the stage in 64th place which moved him up to 66th overall with even the experienced Aussie admitting to two slow speed crashes.

He said: It was a little bit worried about running out of fuel because one leg of the special was 25km between fuel stops. The quads were going pretty well on this kind of stage so they were hard to pass.

The first part of the special was beautiful, completely green and it was like riding in the Brecon Beacons. The second half of the stage was a fast fire road, it wasn’t the best stage but we had a lot of distance to cover so it was a good way to get it done.”
Craig Bounds’ heroics continued with the tough Welshman battling through another day despite being in serious pain from his back injury. He finished in 84th and now holds 86th overall.

He said: “I’m still feeling bad, in fact my back isn’t getting any better at all – I think I’m just getting used to it though. I had to spend the whole stage stood up because any bump when I’m sitting down hurts so much and it just makes me feel winded. It was a long stage, but I think it would have been quite enjoyable had I been fit and well. I didn’t have any crashes, but I couldn’t ride with any style either.”

Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider