Although Sam Sunderland may be out of Dakar, fellow Brits Lyndon Poskitt and Max Hunt continued to push on with another strong day by both men on a particularly demanding Stage 4 of the race.
Poskitt claimed 55th on the stage which places him 48th overall and third in the Malle Moto class behind, Olivier Pain and Jos Liefhebber, where he is not allowed any outside assistance.
But despite another solid day he was critical of the road book and navigation on the stage.
Speaking to MCN, he said: “That was another brutal day. I’ve never had so much pain in my forearms simply from hanging on over the rocks. I struggled on them like never before. But the big problem today was the Way Points – they weren’t where they were marked on the Road Book and that meant that people couldn’t find them.
“At one point I had one of the Peugeot race cars coming towards me at 60mph on a twin track and that is not good – it’s not a game. If the Road Book says the Way Point is there – it should be there – not 100m further up the track. And this happened three times. I would think it’s why Sam crashed looking for it because there were some big drops around.
"When I came across Sam’s bike, my heart sank – that could be any one of us and it puts in perspective how many risks those guys that want to win are taking. I’m really gutted for him, I hope he’s OK.”
Hunt coped well with the tricky navigation but his day wasn’t without drama after he crashed and injured his hand. He ended the day 47th fastest which puts him an impressive 43rd overall.
He said: “I fell off in one of the rock fields about half way through and banged my hand so hard. It really hurts and I was having trouble holding on. My fingers are black and I think I need to go to the medical centre to ‘pop’ the nail, which I don’t think is going to be much fun.
“I felt pretty tired in the first part of the stage and I was making some stupid mistakes, but the second part was much better – even with my hand. Apart from that it was good, I didn’t have too many problems with the navigation and ended up riding with a South African guy I know called Dave Thomas, which was really good fun
“I heard about Sam, I’ve just been reading the latest on the MCN website! I’m gutted for him, he’s such a good guy, I really hope everything is ok.”