Cyril Despres' blog on the 8th stage of Dakar Rally. The Red Bull KTM rider is aiming for the overall victory again in the challenging event.
Cyril tells us about having to change his engine and his plans to get back into the lead at the 2013 Dakar
I was able to get the bike to the end of the stage and then I started to think of solutions. Because it was the marathon stage I was away from my mechanics and the spare parts on the support truck. What happened was I swapped my engine with Orlen Team rider Marek Dabrowski. Swapping engines will cost me a 15 minutes penalty in the overall times but I really had no choice.
With the help of Marek and my team-mates Ruben Faria, Kurt Caselli and Joan Pedrero we took two hours to change both engines. It goes without saying that I owe all the guys a huge debt of gratitude. It was a very eventful day at the Dakar that’s for sure.
On the stage today I started 20 bikes back because of the bad result yesterday. I was trying to ride fast but not too crazy. It was important to remember that whatever has already happened we are still only at the halfway point of this race.
There was some heavy rainfall on the stage today and the rivers were full of water. The roadbook told us to ride on the riverbeds but this was not possible because of the rivers overflowing. Because we had to veer off the roadbook this made the route hard to follow. This led to a group of us making a mistake due to us being out of position.
Then I was looking for the piste and made some good decisions with my navigation. I managed to find a nice piste 60km from the finish line but while I made a final check of my notes a group of bikers who had been following me came past. This cost me a little bit of time on today’s stage.