Ruben Faria as Cyril Despres' support rider in the Red Bull Team
Following the longer than expected recovery from a leg injury, which has called into question his fitness for the forthcoming Dakar, it has been decided to replace James West with Ruben Faria as Cyril Despres' support rider in the Red Bull Team.
"The first time James came over from Dubai to Andorra he was limping but we were reassured by medical advice that suggested he could be fully fit for the Dakar. On James' recent second visit however we realized that while progress had been made it wasn't as quick as we had hoped and that he risked not being fully fit by the beginning of January. It was a very difficult decision to take and I feel bad for James but the Dakar is just too tough to take any chances."
"Fortunately for us the Portuguese rider Ruben Faria was available at short notice and we jumped at the chance. He is a professional off-road rider with plenty of rally experience who I have known for a while now and I am sure he will do a great job. He is coming up to Andorra for a week from next Sunday and we will be able to train together and spend some time with the team before flying out to Buenos Aires right after Christmas."