“Expecting hell and that's the whole point of it”
For Clayton Jacobsen, it's “Take 2”. The Australian based in New York was due to start the last Dakar but an injury during the Morocco Rally forced him to push back his first attempt by a year. He still remembers that day in a Moroccan hospital with Marc Coma, also injured during that event, and the Catalan telling him “sometimes the desert wins”. Clayton's idea to do the Dakar probably started three years ago when he travelled through North Africa, alone on his bike, on the tracks of the old Dakar rallies. His time had come. Expecting hell, he feels far wiser after his crash. Riding the KTM Stan Watt's used in the past, He's eager to live outstanding moments and try and make it to the finish.
“I remember watching the Dakar on TV in Australia. It could have been on Mars, it was so incredible. You never think it's possible. As I got older and moved to Europe, I got closer to the adventure. I then took off on a solo trip through Morocco on the old tracks of the Dakar and thought, ‘this is good'. It was ‘put up or shut up'. For me the Dakar is a test: can I do it? I injured in the Morocco Rally due to over-confidence. I remember being in hospital with Marc Coma and thinking that even the greatest fall. The Dakar does worry me, especially the mental fatigue. But I'm wiser, having seriously crashed. I have to get to the end. I expect hell but that's the whole point of it. The Dakar is made to break you. I'm eager to live those moments when you're with the best riders at the start of the special and the sun comes up. That's when you feel you're alive. After that, you need to get the adrenaline under control.”