January 14 th 2020 - 06:55 [GMT + 3]
The good pals of the “Original by Motul” category might well have helped Guillaume Simonnet and Olivier Pain may have dispensed valuable advice, but sometimes their machines can be temperamental…
The mopeds on which Guillaume Simonnet took his first competitive steps are but a far off memory. The KTM which he has been riding since the start of his first Dakar is certainly an asset for succeeding in his plan to finish the rally. However, on the bivouac in Wadi Al Dawasir, it has been making his life difficult: “I’ve had huge problems on the last two stages, with loss of power and the bike even stopping. Sometimes I have to wait 5 minutes, sometimes 10 or even sometimes an hour before it can get going again,” worries the biker taking part in the “Original by Motul” category. “The annoying thing is that it’s not a clear problem… I can’t identify what isn’t working, so I’m changing everything a bit. At the moment, I’m refitting the electrics and hoping that it will work properly now”. Since the start of the rally, the trio of riders who make up the JOG team have been able to follow the road-map they set out to achieve their goals. Guillaume, who has been one of Olivier Pain’s leading supporters for a long time, enrolled for the rally in the company of Jérôme Denibaud and they managed to convince their friend the former champion to make a comeback. “All three of us are still in the race and that’s our main goal. Of course, Olivier is ahead of us [36th in the general standings] and until I started having problems, Jérôme and I had ridden all the stages together”. With 4 stages still on the programme, the debutant who was expecting more physical suffering is instead having to manage his stress in light of his machine’s failings. The 97th place he currently occupies in the general standings, more than 5 hours behind his companion from the first week (who is in 85th position) is the least of his worries.