How did you find yourself with Fantic?
“My bike was original; we went to the Dakar with the model that leaves the factory, just to get development and experience. The goal wasn’t the result, but to bring home data. My biggest doubts weren’t about the bike, which performed well, but in the world of rallying in general, having never faced stages of this type. At the start of the first special stage everything was new to me, I learned gradually”.
Can you tell us about the first technical problem you had and how did you solve it?
“I make a premise: since I don’t have a pouch, all the necessary equipment is on the bike. When I realized I had a problem, I stopped, I disassembled the navigation tower and the cradle guard of my Fantic to get the keys I needed and I went looking for what was wrong. The first problem I had was of an electrical nature, I fixed it and set off again. Shortly after, however, the bike stopped again and I was unable to restart. I called assistance with the satellite phone and I returned to the bivouac by helicopter. When the bike arrived under the team tent, unfortunately only the following morning, we looked for the problem. Moral of the story? All the fault of a stripped wire who made a mass. The good and bad thing about this race is that you can prepare for everything, but sometimes a triviality stops you”.
Let’s say that “fixing” the bike in the middle of the desert is not like setting it up in the woods 10 km from the first bar.
“You understood the point perfectly, just looking for the problem that causes your bike to malfunction isn’t easy and fixing it as well. Being in the middle of the desert, let’s say, doesn’t help; I tried everything, even getting towed, but in the end I I had to withdraw.”
The second problem you had was the “very classic” water in the petrol; Has this happened to other drivers as well? Is this a Saudi Arabian problem?
“Exactly, it didn’t just happen to me, other drivers also ran into this problem. Mason Klein managed to decant the tanks and use only “good” petrol, Diego Llanos, from Rjeiu, also stopped. I could tell you, let’s say they are mobile petrol pumps, “volving” I would say and the quality is not always guaranteed”.