This just in, after today’s transmission issues on stage 7, Cyril Despres has talked another rider into donating his motor for Stage 8. Tonight is the marathon stage with the remote overnight stop, no pit crews or assistance.
From Cyril: Cyril Despres’ hopes of moving up the overall rankings today were frustrated early in the stage with gearbox problems that made it impossible to select fifth gear. He nevertheless managed to make it to this evening’s marathon bivouac, which, by cruel irony, is the only one on the 2013 Dakar where no outside assistance is allowed.
Finally, after looking at the various options and after consulting KTM’s rally technicians, Cyril Despres has decided to do an engine swap with Polish Orlen Team rider Marek Dabrowski. To undertake such a task at the marathon bivouac with no outside assistance, no spare parts and only limited tools wasn’t an easy decision. Fortunately Cyril is a trained mechanic and was able to count on the support and help of all the other KTM factory riders, not to mention the enormous generosity of the Orlen Team.