WhatDakar 2019 Day 3 Report
WhereArequipa, Peru
WhenWednesday 9 January 2019

Secret Gilbert flies to 27th on Dakar Day 3

South Africa’s Kenny Gilbert finally got into the real groove of his rookie Dakar Rally with a fine action-packed, if secret run to 27th among the motorcycles aboard his Husqvarna to jump from 40th to 28th overall and to fourth among the rookies.

It was however a nerve-wracking day for Gilbert’s supporters as the Pretoria star’s timing transponder failed early on and he disappeared from the timing screens for most of the day only to appear out of the blue as he crossed the finish line. The timing glitch was likely a result of damage after a crash early in a day of adventure for Kenny. 

“Today was the craziest day of my life!” Kenny admitted. “I was caught off guard by an unexpectedly steep dune at the 30km mark and had a huge accident over the bars. “The bike ended up on top of me, so I was lucky not to be hurt. “I got going quite quickly, but the road book came loose and I had to stop again and zip tie and repair it.” 

But that was just the start of an amazing adventure for Kenny. “From there I started to smash the course until GPS stopped working, so I had to stop and fix that too before charging on again. “Then I realised I had a hole in the fuel tank so I stopped again and did another fix with some duct tape and cleaned it up better at the fuel stop.

"If all that was not enough I rode through a dust storm and when I cleaned , my goggles afterwards, I scratched the lens really bad and had to get a spare pair from a fellow rider before I charged to the end like a madman.

"If there was ever a day that landed on its head, it was today - everything was thrown at me, but I rose to the occasion, gave it my all and made it happen. “Best of all is that I can't believe my results despite my mayhem today — we jumped up into the top 30 overall after a most challenging day and I'm now fourth among the rookies despite everything that could go wrong, going wrong!

“Tomorrow is another challenge altogether as the 405km stage from Arequipa to Moquegua is the first day of the 2-day marathon stage and I have to service my own bike at the bivouac, so the idea is to get there with as little trouble as possible. “I can't wait — I’m getting into it now but first I have a 400km ride to the bivouac tonight. “Thanks for all the support!"

Wednesday's stage was also a great one for the Husqvarna factory team as Chilean Pablo Quintanilla took a close second to move into an 11 minute overall lead of the Dakar motorcycle race, while US rider Andrew Short came in 11th and sits 10th overall.


Issued on behalf of Husqvarna Off Road

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