2021 Dakar Rally Update – Prologue

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – 02/01/2021

An electrical glitch on Andrew’s KTM 450RFR has caused him to miss registering 2 waypoints during the prologue stage (Stage 0) of the 2021 Dakar Rally, and the resulting penalty has dropped him down the results.

Andrew went into the prologue feeling confident after a reasonable run in the shakedown the day before, but on the start line the power supply to the navigation and tracking systems failed for a second and then came good again.

He started the stage but the power failed again, however this time it didn’t return. He stopped briefly to check and decided to continue without the navigation systems since the special stage was only 11km long and the track seemed easy to follow.

He came in 74th in the initial results.

But Andrew had failed to register 2 waypoints because of the power failure to the tracking device, and received a penalty that dropped him to 97th place.

Despite it being a disappointing start to the event, finding the issue in the short prologue was far better than it occurring in tomorrow’s much longer and tougher stage.

“We didn’t get a chance to have a decent shakedown and test the bike thoroughly, but we’d found a few small issues and Jakob, my Swiss KTM mechanic, had done a great job setting the bike up last night.We just didn’t know about this one!””

“So today was good to sort out the problems.”

Andrew says he is feeling more positive now the ERTF is wired correctly and working.

With over 4,800 km of special stages to come over 12 days of competition, placings are not a major concern at this stage. What the prologue did show is that Andrew has good pace.

Andrew was very surprised by the deepness of the sand around Jeddah, and said that so far it was very similar riding conditions to what he has experienced in Australia.

Stage 1 will take the riders from Jeddah to Bisha. There is a 311km liaison, 276km special stage with 3 checkpoints, and finally a 35km trip into the bivouac.