Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally 2019 (from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city) saw Stuart and his fellow riders encounter the wonderfully named but brutal fesh-fesh.
This fine dust or sand looks like solid ground - but behaves like soft mud. Along with dry, cracked lake beds and the sand mounds of the Duna Grande and Duna Argentina regions, the 331km special in this stage added up to a timely reminder of just why the Dakar is so tough.
Having completed the stage – but still facing a 467km liaison ride to return to the bivouac – Stuart described himself as extremely dusty but satisfied with another solid ride. In fact, he managed to improve his overall standing in the Moto Classification to 80th position.
Gregory also moved up to 9th in the demanding Original by Motul Class, and in the “race within a race” is now the 2nd Dakar rookie in his class. It was quite a day for climbing, in fact, with competitors reaching an altitude of some 2 000m in Combrepampa.
“The hardest part of Stage 3 was dealing with a malfunctioning GPS,” commented Stuart before leaving the end of the stage for the long liaison ride. “It didn’t pick up a couple of the waypoints which meant that I had to double back a couple of times – making the stage even longer”
Despite this slight frustration, Gregory is thriving in the Dakar environment, both on and off the bike. The spirit of camaraderie that pervades this iconic rally event was evident during an impromptu navigational conference between two leading MINIs and a group of motorcyclists – including Gregory – at the foot of one of the dunes.
With the welcome respite of Saturday’s first rest day now on the horizon, Gregory must adjust his tactics for today’s Stage 4. It’s a marathon stage, which means that no vehicle servicing will be permitted in the bivouac after the 405km special and 106km liaison.
Like all the competitors, Stuart will only be allowed to carry out any repairs with the spares and tools that he is carrying with him. Given how well his KTM motorcycle has performed so far, Gregory is confident that this won’t prove to be a spanner in the works.
To find out more about Stuart’s journey go to: https://powersport.motul.com/
Motul is a world-class French company specialised in the formulation, production and distribution of high-tech engine and industrial lubricants. Motul is also recognised as the specialist in synthetic lubricants. As early as 1971, Motul was the first lubricant manufacturer to pioneer the formulation of a 100% synthetic lubricant for automotive engines, the Motul 300V lubricant, which made use of ester technology derived from the aerospace industry.
Throughout the years, Motul has gained experience as an official supplier to many racing teams and manufacturers and continues to collaborate with them to further technological development in motorsports.
Motul supports teams in international competitions such as: 24 Hours of Le Mans (cars and motorcycles), FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Super GT, Drift, Japanese Super Formula Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, Dakar, Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, MotoGP, World Superbike, World MX, FIM Endurance World Championship, IOM TT, MOTUL FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship, Roof of Africa and many others.
Issued by Listen Up on behalf of MOTUL South Africa
Picture Caption: Stuart Gregory during stage 3 liaison of Dakar Rally 2019
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