As if the Dakar Rally isn’t tough enough, Australian rider James Ferguson (pictured above) is taking it on solo and unassisted and is closing in on the top 10 in his Original by Motul category.
James and countryman Ben Young are among a record field of novices in this year’s Peruvian rally.
Ben is a commendable 55th overall and 12th in the rookie class.
In preparation for the Dakar, Ben has been training with Toby and finished 18th in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and 24th in the Morocco Rally on his KTM.
Meanwhile, James is 70th overall, 20th in the rookie class and 11th in the “Original by Motul” or solo and unassisted class.
That means he has no assistance from mechanics or support crew.
Only 30 riders are allowed in the gruelling category.
They are only allowed one trunk of spares, one set of spare wheels and tyres, a tent and a travel bag.
That’s it for 10 gruelling stages across thousands of kilometres of harsh conditions.
About 70% of the event is in the sand dunes, but James has plenty of experience in sand having competed in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge last year.
James says the toughest thing is the lack of sleep.
He finished one stage at 11pm and started the next day’s liaison at 2am.