Vishakha Schattat: “Another sad news…I am so sorry my son Tony Schattat had to withdraw early, but so glad that he is not injured.”
Jenny Morgan’s report:
“News from stage 5 – Tony has just arrived at the bivouac hotel, still in his riding gear – which is encouraging at least.
Sadly, yet again the bike suffered with mechanical problems approximately halfway though the 370 km Profi stage. On inspection water had once again has entered the engine from the cooling system. Having used up his supply of spare parts, Tony has taken the difficult decision to withdraw from the race, and will spend the rest of the event providing mechanical assistance to his MACAD teammates”.
Vishakha Schattat: “Tony just called me….This time it is only bad luck for Tony. He was racing this morning, but had to stop due to engine trouble. I am so glad that he is ok though…. That is the only positive thing….How sad it is for someone who always helps others to face problems like this….”
The second stage (Sunday 10th March) was a series of frustrations for Tony, with his bike refusing to start at the beginning of the special stage.
“At first we thought it was a fuel issue as I had changed a pipe that had been leaking in the middle of the night” he explains – “I eventually got it running again, but throughout the first part of the stage it kept cutting out, and was increasingly difficult to start – so that lead me to believe the valves may have gone out of adjustment. “Finally my battery died, and after trying to kick-start the bike, eventually a local guy in a pick-up truck gave me a tow-start. “It ran for maybe ten minutes more then cut-out again and would not start. “Ultimately after about two hours I had no choice but to contact the organisation and wait for the sweeper truck to collect me. “I broke down at around 11am and it was not until after 6pm that I finally arrived at the bivouac.”
Tony spent much of last evening inspecting and adjust the engine to the correct specification, only to find there was no compression. So he elected to also change the piston, finishing work at 5am this morning and getting just a couple of hours sleep.
Due to an incident on the rally yesterday, the timed section of the route today (Day 3) was suspended, and Tony [who is competing without an assistance team] again travelled in the sweeper truck to the next bivouac, where he can continue to repair his bike before the rally resumes tomorrow morning.
Stage result: day 2/7: 83rd
Overall position: day 2/7: 83rd
“Still alive. Long and hard day today.
Nothing but fech fech…tomorrow is more fixed tracks…navigation is easy.”
by Jenny Morgan
After a long day preparing his own bike and helping his Macad team-mates solve various mechanical and electric problems prior to scrutineering, Tony was looking forward to just getting out and riding a competitive stage.
Prior to this event, Tony had completely rebuilt his original Yamaha WR450F rally bike, and made a number of improvements to the [fuel] weight distribution, together with a completely new cockpit featuring his latest RNS navigation equipment.
“It was definitely a tough day today. The sand was incredibly soft at certain points – every time you get stuck, you have to throw it on it’s side and drag it out – I must have picked up the bike at least thirty times!”
“The bike worked very well, although about half way through it felt like I picked up a gearbox problem between 1st and 2nd gear – although that may just be the way I was shifting when in the dunes, as the water tank is very close to [the toe of] my boot.”
“Compared to racing in the sand in Abu Dhabi (in 2010), the dunes seem to be much softer here” he continues. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow – we’ll be heading north away from these dunes and following more pistes. I had no issues with navigating [via the gps] today, but there will be more detailed navigation tomorrow – so I will have to follow the roadbook more cautiously as the possibility of getting lost increases.”
Two members already arrived at Tunesia.
The other two members are already at the airport.