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Dakar 2009: First Motorcycle Death

  Posted at 12:56:57 PM
  File under  Dakar Race
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

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It had to happen. This year's Dakar race was very dangerous due to the high speeds the motorcycles have been riding. Shredded tires were seen on many contestant's motorcycles.

Since Sunday, on the second day, the Dakar organizers have been looking for #192, Pascal Terry, who had not arrived at the finish. It was only yesterday that he was found, and unfortunately, he was dead.

The motorcycle rider was found in an area with full vegetation and difficult to access. He had taken off his helmet and was in the shade. He had food and water.

The Yamaha rider had phoned in beforehand, telling the organizers that he had ran out of fuel, but had just borrowed some from another motorcycle rider. But his motorcycle did not go back on the road. The Dakar organizers tried contacting him via his satellite phone, but did not receive any answer.

The local organizers did not have a chance to go and find out what had happened until Monday morning. The local Police searched for the 49 Normandy based Frenchman, and eventually found him dead on the scene. The reasons for his death are not known, and an investigation is ongoing.

Here is what Terry wrote for his Dakar bio:
The Dakar was his dream “ever since it existed”. “The start of the cars on new year’s eve” is a memory that has remained vivid for the last 30 years. At the beginning of the race he was in his twenties and did motocross with passion. He admired Sabine the adventurer. So to start a Dakar in South America far away from its known origins is a nice homage. “The destination was actually the detonator, a renewal”, says the native of the Manche area of France. “It made me jump into a dream”. His friend Pascal Gilbert who has competed in two bike Dakars wanted to take him to the adventure but on four wheels. He managed to convince him “to do it again on a bike in a team. It’s going to be a true story. Riding as a pair isn’t easy. I’m looking for good rear view mirrors”. The two men from Normandy who have known each other for a long time have turned to Antoine Morel’s team, just to put the chances on their sides. But it will be difficult “to keep a cold head” when you take on a legend like the Dakar. “I truly believe that it will be sensational. The place seems fabulous. We will witness a great moment and I will do all I can to enjoy every stage of the race”. Pascal intends on building a reality at the height of his dream.

I'm always sorry to hear when a motorcycle rider dies, and even more so when it's during the Dakar race.

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