Another guy we will be following on the side line from our pleasant gulf state will be James West.
Missed out on being Cyril's water carrier a couple of years back due to injury before the race. James owns and runs a desert tour operation here in Dubai and probably has more seat time than most in the sand. Exceptions excluded.
Probably not as outright fast as Sam but for sure a very fast rider. The last minute ride came about from his connections with Sherco. Riding the bike which Frans Verhoeven shaked down, ie broke everything he could on the bike.
I dont think James had a full year of testing as he was only informed that he got the ride a few months back. Steady dark horse who should be good for a top 20 overall. He can hang with the best in the sand.
PS still bummed out that Sam cant make it this year.
"If at first you dont succeed then skydiving is not for you."