July 6th 2005.
Having already circumnavigated the globe alongside Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman is ready to move on to his next challenge.  The actor, who was one half of the very successful 'Long Way Round' series, now intends to enter the 2006 Telefonica Dakar Rally.
The project will be managed by the UK production team responsible for the 'Long Way Round', with BMW as the principle sponsor. Boorman said: "The 'Long Way Round' was one of the hardest and most satisfying 'big trips' that I think every biker would like to achieve at some point in their lives. However, competing in the Dakar is really going to take me to another level."
As he is inexperienced in this type of event, Boorman will ride with competitor Simon Pavey, who has completed the Dakar Rally three times. The team will ride BMW F650 Dakar machines.
Pavey, BMW's Off-Road Skills Course Chief Instructor, also trained Boorman during his preparation for 'Long Way Round'. "It is quite a high request to ask any rider to compete in the Dakar and expect them to finish. However, I have been training with Charley for over six weeks now and we have a consistent programme in place. His basic riding ability is good and improves every day," said Simon. "The most important factor is that Charley wants to compete and has such great determination."
The Dakar Rally will include tough off-road riding including the sand dunes of the Sahara. Pavey's immediate task will be to improve Boorman's basic riding skills to a standard that can conquer these different terrains.
The 6,000-mile event starts on December 31st in Lisbon and the riders are scheduled to arrive in Dakar, Senegal, 16 days later. The team - consisting of Boorman, Pavey and an (as yet) unnamed team-mate - have the main objective of simply finishing the challenging event. In 2004, only 104 bikes finished the rally, out of the 230 which started. 
Time Warner will publish a book of the Dakar project and a TV series of Charley's adventure will be broadcast on Sky One in 2006.
Pictured: Charley Boorman (left) with his team mate Simon Pavey.
Report: Harriet Casswell. (Motorcycle Trader Work Experience Reporter).