Scottish Enduros 2019 -


John Deacon

John Deacon died in the Masters Rally on 9th August 2001. Greatly missed by all the racing community he was a truely great racer. A works rider with BMW he was the gretest desert racer we have yet produced. Competing at the highest level he won several DAKAR stages and was always in contention.



It is with deep regret that I have to forward the following information.

The Masters Rally has issued the following Press release on the 9th August 2001

Sam'Aan - Palmyre (Syria)

"John Deacon fell heavily at kilometre 285 in the day’s special. The medical helicopter intervened rapidly on the site of the accident but the rider had died."

John Deacon was our leading desert racer - placing 6th in the DAKAR and the top BMW works rider in 2001.

Our thoughts go out to his family at this dreadful time.

Deacon is killed in desert bike accident

By Neil Bramwell

10 August 2001John Deacon, Britain's most successful motorcycle rallying
rider, has been killed in a racing accident in Syria. The 38-year-old from
Saltash in Cornwall, a regular competitor in the prestigious Paris-Dakar
event, crashed during the seventh stage of the Masters Rally between France
and Jordan.
When a helicopter arrived at the remote and rocky scene of the accident,
Deacon, a latecomer to the discipline of long-distance all-terrain rallying,
had already died from head injuries sustained when his BMW bike flipped, 77
miles from the town of Palmyra. He was lying second in the event. "You accept
people having accidents on road bikes but for something like this to happen
in a competition is a bit harder," said his former Husqvarna team-mate and
the Enduro world champion, Paul Edmondson.
Deacon won the British Enduro four-stroke championship on ten occasions and
won nine gold medals at the annual International Six-Day Enduro. He first
contested the Paris-Dakar in 1997, becoming only the second British rider to
finish the three-week, 7,000-mile event across Africa on a motorcycle. Within
two years, and still funding his own participation, he claimed his country's
best finish of sixth, beaten by five riders who enjoyed substantial financial
The dangers of the sport were highlighted in the 2000 event, run in reverse
from Senegal to Egypt, when Deacon was offered a ride for the BMW Gauloises
team but crashed on the fifth day, fracturing his pelvis and wrist, as well
as dislocating his shoulder. This year, again with BMW, he doggedly recovered
from a disastrous opening in France, when electrical faults and a time
penalty relegated him to 132nd, to finish a creditable sixth place. "John was
a remarkable man who craved adventure and loved racing. He exuded talent and
charisma, and is a true legend in the motorcycle industry," said BMW's
motorcycle manager, David Taylor.
Deacon's strength was in the arduous desert sections of rallies, benefiting
from good navigational skills, excellent physical fitness and a conservative
riding style.
Deacon recently said: "I'm extremely bike fit and can ride all day without
getting tired. There aren't many people who can do that. I've been out riding
with tri-athletes but they are physical wrecks after an hour in the saddle.
But I can ride using very little energy and that's the difference when the
temperature can be as high as 42 degrees.
"There was a day last year when I drank water out of the bike's own tank."
Deacon was the owner of a motorcycle shop in Saltash.

By Roddy Brooks, PA Sport

John Deacon's fellow motorcycle racers refused to compete in the Masters
Rally on Thursday as a mark of respect for the 38-year-old who was killed in
an accident in Syria on Wednesday.
Deacon suffered fatal injuries during a timed special stage of the race
between France and Jordan but the 20 other motorcycle racers decided not to
compete following the death of their friend and fellow racer.
British-based Australian Simon Pavey -- a close friend and colleague of
Deacon _ had crashed out of the event at the beginning of the week and spoke
of the air of stunned disbelief amongst the racers when they heard of
Deacon's death.
Pavey had been forced out of the race at the beginning of the week with a
dislocated shoulder and knows more than any other the dangers of desert rally
He worked alongside Deacon on BMW's off-road riding school in south Wales,
and paid tribute to a man he had raced alongside during previous Dakar
``The guy was an absolute legend, there's no doubt about it,'' said Pavey.
``None of us can quite believe it,'' added Pavey, speaking after the race had
reached Jordan.
``No-one knows what to say. Everyone knows it is potentially dangerous but
you still never expect or believe it's going to happen.''
Following Deacon's crash his body was discovered by a French rider who told
Pavey what conditions had been like on the rally that day.
Riders had been looking for a check point after straying off piste and it was
believed Deacon had crashed when trying to negotiate a steep rocky descent.
``As soon as I reached Jordan there were lots of messages on my phone -- John
knew lots of people and this has hit them hard,'' said Pavey.
It was believed the authorities had arranged for Deacon's body to be flown
home this weekend.


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