Buoyed by his third-place finish in the Dubai International Baja last month, UAE moto champion Mohammed Al Balooshi returns to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on a KTM 450 Rally Replica, hoping to improve on his fourth-place position last year.
Giving 100 per cent
“For me, the goal always is to give my 100 per cent — if I do that, I am satisfied,” said Al Balooshi, who clinched the national championship in February after finishing second in the previous two seasons. “My 100 per cent could take me to the top of the podium, or to the bottom of the standings, but I will still be satisfied because I know I have given my 100 per cent and that’s the aim for this rally as well.”
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Back on the Rally Replica
“In Dubai, we used a moto cross bike which is completely different,” said Al Balooshi, who rode a KTM 450 SXF in Dubai. “This one is a Rally Replica and it’s almost a year since I last rode it. So very happy being on the bike again. I had two days of testing and I rode quite a lot over the past two days. Now I feel one with the bike and quite happy. Hopefully I can build confidence as the stages go by.”
Rains make it easier
“The desert is quite wet because of the rains we have had,” Al Balooshi said. “That means it will be a lot easier for those who have never ridden in the desert before because the terrain will be a lot harder than normal. For me, I would say, either way, you still have to read the drop off and in that sense, I guess we, the Emiratis and UAE-based riders, have the upper hand because of our local knowledge.”
Target for Abu Dhabi
“Last year I finished fourth, my best show in Abu Dhabi, and the only way I did fourth was to give my 100 per cent,” he said. “It could have been dead last. The main thing is not to go home with a bad feeling that I left some on the table. That’s something I cannot bear. For me, the most important is to give my all, otherwise I am wasting everybody’s time and money.”
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