Doha, Qatar– The six day rally event, round two of the Cross-Country Rally World Championship, was a rough and tough event and the KTM riders and teams emerged with honors.
Mohammed Balooshi, the official KTM-UAE Racing Team rider, who finished the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 13th place, improved his finishing position in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally by two spots (11th). His KTM 450 Rally bike ran flawlessly and with the support of the team, kept on going despite broken rims and shredded tires. The rough terrain had taken its toll on the bike’s wheels and tires and these were checked daily and replaced. Considering a stronger entry list of riders than the Desert Challenge, his overall result is more impressive.
“The rocks were a problem for me! I broke a front rim twice and every day, we had to change the rear tire. I had never experienced this before and I am thankful that the team did such a great job to keep my bike running strong and reliably,” said Balooshi.
Tim Trenker did not participate in the rally as a rider but rather as team manager. To keep the complex team of customers, official rider and visiting riders, Tim kept everything in order. With so many riders and bikes to tend to, Tim actually had to play part-time mechanic for a couple of days.
“ It was difficult to be on the sidelines and not compete, especially after have great success in the past here in Qatar. But it was more important to ensure that the 5 customers and Mohammed were looked after from every aspect to so they could concentrate fully on the race. I had to get involved in mechanics, too, but ultimately, I am very happy for Mohammed who finished his 2nd rally and the rest of the guys that did a fantastic job including the mechanics. I wish Vadim a speedy recovery and I am sure he will be back to this region and take on the challenge again,” shared Trenker.
Matt Fish, the official KTM rider from Australia and running under the KTM UAE flag, using the race support package offered by KTM-UAE, showed his riding talent and ran a blistering pace throughout the event. Despite being totally unfamiliar with the Qatar desert terrain, Matt took his rally prepared KTM 450 SX-F and challenged many of the top runners on a daily basis. Fish did have some navigational challenges but finished 8th overall.
Adel Hussein Abdullah, a KTM-UAE customer quad rider, was fast out of the gate and led the first day of the rally. His KTM 525 XC ATV was strong and fast and with his knowledge of the terrain, was able to carry on to the finish where he came in 3rd in class.
Russian rider Vadim Kuvshinov another customer quad rider, suffered a broken left femur after a very big crash aboard his KTM 525 XC ATV. He was taken to Hamed hospital in Doha on the day of his accident.
The Sealine Cross-Country Rally was a very tough event not only for the riders but for the rest of the KTM-UAE Racing Team. The logistics of getting all the bikes, ATVs, tools and support vehicles to Qatar was daunting! The paperwork and red tape that seemed to be endless was all put in place and overseen by Geodis Wilson. A sponsor and logistics partner for the KTM-UAE Racing Team, Geodis Wilson and their expert team got everything to the event on time. This included the Volkswagen Crafter, the official support vehicle of the team, provided by Volkswagen Middle East, also a team sponsor. Special thanks goes out to Buzwair for providing a VW Touareg as an additional support vehicle at the event. Of course, Red Bull was flowing in the pits to keep those wrenches turning and giving the riders wings!
The KTM-UAE Racing Team is supported by Red Bull, Volkswagen, Geodis Wilson, Al Shafar Group and Fibra Foil.