There has been a lot of buzz about the new KTM_UAE Racing Team which debuted on Sept. 24th, 2014. Since the announcement, the orange riders had made a big impression.
At the opening event of the Emirates Desert Championship, Mohammed Balooshi took home the overall win with Mohammed Jaffar, a close second. Then, at the DMX Championship first round, Jake Shipton blasted through the field of riders, winning the MX1 class by a huge margin!
DESERT RACING AT ITS BEST
KTM Sportmotorcycles are known for their prowess in the offroad world. The same holds true in the deserts of the UAE. Mohammed Balooshi, Red Bull athlete and KTM_UAE Racing Team rider, led the way and finished ahead of the 91 bike field. With a one-stop pit stop strategy, Balooshi took his 2015 KTM 450 SX-F through the rough, sandy terrain, to claim the top step of the podium. His pace was fast and smooth with very little drama to speak about.
Jake Shipton, one of the favorites to win this event, was sidelined with a puncture on his rear tire during his second lap. Shipton’s pace was blisteringly quick that in the opening lap, second place was already close to a minute behind! But such is the nature of endurance racing, to finish first, you first have to finish the race. Jake will surely be back with a vengeance in the next round.
Mohammed Jaffar has come a long way in a year’s time. Coming just behind his mentor (Balooshi), Jaffar finished a strong second overall. A marked difference from last season.
His first season of Baja racing took its toll on Jaffar, physically. His fitness was not up to par for this type of racing and he struggled to make it to the finish. Prior to this season’s first event, Mohammed had been training with Balooshi with great intensity. All the hard work had paid off as his performance at this event has proven. Expect to see more great rides from Mohammed as the season progresses.
Jourdan Cabaud, in the Over 450 class, got on the podium, finish 3rd, riding his two-stroke KTM 300 XC-W Six Days. The lightweight and powerful bike was a handful, said Cabaud, but he soldiered on and took it to the finish.
Jake Shipton stamped his mark and raised the bar in the MX1 class, winning the two motos by large margin! No one was even close to the British rider. He and his 2015 KTM 450 SX-F were untouchable in the first round of the DMX Championship. Shipton’s smooth yet aggressive riding style was unmatched that day.
In the 85cc and 125cc classes, KTM_UAE Racing Team rider, Nic Kefford, rode his 2015 KTM 85 SX as hard as he could. The little engine was screaming from the word go and Nic rode it like a pro! He finished 2nd in the 85cc class and 3rd in the 125cc class. With a bit more work with his racecraft, Nic will surely be on the top spot of the podium soon.
Clinton Wyngard dominated the Clubman class. With his 2014 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition, Wyngard led the field of riders and took the holeshot in both motos! Calm and collected, Clinton made it look easy, though he would be the first to tell you it was hard work. The weather was still summer hot which made things much more challenging for the riders.
MORE TO COME
This is merely the beginning. The opening rounds of EDC and DMX were just a taste of things to come. Sam Sunderland will be racing in the next rounds and the rest of the KTM_UAE Racing Team are now warmed up and Ready To Race!
The KTM UAE Racing Team is supported by Red Bull, Motorex, KTM PowerWear and uses the products of Portable Shade.
Photos by: CircuitPro Digital and KTM-UAE