It is mission accomplished for UAE multiple motocross champion Mohammed Al Balooshi who successfully completed his second consecutive Dakar Rally this week in Lima, Peru. The Emirati star rider who was the only Arab and Asian to meet the event’s finish line, raised the UAE flag in front of the hundreds of thousands of spectators following the race worldwide, and literally invading the rally village in Peru to have a closer glance at the small number of heroes who managed to complete the so called “most difficult race on the planet”.
After 10 days of gnarly racing on South American soil, Al Balooshi is amongst the very exclusive elite of riders worldwide who survived the toughest Dakar ever, adding the label of super-human to his CV already reach in strong titles, which also include “2018 FIM Bajas World Cup Winner”. With 5,600km of the toughest conditions a cross-country rally has ever seen over and done with, the UAE man said: “This has been such an extreme race, that I feel happy and privileged to be here. At points the finish line felt really far with the petrol supply problem I suffered in the beginning of the race, and a few heavy crashes that hurt my back… in reality we always fell many times during the races and we just keep going, but sometimes it is harsher and then you suffer the pain for days because you’re not able to stop to give the body time to heal”.
The objective was clear for Al Balooshi fom the beginning and he worked and trained with the mission of bringing his flag to the finish ramp, and in the end he also took credits for improving his performance from last year, and finish the 41st edition of the Dakar -the first one ever run within only one country-, in a very good 26th position in the overall classification. “I was aiming to improve my result from 2018, and fortunately I could do it. Of course I wish I could have done better, because that is what I train for all year round, and that is what my team back in Dubai works so hard for. But with the issues we had, plus the bike’s poor performance, we are happy with the result achieved. It is unfortunate that having a 2019 model bike, we had no power to climb the massive Peruvian dunes because we could have for sure done much, much better there” explained Al Balooshi, who was the only UAE National representing the country; and he closed by saying “I feel honored to have had the chance to raise our flag in front of the world again. I feel very proud of how far we have gone, and will continue to work day in and day out to show my country’s name and colors to the world”.