Round 4 of the Emirates Desert Championship is taking place on Friday 3rd February 2017, and Mohammed Al Balooshi is determined to cement his place at the top of the overall motorcycle classification.
With three of the five rounds of the season already completed, Al Balooshi currently leads the championship by at least 12 points from his nearest challengers, and after finishing as Runner Up in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, he is more determined than ever to finish the season as champion.
“After the disappointment of coming second in the last two seasons, it would mean a huge amount to me to win this championship and also give me a real confidence boost going into the Dubai International Baja and Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge”, said Al Balooshi.
While Al Balooshi has suffered his share of bad luck over the seasons to deprive him of the title, it may be the misfortune of one of his main rivals that elevates him to the role of title favorite. Josh Brodalka, winner of the previous two rounds and Al Balooshi’s closest competition for the championship was injured in a crash while testing last weekend, and his injury is serious enough to keep him out for the rest of the season.
“It’s a huge shame to lose Josh at this stage of the season, as the racing recently has been hugely competitive and exciting”, said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ATCUAE President and EMSF Chairman.
“However, Mohammed is a hugely experienced rider and he knows that he will still have to work hard to secure the title, with the likes of Mark Grams, Sam Smith, Mohammed Jaffar and last season’s champion Ross Runnalls all ready to pounce on any mistake. For us as the organisers, we are not too concerned with who the champion is at the end of the day so long as everyone has fun and makes it home safely”, Ben Sulayem concluded.
Elsewhere, the championship fight is also heating up in the race for the Buggy title, with an excellent entry of twelve entries in that class for this event. Ryan Trutch currently leads the championship on 58 points, following two third places and a fourth in the opening three rounds, but Emirati Ahmed Al Maqoodi, the 2014-15 Champion, is currently in second with 50 points and is favourite for the title. Championship regulations state that a competitors best four scoring results from the five rounds are counted towards the final point total, giving Al Maqoodi the advantage going into the final two rounds.
The Emirates Desert Championship is the UAE’s national baja rally championship for cars, buggies, motorcycles and quads, and is organized by the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) and the Emirates Motor Sport Federation (EMSF).
The 2016-17 season is held over five rounds, with round four taking place on Friday 3rd February 2017 in the Margham region of Dubai, with the race of 84 competitors across all classes starting at 08:30 and finishing at 10:30. The fifth and final round of the championship will take place two weeks late on Friday 17th February 2017 at a yet to be disclosed location.