“The Dakar is different to anything else!”
At last Mike Johnson will be on his bike on the start line of the 2014 Dakar. Due to start last year, the American had to pull out because of an injury. The engineer based in Texas had prepared things scrupulously coming to the rally in 2012 as part of an assistance team. On a Honda CRF 450, Mike knows that being on a bike will be a different story. After intensive training in his home desert and a taste of the dunes during the last Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, he's focused on one thing and one thing only: to finish.
“I've been riding bikes since I was a kid. It's always been my passion. I remember watching the Dakar on TV in the early 80s and thought it was so spectacular. It's been a dream ever since. I have to say that I'm a little apprehensive. I've prepared a lot for the Dakar and raced many Bajas but the Dakar is different to anything else. Riding day after day will certainly be tough. I'm in a desert where I live but we have no dunes. That's why I went to Abu Dhabi to learn. My main concern however is the altitude. The ambition will be to finish. That's the primary goal. I have to be focused on that.”