Sr75 world team, Mobil I
“The mental and physical challenge, that's what it's all about”
Though he is only gearing up for his first Dakar participation, Neil Hawker has been passionate about motorcycles since he was a boy. He spent many years riding for the British Armed Forces, competing in International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) and trials events before returning to civilian life six years ago. After a stint on the production management team of the British Arenacross indoor series, he started working at the BMW Off Road Skills school in Wales, which is run by Australian Dakar legend Simon Pavey. Inspired by Simon's swashbuckling tales of the world's most famous rally, Neil began to prepare his own entry four years ago, and has been steadily raising funds through his social media accounts. He will even be putting himself to the ultimate test in Saudi Arabia by riding in the gruelling Original by Motul class. It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the 36-year-old, who broke his shoulder on stage three of this year's Merzouga Rally, but he is still confident he has the skills and experience to make it through to the finish line.
"I've always been involved in the British military team. I started at a young age and rode for the British army in enduro and trials, doing ISDE and European events. I did that for quite a few years. There are actually six or seven people in my local area who have done world championships in trials and enduro. We all ride together, we're proud of coming from Devon! I've been working for Simon Pavey for six years at the Off Road school in South Wales. I really enjoy watching people get as much pleasure out of motorcycling as I do, it's a fulfilling job. Simon is very passionate about rallying, tells a lot of great stories. My romance of the whole Dakar thing started with watching those guys. The mental and physical challenge, that's what it's all about, and it's my main reason for going Original by Motul. The Dakar has been a dream of mine since a young age. There are a lot of fans in the UK but it's still quite niche, even when you're talking to people in the motorcycle industry. I've had a four-year plan where the focus has been on Dakar. It's like, it's there, embrace it. Let's go for it."
- Mark : HUSQVARNA
- Model : 450RALLY
- Performance tuner : Geoff Walker (Sr75)
- Assistance : Original by Motul
- Class : G2.2 Marathon
Get exclusive information