SAVE THE DATE - PRESENTATION OF THE 2023 DAKAR

THURSDAY 1 DECEMBER AT 11.30 AM (PARIS TIME)

N°126 Bike DRAG'ON RALLY TEAM
driver
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SIMON HEWITT

(gbr) 1.85m / 90kg

Hobbies

Skiing, Photography, Travel

Sponsors

T.ur, Devitt Insurance, Off Road Skills, Infinity Motorcycles, Michelin, Endurotyres.com, Kalehurst Garden Machinery, Valley Services, Caterin Investments, Occhnet H&S Consultants, Nexus Leisure, Cae Glas Camping, Mobil-i GPS Tracking, Liquitech, Motorrad Tours, Explore360, Associated Roofing, Trident Engineering

2020: Ab. Stage 7

2019: Merzouga Rally (33rd)
2018: Welsh Enduro Championship (4th in class)
2017: Welsh Enduro Championship (3rd in class), Serres Rally (33rd)
2016: Welsh Enduro Championship (2nd in class)
2015: Serres Rally (27th)
2014: Serres Rally (39th), British Rally Championship (7th in class)

Interview

“I know what I'm up against”

Simon Hewitt has unfinished business with the Dakar as he returns for his second participation in 2022. Two years ago, the Welsh rider enjoyed a rather chaotic debut in the bikes -“a wild ride”, in his own words- which came to a premature end when his engine failed on Stage 7. The 31-year-old had already been forced to scramble around for extra assistance at the last minute, when his original team pulled out of the rally. There was then the small matter of getting to grips with the world's toughest rally in a new country, Saudi Arabia, not long after suffering a broken collarbone. In the end, Simon was able to count on some support from the Drag'on Rally team, who will be giving him their full backing for this 2022 edition. He was unable to take part in 2021 due to health issues and the financial impact of the pandemic, but is now relishing the prospect of another spin around Saudi Arabia, where he is determined to become a Dakar finisher. Despite growing up in the rugby-mad Welsh valleys, Simon discovered bikes as a boy and has been riding offroad for well over a decade, taking part in his first enduro in 2008 and his first international rally in 2014. He works at the highly rated BMW Off Road Skills centre in Powys, run by Australian Dakar legend Simon Pavey and his wife Linley. When his fellow instructor Neil Hawker decided to make his Dakar debut in 2020, Simon came along for the ride and has clearly been bitten by the bug. His dad and partner Holly flew out at the end of the rally two years ago, but this time Holly will be joining Simon for the whole duration of Dakar 2022 as he looks to make it safely through to the finish line in Jeddah.


“It was a wild ride last time! A lot of things went wrong in the build-up, then at the event itself as well. This time it's been a lot smoother, a lot better prepared, a lot more organised. I know what I'm up against. There are some things you don't learn until you go and do it - especially in 2020, because it was the first time for everyone in Saudi Arabia. So it caught a few people out. Even things like knowing how cold it is on the liaisons in the morning. I've packed much warmer kit this time! And I'm much better prepared in that respect. Going to Dakar in back-to-back years is very difficult, and it was going to be especially difficult for me in 2021. So I thought it was better to save my energy and efforts and focus everything on 2022. I think it was the right decision and it's worked out pretty well, we're in a good position now. In 2020 I was meant to be with a different team, but they didn't turn up at the last minute. So I was on the plane out to Dakar, with a bike stuck in customs, and I was phoning the head of the Drag'on team asking for a spot under the awning, for access to parts and stuff, and they said yes. They couldn't offer me assistance, it was too late notice, they had too many riders. But they helped out a lot. They even lent me an engine for the last three stages, after mine blew up on Stage 7. So they were awesome, and this time I'm going with them properly, with a mechanic and everything. There's no expectations of any finishing position, only getting to the finish with the bike and myself in one piece.”

Vehicle

DRAG'ON RALLY TEAM

YAMAHA WR450F
DRAG'ON RALLY TEAM

  • YAMAHA
  • WR450F
  • Drag'on Rally Team
  • Drag'on Rally Team
  • M_R2_NO

Ranking 2022

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