N°130 Bike KLYMCIW RACING
driver
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MYUNGGUL RYU

(kor) Born on 27/02/1981 1.72m

Sponsors

Cheogajip Chicken, Husqvarna Korea, Kiheung intl', MIDAS Partners, SHIELD intl', HJC Helmets, Motul, CTI Kneebraces, Automoto.kr

Website

First participation

2019: Merzouga Rally (22nd), SSER Rally Mongolia (1st)
2018: Baja Rally (Rally 1, 1st)
2017: SSER Rally Mongolia (1st)
2015: FIM Asia Cross-Country Rally (2nd)

Korean national champion in cross-country (2015) and enduro cross (2019)

Interview

“My life is full of novelty and excitement”

Myunggul Ryu has always been passionate about motorbikes. Having trained as a mechanic in the late 1990s, the 38-year-old's dream was originally to run a bike shop, but he has since broadened his horizons and is now preparing to fulfil a lifetime ambition by participating in the Dakar. Inspired by the performance of the South Korea national football team at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Ryu pursued his passion and began competing in national enduro races in the mid-2000s, achieving a series of class victories. After building up his skills in enduro and motocross he made the switch to rally raid in 2011, although his first race in Thailand was a shock to the system as he got completely lost in the wilderness! He has never let setbacks slow him down, though, as he proved when he recovered from a broken arm at Rally Mongolia 2016 to claim victory at the event the following year. Now, 20 years after he first started working with bikes, this student of oriental philosophy and history is ready to inspire the next generation of Korean motorsport enthusiasts as he targets the best-ever finish in the bikes for an east Asian competitor. Having quit his full-time job to focus solely on racing last year, he is "thrilled but nervous" to be taking part in this first Dakar in Saudi Arabia with the Klymciw Racing team.

“In 2002, South Korea, a small country in East Asia, managed to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, which was a miracle. Their manager, Guus Hiddink, knew how to make a dream into reality. Turn your dream into a goal, set up a specific plan, and prepare yourself accordingly. That's what I learned from him about achieving miracles. I dreamed about taking part in the Dakar, so in 2018 I quit my job of 10 years. The reason was simple: I simply had to focus on what I love. Now my life is full of novelty and excitement. This is a new challenge, and the preparation is giving me lots of fresh inspiration and energy. It will also provide motivation for other challenges. I got completely lost during my first rally in Thailand in 2011. I'd never been that scared or anxious in my riding life before! Before that I was an enduro rider in South Korea, and I was very confident about my skills from previous races. But that was the moment I learned it's also very important to get your navigation right. Since then I've participated in rally races every year. My first serious injury happened at Rally Mongolia 2016. It wasn't even during a special, I broke my left arm on a liaison, I guess because I lost a bit of concentration after the special. I came to learn that in every rally, you have to keep your focus until the finish line. A year later I came back and won Rally Mongolia 2017, which was the best moment of my career so far. It was also the moment I decided to participate in the Dakar. Doing the Dakar may be a great personal achievement, but it's also vital for nourishing the development of Korean motorsport culture. For me, the Dakar is a long-term goal that I have desperately wanted to achieve, no matter the setbacks. I'm pretty sure it will be a historical first, a Korean doing Dakar as a privateer bike rider. Of course, it's important to reach the finish line. I know most maiden Dakar participants fail in the early stages of the rally. I will take it step by step and push myself a bit more towards the end. I hope that if I finish, people back home will show more interest in the Dakar and in rally raid in general. If you look at Asian bike participants throughout Dakar history, Japan had a 44th place [Shinnosuke Kazama] in 2018, and Mongolia got 50th [Boldbaatar Damdinkhorloo] a few years ago, so my target is to surpass them and achieve the best Asian finish.”

Vehicle

KLYMCIW RACING

  • Mark : HUSQVARNA
  • Model : HQV FR450 RALLY
  • Performance tuner : Klymciw Racing
  • Assistance : Klymciw Racing
  • Class : G2.1 Super production

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