“The Dakar is the ultimate goal for every rider”
Zaker Yakp is gearing up for a baptism of fire as he tackles the Dakar for the first time in 2020, but at least the up-and-coming Chinese rider won't be going it alone. As he attempts to navigate his way through the Saudi Arabian wilderness, the 31-year-old will be able to rely on the support and advice of his Wupu Dahaidao Dakar Rally teammates, Zhao Hongyi and Zhang Min, who have been taking part in the world's toughest rally since 2017. Zaker has been riding since he was a teenager, when he used to sneak out of the house and take his family's battered old motorbike for a spin around the countryside! As his passion developed, he took it upon himself to tune the family bike into a workable cross-country vehicle, and soon began participating in local races. He worked his way up through the ranks and eventually started competing more professionally, achieving a couple of podium finishes at one of China's best-known races, the Taklimakan Rally. Zaker is now ready to fulfil a lifelong dream by taking part in the Dakar, where he will be hoping to bring honour to his hometown and to his country by making it through to the finish line in Qiddiya.
“When I was a child, motorcycles were one of the main forms of transport in my hometown, and we had an old broken-down motorbike at the house. I was only 14 years old at the time, but I used to sneak out of the house in secret, get on the bike, and go for a ride! It made be really happy, although it wasn't easy for somebody as small as I was to handle it. Maybe I had some special skills. From that moment on, my dad saw that I could ride and didn't object to it. Gradually, I developed a deeper interest in motorbikes. I tuned up our old family bike on my own, transforming it into a cross-country bike. I'm a child of the countryside, so the road sections around my parents' house were ideal for cross-country biking. As I grew up, I participated in various bike races organised in the surrounding villages, and I felt that my skills were outstanding. With the encouragement of my parents, friends and family, and the support of the Daming Mining group, I started pursuing my dream. I'm very excited and happy to be able to take part in the Dakar, because the Dakar is the ultimate goal for every rider. It is certainly my ultimate goal. If I can achieve my objective, I can bring honour to my hometown and to my country. It's a very tough challenge, but I'll try to keep looking forward. The goal has to be to finish the rally, get a good result and win honour for yourself and your country. My teammates have shared some details of their rich Dakar experiences with me. They've told me what to pay attention to during the rally, which is a big help for a new player on the Dakar.”
WU PU DA HAI DAO DAKAR RALLY TEAM
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 450 RALLY
- Performance tuner : SDS Pro Race
- Assistance : Wu Pu Da Hai Dao Dakar Rally Team
- Class : G2.1 Super production
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Yakp wins the Grand Prix
Zaker Yakp will go down in history as the winner of the 13 km Qiddiya Grand Prix in the motorcycle category after beating Toby Price by 21 seconds. The Chinese rookie wrapped up the rally in 42nd place overall and this victory to his name!
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