Maybe his philosophical and epicurean sides come from his greek origins. Australia’s John Maragozidis will be taking on his first Dakar with the only ambition to enjoy himself. Despite being an established quad rider, having won the Australasian Safari three times, the director of an organic certified almonds company has one idea in mind and that’s to finish the Dakar with humility, making the best of the desert, a place he loves. John had actually registered for last year’s Dakar but an injury forced him to postpone his start. Not able to get a refund on his plane tickets, he did however come to Peru last year and followed the rally until the rest day, getting a first taste of what he’ll witness this time. For this first exeperience of the biggest rally of them all, he’ll be riding a Yamaha Raptor he designed with his team that will be following him through Peru.
“I’ve been waiting to do the Dakar for the last 12 years. I love to have a challenge and it mixes up with my love of the desert. I watched it on TV as a kid and I was mainly blown away by the event itself and the challenge the terrain had to offer. To finish is my only objective. I’m not even thinking about a position. If I start to do that, I won’t finish. I’m not focused on rivals. We all go through the same terrain. We all have to deal with our problems. The desert doesn’t care who you are. The whole purpose of this is to enjoy myself. I just love the natural formation of the planet. I indulge in it, in the way the wind shapes the dunes. I’m in love with the planet and the Dakar is a great way to explore it. For me, competition is not to beat everyone, it’s to compare with everyone, so I can improve myself. It’s learning from competitors.”
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