Save the date - Presentation of the 2022 Dakar
N°31 Bike ORION - MOTO RACING GROUP
driver
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MARTIN MICHEK

(cze) / 73kg

Hobbies

Swimming, cycling

Sponsors

Orion Moto Racing Group, Autoklub, Gaerne, KYT Helmet, Xiaomi, Sencor, Bolder.cz

2020: 23rd (3rd rookie)

2020: European motocross championship (11th)
2019: European motocross champion (EMX Open class), Baja Aragon (5th), Rallye du Maroc (34th)
2018: European motocross champion (EMX Open class), Czech motocross champion
2017: European motocross champion (EMX Open class), Czech motocross champion
2016: European motocross champion (EMX Open class), Czech motocross champion
2015: Czech motocross champion
2014: Czech motocross champion
2013: World motocross vice-champion (MX3 class)
2012: World motocross vice-champion (MX3 class)

Interview

“I'm not a tourist!”

Martin Michek makes it perfectly clear: he's not returning to the Dakar to enjoy the spectacular views of the Arabian Peninsula. The 32-year-old Czech is a born racer and proved it on his excellent debut a year ago, belying his bib number of 132 by coming 23rd in the bikes. If he hadn't lost an hour due to a minor mechanical on the penultimate stage, he could well have finished as the top rookie, having enjoyed a splendid battle with Jaume Betriu (14th) and Jamie McCanney (15th) throughout the rally. One of the revelations of Dakar 2020, coming as high as 11th on one stage, he returns with a more fitting number 31 this year as he looks to mix it up with the best in the business. Martin has been passionate about biking since waking up one Christmas morning to find a new motorbike under the tree. Having originally followed in the footsteps of his father and brother, he emerged as one of the world's most talented motocross riders, earning a silver medal at the Motocross World Championship (MXGP) in 2012 and 2013. Also a four-time European champion, he decided to shake things up by getting a first taste of rally raid in 2019. A promising 5th place at Baja Aragon hinted at his potential, and he showed exactly what he is capable of at last year's Dakar. It wasn't all good news in 2020, however. Midway through the motocross season, Martin was diagnosed with a rare liver disease, which kept him out of action for several months. Fortunately, he has now made a full recovery, even if his illness and the global pandemic prevented him from doing any meaningful preparation on the rally bike. Still, given how impressively he performed a year ago, the talented and ambitious MRG rider should nevertheless be a man to keep an eye on during this 43rd edition.

“It's a really big jump from bib 132 to 31, and I'm very happy about it. It's a special number, because the Dakar starts on 3 January: 3/1! So I have the best number. Before every race or event I do, I always say I'm going there to race. I'm not a tourist! If I were a tourist, I wouldn't do the Dakar. Because you need to put in a lot of time and money to do an event like this. I'm a racer. I do every event at 120%. It doesn't matter if I get this result or that result, I'm there to race. It was an amazing first year in the Dakar. I couldn't believe what I managed to achieve on my debut with MRG. I was really happy to be on the podium for rookies, and it was a nice battle with Jaume and Jamie. Overall it was an amazing experience for me. On one of the stages I came 11th overall in the bikes, which was awesome. I enjoyed it, learned a bit about the rally, and hopefully I can get an even better result this time around. I've done almost everything on two wheels at the top level: MXGP, the Motocross World Championship. So discovering the Dakar was amazing. Perhaps it will be the next chapter in my career. My main goal in 2020 was motocross. But I had a big problem in the middle of the year. At my first motocross race I suffered liver failure, it was very serious. I could have died! I had a lot of tests, and the doctors told me I had a very rare disease, one that maybe 15 people get every year. And of those 15 people, 10 people die and four need transplants. Perhaps one in 15 makes a full recovery without any problems. But my body did a perfect job, and after two months I was able to train again. I was able to attend the last round of the motocross season at Arco di Trento; the MXGP and European races were held there the same day. In the last race I came 3rd overall, so I was happy to be back to feeling like I did before my illness. Now I can start fighting for the Dakar without any problems. The downside is that I didn't look at a roadbook all year. The last time I was on the rally bike was in Saudi Arabia at Dakar 2020! It's not ideal, but I hope I learned enough last year to be OK.”

Vehicle

ORION - MOTO RACING GROUP

  • Mark : KTM
  • Model : 450 RALLY REPLICA
  • Performance tuner : MRG
  • Assistance : MRG
  • Class : G2.1 Super production

Ranking 2021

Scratch Stage General
0 24 24 24
1 10 10 11
2 18 18 16
3 18 18 17
4 19 19 17
5 19 19 17
6 16 16 18
7 12 12 18
8 17 17 15
9 20 20 13
10 13 13 12
11 16 16 10
12 23 23 10

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