KTM, Red Bull, Al Ain Waters, Sports Council, Maximus Air
2012: Ab. Stage 10
2019: Abi Dhabi Desert Challenge (9th), Dubai International Baja (24th), Baja do Pinhal (5th), Baja Aragon (Ab.), Jordan Baja (1st), Rally Qassim (1st), Mauritania International Baja (1st)
2018: Dubai International Baja (1st), Baja Aragon (18th), Hungarian Baja (6th)
2017: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (7th), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (8th)
2016: Qatar International Enduro (1st), Bahrain Motocross (1st), Emirates Desert Championship (2nd)
2015: Bahrain Motocross Championship (1st), Emirates Desert Championship (2nd)
2014: Qatar International Enduro (1st)
5 x Arabic motocross champion (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013)
“We all work hard, and different people have different goals”
Mohammed Balooshi has already taken part in the Dakar three times, and on each occasion he has gone a step further. In 2012 he became the first Emirati rider to take part in the world's biggest rally, but failed to reach the finish line in Lima after breaking his hand and shoulder, having been sent in the wrong direction on stage 10. Six years later, he returned to complete the rally in 32nd place, and continued a superb 2018 by lifting the FIM Bajas World Cup crown, thus becoming the first Arabic rider to win an FIM title in offroad rallies. In 2019 he improved to 25th at the Dakar, and continued to hone his skills ahead of the 2020 edition in his “second home”, Saudi Arabia, where he recently won the inaugural Rally Qassim. Mohammed has described the Dakar as the “pinnacle of motorsport” and is now hoping to improve his result for a third time with the Duust Rally team. The Dubai native was a relatively late bloomer, only riding a motorbike for the first time at the age of 18. He began his racing career at 20 and quickly tasted success, winning the Arabic motocross championship in five consecutive years between 2009 and 2013. He also starred in enduro before switching to rally raid, where he competes alongside his brother Sultan -who finished third at this year's Bajas World Cup. Now aged 40, Mohammed is also committed to sharing his passion with the next generation. In 2010, he took part in the Red Bull 'Under My Wings' project in the UAE, teaching youngsters how to ride in the desert. He went on to set up the MX-Academy in Dubai with former Swiss and European champion Chris Moeckli, helping to train up-and-coming athletes. A genuine trailblazer, he is hoping his local knowledge will stand him in good stead for this first Dakar in the Middle East.
“It's good to be going to Saudi Arabia, firstly because we don't have to travel so far, and secondly because there's no language barrier. Being so close gives you a feeling of security, you kind of feel at home. And basically, it is our second home! It's good to be riding here, but it will be a little bit challenging with the weather. It's cold in Saudi Arabia in January, compared to Peru for example. And with the Dakar it's always challenging, no matter which country. Even if they took the rally to the flattest surface on earth, they'd still make sure it was very challenging and difficult! I think it will be a tough one, if not the toughest Dakar for all the competitors. Hopefully it somehow works to our advantage knowing the area a little bit. I'm certainly looking forward to it. Honestly, I had to check my result from last year because I thought I finished 26th! I'm really over the moon now. As long as you progress and improve in life, it's the best feeling, it's what we're all seeking. We all work hard, and different people have different goals. I'm always trying to improve myself in terms of riding ability, physical strength, and navigation. And hopefully I can improve on my result again in 2020. Since I came back from Dakar 2019 I've been working a lot on my riding skills and fitness programme. I've given it my all getting ready for Dakar 2020, 100 per cent, and hopefully it shows in the result."
DUUST RALLY TEAM
- Mark : HUSQVARNA
- Model : FR 450
- Performance tuner : Duust Rally Team
- Assistance : Duust Rally Team
- Class : G2.2 Marathon
All news of M. Balooshi
Balooshi down and out
This is the end of the road for an exhausted Mohammed Balooshi, who has been unable to fix his Husqvarna after screeching to a halt at km 229. The Emirati, who finished 25th last year, has thrown in the towel.
Mohammed Balooshi would have preferred not to have this sort of problem. The rider from the United Arab Emirates, who finished 25th on the Dakar last year, thought he had enough fuel to reach the finish of the day’s special, but his Husqvarna broke down 25 km from the start and he is currently trying to get some petrol from another competitor!
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