“I never expected to be so exhausted!”
Zaker Yakp certainly didn't imagine that his Dakar debut last year would be a walk in the park, but he didn't quite realise how much effort was involved in completing the world's biggest rally. Yet in spite of his fatigue, the Chinese rider still achieved a creditable 42nd place in the bikes, finishing as the sixth-best rookie for the Wupu Dahaidao team. The 32-year-old was able to rely on the support of his teammates and compatriots Zhao Hongyi and Zhang Min -who have completed multiple Dakars- as well as experienced Spanish rider (and now SSV co-driver) Armand Monleon, who has been coordinating the team for the past few years with the help of Sergi Duran and SDS Pro Race. Zaker grew up in a region of China where motorcycles were one of the main forms of transport; as a teenager, he would sneak out of the house on his family's battered old bike and take it for a spin around the countryside. As his passion developed, he began to compete in local races, and it quickly became apparent that he had a wealth of natural talent. With the encouragement of his friends and family -and the support of the Daming Mining Group- he worked his way up the rally raid ladder, claiming podium finishes at the Taklimakan Rally before fulfilling a childhood dream by completing the Dakar last year. After a coronavirus-affected 2020, in which he hasn't had much of an opportunity to race, Zaker is simply looking forward to getting back on the bike ahead of his second spin in Saudi Arabia.
“A lot of riders warned me that the Dakar is tough, but I never expected to be so exhausted at the start of every stage! Reaching the finish line in more or less the top 40 was an awesome feeling. My teammates Min and Hongyi have a lot of experience. Together with Armand and Sergi they helped me a lot, sharing their experience so that I could improve my skills step by step. I haven't really done any races in 2020, I've been riding next to my town a bit and working on my business. But I'm ready for action! We will see what the objectives are for Dakar 2021. It's been a while since I rode, so the first step is to jump on the bike and get used to it again! Then I will think about the position I want to reach."
WU PU DA HAI DAO DAKAR RALLY TEAM
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 450 RALLY
- Performance tuner : SDS Pro Race
- Assistance : Wupu Dahaidao Dakar Rally Team
- Class : G2.1 Super production
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