ZHAO HONGYI(chn) 1.8m / 80kg
Starteam moto club, CrossFit, motorbikes, travel, movies
Wupu Dahaidao, Joyride
“I'm just addicted to the Dakar!”
Zhao Hongyi's love affair with the Dakar began when he made his debut in 2017, even if he was forced to abandon that year due to mechanical issues with his Zongshen bike. Undeterred, the Chinese rider returned with the Daming Racing Team in 2018, and this time he managed to get the better of the world's biggest rally, finishing in 74th place. By Dakar 2019 he was seeking a fresh challenge and decided to sign up for the highly demanding Original by Motul class, in which competitors must complete the rally without any assistance. Complete it he did, in an impressive 7th place (58th overall), even if he was quick to point out that he needed plenty of good fortune to reach the finish line. Zhao then sustained his first serious injury in a decade at the 2019 Taklimakan Rally, taking damage close to his spine and breaking four ribs. The setback wasn't enough to rule him out of Dakar 2020, although he wisely decided not to participate in Original by Motul, and once again made it through to the finish line. Having now recovered fully from his injuries, the 40-year-old is ready for another tilt at Original by Motul as he looks to complete the Dakar for the fourth time in a row. The host of a television show dedicated to motorsport, Zhao is enthusiastic about sharing his passion and rally raid adventures with people back home in China. Joined once again by his fellow compatriots Zhang Min and Zaker Yakp -and with the support of Armand Monleon, Sergi Duran and SDS Pro Race -he is hoping to make it another successful outing for the Wupu Dahaidao Dakar Rally Team in Saudi Arabia.
“I managed to finish Dakar 2020, but I was still riding with a lot of pain in my ribs. I didn't ride a lot this year, but I can say I'm now 100% recovered before Dakar 2021. I prefer to ride in the Original by Motul class because it's such a great challenge! I got the opportunity to test myself and I was really happy to reach the finish line. The Dakar is my lifestyle. Since I started taking part, everything I've done during the season is about becoming a better rider at the Dakar. I'm just addicted to it! I didn't manage to do much racing or training in 2020; I have been focusing on my fitness and enjoying my family time. At Dakar 2021 I want to reach the finish line and share good times with my team, that's the most important ambition."
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 : G2.2 Marathon
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