MAKIS DEWI REES-STAVROS(gbr) 1.82m / 86kg
REME Charity, RNS electronics
2022: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (18th), Qatar International Baja (3rd)
2021: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (3rd, Rally2), ADV Trophy Championship (3rd)
“Original by Motul is the only category worth entering!”
Maki Rees-Stavros will be taking part in his first Dakar in 2023, but he has spent several years gearing up for a crack at the world's toughest rally. The 30-year-old is even doing it the hard way, with no assistance, in the punishing Original by Motul class. As a military aircraft mechanic, he should have no problem doing his own repairs, while living in Abu Dhabi will have prepared him for this dune-heavy 45th edition. Maki started out in trials and enduro before discovering rally-raid, posting solid results at events like the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and then his first overall podium at this year's Qatar International Baja. He is one of three British bikers taking part in Dakar 2023, alongside defending champion Sam Sunderland and former Isle of Man TT winner James Hillier -with whom he shared a bivouac in Abu Dhabi this year. Of Welsh and Greek heritage, Maki is sure to feel right at home in the international melting pot that is the Dakar bivouac, and he has already been able to get a sense of the solidarity that exists among the biker fraternity by picking up tips from recent participants. With support from his partner Vanessa he has been preparing for this Dakar for a long time, so he is determined to get safely through to the finish line in Dammam.
“I used to watch the Dakar as a kid but never really considered doing it myself. Originally, I come from a trials background. I got into enduro but didn't enjoy waiting behind folk in the forest or on the climbs, how they all bottleneck, so I turned to rally. I've been trying to get to the Dakar seriously since 2021, but it's been on the cards for about seven years with all the prerequisite races and training. Original by Motul is the only category worth entering! I'm most looking forward to just being there, experiencing the bivouac and seeing the country. The thing I'm most worried about is mechanical failures or crashes early on. Finishing is the priority. I know that I've got the pace for a good finish in malle-moto, but there are so many variables over 14 days. Just being consistent and not picking up penalties is the key. Living in Abu Dhabi definitely gives me an advantage in the dunes over other competitors, although a lot of them do come over for training. James Hillier and I bivouacked -that's probably not a word- next to each other at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge this year. He's also sorting me out with a heated vest and gloves from a UK sponsor. Neil Hawker and Simon Hewitt have given me loads of advice too, and the guys from South Africa, Stu Gregory and Charan Moore. It's crazy how willing to help people are."
HUSQVARNA FR 450 RALLY
- Mark HUSQVARNA
- Model FR 450 RALLY
- Performance tuner Stavros
- Assistance Original by Motul
- Class Rally 2
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