DUUST, Diverse Extreme Team, Grizzly Racing Service, Work Inc., BORNTOMX, KTM Poland
“The first time I sat on a Dakar bike, I was two days old!”
Konrad Dabrowski will be following in the footsteps of two genuine Dakar legends when he lines up for his debut this year. The 19-year-old is the son of Marek Dabrowski, a three-time offroad world champion who has taken part in the world's biggest rally on no fewer than 15 occasions. In 2000, Marek and his great friend Jacek Czachor became the first competitors from Poland to complete the rally, just ahead of Piotr Wieckowski. They went on to become Dakar regulars, claiming top-10 finishes in both the bikes and cars, and also played a major role in developing motorsport back in their home country. Having founded the Orlen Team and Duust.co, they spent 20 years passing on their knowledge and experience at the Orlen Academy, helping rising stars such as Jakub Przygonski to enjoy great success. Konrad has therefore been around motorbikes for literally his entire life; he first sat on a Dakar bike two days after he was born. He started riding at the age of four, spending his teenage years competing in motocross, and it was only recently that he got a first taste of offroad racing. To mark the 20th anniversary of his first Dakar, Jacek decided to enter the 2020 Africa Eco Race. Marek was unable to participate because of an injury, but suggested to his son that this could be an opportunity to prove himself in rally raid. Konrad agreed, and took part in his first cross-country event a few months beforehand, the 2019 Rallye du Maroc, only receiving his driving licence two days before the start. He managed to finish in Morocco, but the Africa Eco Race turned out to be a watershed moment in his fledgling career. With Jacek's help, Konrad completed the rally in a sensational 8th place, finishing as the best junior rider (then aged 18). On one stage, he rode the last 70 kilometres in darkness after suffering gearbox problems and helping out Jacek, who had run out of fuel. That performance earned him kudos from many more seasoned riders, and perhaps did enough to convince Konrad that he was ready to tackle the Dakar itself. There was also an emotional side to the race. Jacek's son Kuba Czachor was Konrad's closest friend as a boy, but tragically died because of a heart disease at 14. Though Konrad was never able to fulfil his childhood dream of competing in rallies with Kuba, he did complete his first major race alongside Jacek, keeping the Dabrowski-Czachor partnership going. Described as "an upgraded version of me" by his father Marek and "brilliant on the Dakar bike" by Jacek, Poland's latest boy wonder could well take Dakar 2021 by storm as he looks to write new chapters in his family's storied racing history.
“The Dakar is approaching, and I can't quite believe I'm on the start list of this iconic event. The first time I sat on a Dakar bike, I was two days old! Everyone's always reminding you that it's the hardest rally in the world, and you should expect the unexpected. But I love challenges, and I'm going there with plenty of optimism. The goal is to reach the finish line. I know a lot from my dad and Jacek, I talk to them a lot and try to remember everything. People say I had a rough start, but it was nothing compared to them! The first time they saw a roadbook was during the first stage of Dakar 2000. They both know nothing would have happened without the other person. They complement each other and that's how they created something exceptional. Thanks to their experience, I've had a complete training programme. Before the Rallye du Maroc I did 2,000km of training with Jacek. His son Kuba Czachor was my best friend, ever since I could remember. We learned to ride motorbikes together, on the Yamaha PW50. We grew up watching our fathers race in rally raids, and my childhood dream was to do the same with Kuba. I'll never forget the day Kuba left us. I am where I am not only thanks to my dad and Jacek, but also thanks to Kuba. It was great to have the Czachor-Dabrowski duo mixing it up in the desert again. During the race I felt like I had two fathers. Jacek has been through a lot, still he treated me like a son. He tried to share all his experience even though he didn't have to, I'm very grateful for that. It definitely made me fall in love with this sport even more.”
DUUST RALLY TEAM
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 40 RALLY
- Performance tuner : Duust Rally Team
- Assistance : Duust Rally Team
- Class : G2.1 Super production
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March, march, Dąbrowski!
Konrad Dąbrowski has been riding for as long as he can remember —so long, in fact, that he sees his motorbike almost as an extension of his body. Although he boasts the track record of a seasoned veteran, the 19-year-old Pole is poised to become the youngest biker to finish the Dakar tomorrow evening. Konrad has little time for such trivia as he savours his first experience...
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