N°70 Bike MISHAL ALGHUNEIM
driver
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MISHAL ALGHUNEIM

(sau) 1.82m / 78kg

Hobbies

paragliding, kitesurfing, aviation

Sponsors

General Sports Authority, Saudi Dirtbike Center

2020: 71st

No races in 2020
Abu Dhabi desert Challenge 2018, Baja Dubai 2019

Interview

“I needed a stronger motivation”

When he registered for the Dakar in 2020, Mishal Al Ghuneim had one goal in mind: to become the first Saudi biker to finish the race. On home-soil and despite struggling with the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders, he reached the finish in 71st position. An achievement he considers as one of the biggest accomplishments of his life. That done, it was hard to find more motivation. Originally Mishal had planned to come on the Dakar 2021 as a team manager or simply organising tours with bikers around the event, as he does via one of his businesses in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. A very difficult year later, he has finally decided to return to the rally with one very special inspiration: to finish the Dakar as part of the Original By Motul class, for bikers with no assistance.

“Finishing the Dakar last year was one of the most important accomplishments of my life. I was so proud. Proud as well for my whole country. When I started the Dakar, I thought I was going to enjoy it but I rapidly realized the huge weight I had on my shoulders. It was a lot more difficult, a lot more stressful than I imagined and that made it a lot more rewarding to finish. Honestly I wasn’t planning to do the Dakar again. What could I hope for if I stayed in the Super Production class? To go faster? Yes maybe I would have finished 50th but who cares! I needed a stronger inspiration. I was looking for inspiration and that came through the malle-moto project (“Original by Motul” for bikers with no assistance). It’s the most glorified experience of the Dakar. Last year already I got to speak with guys registered in Original by Motul and managed to get a detailed account of tips. The best one is to be disciplined with time and have a workable system. Of course you have to be 100% committed. I also think it might be a good idea to have a good riding buddy, someone you can ride along with and count on and someone with a similar profile as mine. The physical training doesn’t change much, the mental training is the most important one. That’s why I read a lot of books to build on my mental endurance and resilience. I’ll just need to ride at my pace and compete against my own self.”

Vehicle

MISHAL ALGHUNEIM

  • Mark : KTM
  • Model : 450 RALLY
  • Performance tuner : Himself
  • Assistance : Malle-Moto
  • Class : G2.2 Marathon

Ranking 2021

Scratch Stage General
0 48 48 48
1 54 53 52
2 49 48 52
3 57 57 52
4 63 63 52
5 66 66 55
6 58 58 52
7 56 56 53
8 45 45 50
9 54 54 47
10 52 52 46
11 46 46 43
12 36 36 42

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