Discover the stories of the Dakar's heroes Inside the Bivouac
N°70 Bike SAUDI DIRTBIKE CENTER
driver
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MISHAL ALGHUNEIM

(sau) 1.82m / 78kg

Hobbies

paragliding, kitesurfing, aviation

Sponsors

General Sports Authority, Saudi Dirtbike Center

2021: 42nd
2020: 71st

2022: Qassim Rally, Baja Ha’il
Sherkiya Rally, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Ha’il Rally, Qatar Rally
2021: Sherkiya Rally, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Ha’il Rally, Qatar Rally
Abu Dhabi desert Challenge 2018, Baja Dubai 2019

Interview

“My slogan: bringing her home!”

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. A man of challenges, he decided to return but this time in the Original by Motul class for bikers with no assistance. Again it would be mission accomplished when he flew to a very impressive 42nd spot in 2021. But an even bigger challenge lies ahead for this father of three after the severe crash he suffered during the Sharqiyah Rally when he broke his two ankles several weeks after finishing the Dakar. Not able to walk for months, he was then forced to go through surgery to fuse one of his ankles. After returning on his bike back in September, Mishal is looking forward to his big return to the Dakar. One of the main reasons is because the event will be finishing in the Eastern Province where he comes from. This time the rider who used to work on oil rigs and fluently speaks several languages will come with his own assistance team with the ambition to bring his Husqvarna home.


“Finishing the Dakar the first year was one of the most important accomplishments of my life. I was so proud. 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.
It's been a tough year and a half after Dakar 2021. It took me six months to get back on the bike, but I was struggling with pain all that year. Later I participated in a number of rallies like the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Ha’il Rally, Qatar Rally and I won a few rounds which was pretty good, but I was in a lot of pain. So in April 2022, I decided to go and have surgery and fused my ankle joint. I got back to walking again by July. I got back on the bike in late September and I'm pretty psyched to be back on the bike. I did Qassim rally and got first place and did Ha’il Rally and did pretty good on the podium on third place. I'm very excited about this new Dakar. I'm very excited about this year because the finish is going to be in the Eastern Province, my hometown of Al Khobar which is very exciting. And my slogan is going to be “bringing her home”. I want to prove it to myself after going through very difficult times, after being unable to walk and with the doctors telling me that I should maybe give up on all these sports. For me, proving to myself that I could still pursue the Dakar again is the cherry on the cake. So I look forward to showing to whoever doubted me, that they can have second thoughts about me.”

Vehicle

SAUDI DIRTBIKE CENTER

HUSQVARNA FR 450 RALLY
SAUDI DIRTBIKE CENTER

  • HUSQVARNA
  • FR 450 RALLY
  • Saudi Dirtbike Center
  • Saudi Dirtbike Center
  • Rally 2

Ranking 2023

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