Fortune has not favoured Zhang Min in his two Dakar participations to date. In 2017, the Chinese rider was forced to abandon the rally after the opening stage along with several of his Zongshen teammates, due to mechanical issues. He fared rather better last year, making it through to Stage 10 with the Daming Racing Team, but an engine malfunction between Salta and Belen meant that his Dakar experience once again ended in disappointment. This time around, the 41-year-old is thus determined to stand on the finishers' podium in Lima on January 17th. His excellent recent record at the Taklimakan Rally should stand him in good stead on the sands, even if he acknowledges that the Peruvian dunes are quite unlike any others. Second behind teammate Armand Monleon in China this year -just as he was in 2017- Min is out to prove that third time's a charm on the Dakar.
“Last year my engine broke down on Stage 10. With the altitude in Bolivia and the soft dunes in Peru it was hard for both men and machines! But I'm confident I can make it to the end of Dakar 2019. I just need to ride with good pace and I'm sure I'll get to the finish line in Lima. I certainly have a lot of experience in the dunes, but the dunes in Peru are on another level. So it's important to get used to them and not make mistakes. I've worked hard physically and mentally, now it's time to enjoy the rally. I really want to reach the finish line."
KLICEN KTM R2R DAKAR RALLY TEAM
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