ZHAO HONGYI(chn) 1.8m / 80kg
Starteam moto club, CrossFit, motorbikes, travel, movies
“Every rider does their own rally”
Motorbikes have long been Zhao Hongyi's passion, although the five-time Dakar finisher laughs when recalling his first lesson, saying the instructor thought he probably wasn't cut out for a career on two wheels! The 42-year-old quickly showed that wasn't the case, getting over any teething problems to emerge as one of China's most talented offroad riders. After starring on the national scene and winning the Taklimakan Rally in 2011, he took part in the world's toughest rally for the first time in 2017. Unfortunately, his dream debut came to a sudden end as mechanical issues with his Zongshen forced him to quit on the very first stage. Undeterred, he returned on a KTM in 2018 and made it to the finish line, taking 74th place for the Daming Racing team. Zhao speaks of the importance of "controlling your mind" at the Dakar, and proved his mental prowess by finishing the 2019 edition in the hardcore Original by Motul class, then getting through the 2020 edition despite a nasty injury in the build-up. In 2021 he took his best result to date, 45th overall, before making it five finisher's medals in a row last year in 79th. Zhao hosts a television show dedicated to motorsport and always shares his Dakar experiences with rally-raid fans back home. He hasn't had the easiest build-up to this 2023 edition; Covid-19 restrictions prevented most races in China from going ahead this year, and he even caught the virus in early December. Nevertheless, one of China's most recognisable Dakar competitors knows all about fighting his way to the finish line, so don't be surprised to see him back on that final podium in Dammam on 15 January.
“I was so excited the first time I rode on a motorcycle, but also very nervous. I didn't know what to make of the exhaust and the vibrations. At first, my instructor thought that maybe I wasn't cut out to ride a bike! Now I've finished the Dakar five years in a row. I've been lucky. When you're riding, I think it's important to control your mind. Every rider does their own rally, regardless of position; enjoying your own process is the most important thing. I also make motorcycle shows. It's my job, I love it. When I do the Dakar every year, I record the rally and broadcast it. I always hope there are more bike enthusiasts out there who understand the rally and enjoy it.”
WU PU DA HAI DAO RALLY TEAM
KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA
WU PU DA HAI DAO RALLY TEAM
- Marca KTM
- Modelo 450 RALLY REPLICA
- Preparador SDS Pro Race
- Asistencia Wupu Dahaidao Rally Team
- Clase Rally 2
Toute l'actualité de Z. Hongyi
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