N°114 Moto ADVENTURE-TECH
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CRAIG KEYWORTH

(gbr)

Sponsors

Docks Beers, Adventure-Tech

First participation

2019: Merzouga Rally (28th)
2018: Rallye du Maroc (29th)

Interview

“I painted up my BMX like a Dakar bike”

Craig Keyworth wasn't even allowed a motorbike as a youngster, but he is now preparing to tackle his maiden Dakar. Having taken part in mountain bike and BMX races growing up, the British rider only got a first taste of rally raid last year, competing at the Rallye du Maroc and claiming an impressive finish as the third rookie overall. He also finished in the top 30 at this year's Merzouga Rally and is now gearing up for the adventure of a lifetime in Saudi Arabia. An oil and gas engineer by trade, Craig used to watch the Dakar on television as a boy, and learned more about the world's biggest rally when he met Australian offroad legend Simon Pavey at the BMW GS Trophy a few years ago. He will be joining two other British riders from Simon's 'Off Road Skills' school in Wales, Neil Hawker and Simon Hewitt, for this first tilt at the Dakar. With the support of his Adventure-Tech team -including mechanic Derek, who has taken a year out of his own racing schedule to help Craig prepare for the rally- the 41-year-old is simply determined to make it through to the finish line in Qiddiya.

“Essentially I'm a washed-up mountain biker. I used to race downhill at the British nationals, but never really made it. I was inconsistently top 10, but I still had a bit of fun. I was never allowed a motorbike as a kid, so now I'm getting my own back. I used to watch the Land Rover Camel Trophy on TV, I thought it was amazing. Then randomly the Dakar was on as well, so I painted up my BMX like a Dakar bike. And now I'm living the dream of my five-year-old, BMX-riding self. I bought my first enduro bike in 2004, 2005, after watching my cousin competing at Driffield. I thought 'that looks mega!' If we fast forward a bit, I'm basically a bang average clubman-level racer, a bit of a weekend warrior. The BMW GS Trophy popped up, and the UK qualifier is run by Off Road Skills, so I met Neil Hawker and Simon Pavey. We went to Mongolia last year with Team UK and it was basically like a massive holiday. I came straight back and said, 'I'm having the Dakar now'. I realised I wasn't getting any younger, so I said, 'bollocks to it, I'm going to do it.' A few weeks later it was the entry deadline for the 2018 Rallye du Maroc. So I picked up the phone and said 'what do I need?' I bought an enduro bike, rally prepped it, and drove it to France. David Castera is a really cool guy actually. After the first day of my first rally, he came and found me on the bivouac, just to ask how things were going. He did it for everybody, not just me. But that's rallying in general, it's pretty friendly. At the Rallye du Maroc, I was learning on the fly but still managed to get a top-30 finish overall. But I still wake up thinking, 'shit, I'm doing the Dakar!', but I'm super lucky to be going with a couple of guys I know, like Neil, who's become a good friend. It's kind of a loneliness thing -when you come in at night you want to share the experience. I might not get another crack at the Dakar, so I wanted to give myself the best chance of finishing. I've had to throw a bit of money at it, but I didn't want any unfinished business, or to spend 20 years being bitter about it. For me, for attempt one, going with a team of guys gives me the best opportunity to go all the way.”

Véhicule

ADVENTURE-TECH

  • Marque : HUSQVARNA
  • Modèle : 450 FACTORY RALLY
  • Préparateur : Adventure-Tech
  • Assistance : Adventure-Tech
  • Classe : G2.2 Marathon

Classement 2020

Scratch Étape Général
1 121 120 120
2 106 106 114
3 98 98 99
4 106 106 101
5 91 91 95
6 97 97 90
7 90 90 87
8 - - 87
9 80 79 83
10 70 69 80
11 90 90 81
12 67 67 81

Toute l'actualité de C. Keyworth

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