A dramatic Dakar Rally debut saw Mohamed Abu Issa steer his quad towards a top five finish and a Rookies Cup win last time out. The Qatari rider is now focused on pushing for even more prizes when the next edition of the race gets going in Buenos Aires in a few weeks time.
It may have only been a year since Abu Issa arrived in South America to compete in his first ever Dakar, but a lot has changed in that time. Before his Dakar debut there was little expectation surrounding the 23-year-old student who stated his pre-race ambitions as hoping to reach the finish line. After two weeks and 13 gruelling stages, Abu Issa not only fulfilled his desire to complete the race but surprised everyone by finishing fourth overall to become the best placed debutant.
Now Abu Issa’s talent is no secret in the bivouac of the Dakar and expectations for his upcoming performance have risen significantly. Following the withdrawal of the Patronelli brothers (four-time winners between 2010-2013) Abu Issa now finds himself within a select group of riders with a realistic shot at the quad title in 2015.
Emulating his countryman Nasser Al-Attiyah by winning the Dakar remains Abu Issa’s ultimate ambition and earlier this year the two shared top spot of the podium at the Sealine Cross Country Rally. The duo delighted race fans in their native Qatar with victory on home turf as belief surged through the crowd that the pair can repeat their winning performances at the upcoming Dakar.
Nasser will have to get the most out of his MINI ALL4 Racing if he is to collect another car race title and the task ahead of Abu Issa in the quad category is also far from simple. There are a total of four marathon stages lying in wait for the quads at this next edition of the Dakar, meaning that riders must do all repairs themselves before starting the next day’s racing. With 9,000km of perilous terrain between himself and glory it’s clear that Abu Issa will need to be in top physical and mental condition for the entire two weeks if he is to take home the big prize.
You can follow the epic South American journey of Abu Issa and the rest of the Red Bull Desert Wings team on redbull.com/dakar.
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