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Mohammed Balooshi continues impressive run

posted on 06/09/2015: 1461 views

One more day of competition is gone in Copiapo, Chile. New results from the third day of Rally Atacama placed Emirati hero Mohammed Balooshi in eighth position in the overall classification among the official factory riders, a Press release said.

Leg 3 started with a heavy fog covering a good part of the region. The event's organisers took the decision to delay the start of the race until the conditions became better.

With clear skies and the anticipation of the challenging and exciting terrains ahead, competitors left the bivouac around 11am to tackle the 350-kilometre special stages.

The day started in the heart of the Atacama Desert, surrounded by dunes and flowered sections, which amazed the competitors again. "It was an enjoyable ride," said Mohammed Balooshi. "The stage was amazing and I said yesterday it was the most beautiful stage of my life. But today's was even better! On top of that, navigation was difficult and the terrain tricky at some points and super-fast in other large areas, but I didn't make any mistake and feel happy with the results and my team's work," he added.

Balooshi suffered from mechanical problems in the previous days that cost him precious time and took toll on his motorcycle, and even today he ended up with bent rims on his bike, a leaking suspension and broken head lights. A factor that also makes the sport so challenging is the combination of elements that have to come together while riding at high speed: GPS navigation, reading and following the road book full of details and descriptions of landmarks and obstacles ahead, and CAP indicators that also show the direction in which riders need to go to reach the next reference of waypoint.

Competitors also need to pay attention to the road, watch for possible traffic, keep an eye on the speedometer to avoid exceeding limits. "The factory bikes can reach 183km per hour, while the 2014 model I am riding barely touches 160km/h. It's difficult to be competitive when the top riders can go 20 kilometres per hour faster than you on the flat fast areas, but we keep pushing and me and my team put our heart and soul into what we do to try to stay at the top regardless of whatever disadvantage we may have," Balooshi said.

Mahir Badri, Sports2 Managing Director, commented: "We are very proud of the job Mohammed and our team do and of what we are doing in Chile. We hope it will help the sport grow, showing our community that besides excelling in our own terrain in the UAE our athletes can perform and do an outstanding job in the international arena and at the top level in the world. We are proud to run for our country and to have the chance to carry our UAE flag at the other end of the world."

The fifth round of the FIM Cross Country Rally World Championship, Atacama Rally Chile, will start once again in the dunes of Copiapo and will finish in Huasco. – Khaleej Times -


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