CC Massive bike contingent heads to new Qatar Baja event
2004 Mitsubishi Motors Qatar Baja
November 25th-27th, 2004
For immediate release
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004
MASSIVE BIKE CONTINGENT HEADS TO QATAR BAJA
British riders enter Qatar Baja for pre-Dakar test;
Italian star Polli aims for glory in Qatar; Soler and Hofer on track;
UAE's Khamis and Trenker aim for podium finishes
DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) has received a massive overseas entry for the first Qatar Baja to run since 1992. No less than 34 international riders will take the start of the opening Prologue stage on Friday afternoon in Doha, with 22 of them coming over from the United Kingdom for the first time.
~We have been staggered by the response to this year's Baja race,~ said Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation. ~It is a new event in the calendar and the foreign interest has been huge. This is sure to create more interest among our local motorcycle enthusiasts and this is great news for the future.~
Heading the overseas contingent is the experienced Italian rider Oscar Polli on his KTM 660 Rallye. A veteran of numerous Dakar rallies and long-distance events across Africa and Europe, Polli sees the Qatar Baja as an ideal opportunity for him to gain last minute experience before the Dakar Rally. Joining the Italian on the entry list are Pau Soler and Karl-Heinz Hofer, both former European Enduro Champions and ISDT Silver Medal winners.
Dubai-based Tim Trenker was one of the revelations of this year's UAE Desert Challenge on his KTM and took a top 10 position. Despite breaking a leg on the final round of the FIA World Cup a couple of years ago, Tim is enjoying a new lease of life in enduro racing and has his eye set on a podium finish this weekend.
Dubai's Khalid Khamis has been one of the most popular Arab riders in recent years and has regularly taken part in the UAE Desert Challenge, putting several professional riders to shame with his pace across the sand. He will ride a Honda in Qatar this week.
Britain's Patsy Quick created news headlines across the world during the 2003 Dakar Rally, when she was rushed to a remote medical tent in the Siwa bivouac, in Egypt, for emergency surgery to remove her spleen, ruptured in a fall on a stage. A French doctor performed the life-saving surgery and Quick staggered the racing world by returning last January to try and achieve her goal of finishing the Dakar Rally for the first time. She plans to try again in January and sees the Qatar Baja as a good way of testing her pre-Dakar fitness.
Clive Town is also a British Dakar veteran and rode alongside Quick in this year's Dakar Rally, before they both retired in the remote Mauritanian wastelands on what was arguably the most punishing rally in the event's 27-year history. Town joins a host of British riders in Doha, including Kevin Coplestone, Jeff Webster, Andy Jenkins and David Harding, the latter pairing riding smaller Yamaha 250 motorcycles. Town also plans an assault at the Dakar Rally again in January.
Andrew Neri has been a regular face on major international cross-country rallies in recent years, most notably in Morocco and Tunisia, and the British rider will race himself on the Qatar Baja. ~The rally scene in the UK is growing,~ said Andrew. ~We have a healthy entry in this new Qatar race and growing interest in the Dakar Rally.~
Italy will also be represented by Giancarlo de Felice and Giovanni Stefani on a pair of KTMs, Domenico Caminiti and Giuseppe Fortune and Leonardo Savini on a pair of Yamahas.
The opening Prologue stage gets underway at 15.00 hrs on Friday, while the second and final section features two runs through a 230 kms selective and takes place in the desert to the south of Doha. Action kicks off at 07.00 hrs on Saturday, November 27th and finishes at around 18.30 hrs with the ceremonial podium in the city.
For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2004 Qatar Baja Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Tel: Dubai mobile + 971 50 3616881, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)