CC Tim Trenker bids to defend Qatar Baja title

NBK Group Qatar Baja 2005
FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 5

For immediate release
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005


Italy's Polli and Spain's Soler in determined mood;
Qatar's Al-Hajri heads first class quad entry

DOHA (Qatar): UAE-based German rider Tim Trenker heads a first class field of 61 riders and 27 quads into this weekend's NBK Group Qatar Baja, the final round of the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas to be held under the patronage of HH Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar. Trenker clinched the biggest win of his career last season on the Qatar Baja, when he emerged victorious from a thrilling two-day duel with Italian Oscar Polli.

But the Italian has vowed to turn the tables this season and heads to the sand dunes and gravel tracks of the State of Qatar fresh from taking 11th position in the UAE Desert Challenge on his KTM 450 Rally. The experienced Dakar veteran beat 15th-placed Trenker in the UAE and will also have a mental advantage over the Spanish rider Pau Soler, who is also taking part in the Qatar Baja and finished 16th in the UAE, 26m 26s behind Trenker. Soler will ride a KTM as part of the BRT Racing Team.

~Last year was a great fight between Tim and myself on a difficult and enjoyable rally,~ said Polli. ~This year Pau is also taking part and it should be interesting. We were very close at the finish in Dubai.~ Italian Giovanni Stefani and the UAE's Khalid Khamis Ozair are also competing and could feature in the podium places on their respective KTM and Honda. Khamis Ozair finished 13th in Dubai earlier this month and was the highest-placed Arab rider in the motorcycle field.

While this quintet look likely to be the leading challengers for the podium positions, Qatar's Abdulrahman Al-Hajri will lead the strong field of quad riders into the Baja. The Qatari has already taken part in the Rally of Morocco and Baja Spain this season on his QMMF-backed Yamaha 660cc, four-stroke machine and he faces fierce competition from two of the UAE's top off-road racers. ~I was running well in Morocco and then had some bad luck when I hit a small tree in some choking dust and somersaulted out of the rally,~ said Al-Hajri.

Mohammed Al-Shamsi finished 27th overall in the UAE Desert Challenge and won the quad category after a close battle with Portugal's Ricardo Leal Dos Santos. The Honda TRX 450R rider will start as the second seed in Qatar and will be closely followed by the experienced Atif Al-Zarouni on his Honda.

A further eight Qatari quad riders, including Adel Hussein, Mohammed Al-Hajri and Saif Al-Qahtani, will take part in the Qatar Baja, while Khalid Khoori, Obaid Al-Kutbi, Sharif Al-Daboos and Nasser Abdullah bolster the UAE's team of quads. Daboos completed the recent UAE Desert Challenge in 49th position on his Honda TRX 450R, but both Al-Zarouni and Khoori retired near the finish.

~We received a great response from riders for this event and have strong support from the UAE and Qatar,~ said Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation.

Motorcycle and quad riders will tackle a different version of the Qatar Baja route to the car drivers. After the 4.60 kms 'super special' stage on Thursday afternoon, they will tackle a longer first selective section of 267.83 kms on Friday morning and a second 115.54 kms trail on the afternoon.

The cars will run over the shorter stage in the morning and the longer stage in the afternoon, with the entire field crossing a 115.54 kms third competitive section on Saturday morning. In a total route of 655.49 kms over the three days, 503.51 kms or 76.8% will be competitive. The event has attracted support from the NBK Group, Qatar National Bank, NK Portakabin, Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Navigation.


For further media information:
Neil Perkins, NBK Group Qatar Baja 2005 Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Media Centre, Barzan Meeting Rooms, Movenpick Hotel, Doha, Qatar, Tel: + 974 4364181, Fax: + 974 4291111
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com, www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)
and Atala Abousaleh, NBK Group Qatar Baja, Arabic Press Officer, Dubai mobile: + (971 50) 6469853, e-mail: wisam_mm@emirates.net.ae

Date issued: 22/11/2005

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