The Change of Bike for Round 1

Dimitris and the team at Aurora Rally Equipment in Athens have been building me a new KTM450 Baja bike specifically for the 2023 FIM Bajas World Cup. But with various supply chain issues and other time constraints the build has taken longer than planned. 

Getting the bike finished and freighted to Saudi Arabia in time for the first round was getting close to impossible, and even if we could do it in time, the freight costs were unrealistic.

Fortunately, my good Saudi friend Mishal Aglhuneim from the Saudi Dirt Bike Centre was able to provide me with a Husqvarna FR450 Dakar Race bike to ride with full support and service in Round 1.

This bike is 100% identical to my own Dakar race bike and will be prepared to suit the conditions in Ha’il by Mishal. And as the first round will be 100% fast sand tracks and dunes, this is also a much more suitable bike for the Saudi Arabian round. 

So we sent our custom graphics kit to Saudi to be fitted to the bike and I look forward to spending the week in Saudi with Mishal. I raced with Mishal at Dakar 2021 and spent some time in the dunes alongside him navigating our way through the stages.

This also takes the pressure off Dimitris at Aurora Rally Equipment in Greece to get the new bike finished, and it will allow me to test it before round 2 in Qatar and make sure it is 100% ready.