|XRally Marrakech: 10 time SA Champion Riaan Van Niekerk heads to XRally.|
Darryl Curtis won’t be the only South African bear colourer at the "Xrally Marrakech", the Rally Raid organized by Edo Mossi around Marrakech from 16th to 19th of May.
Ten time SA Offroad Champion and six time SA Enduro Champion, Riaan Van Niekerk will ride for the first time in Morocco at the XRally Marrakech to train for the Dakar 2013.
For Riaan the XRally will be fundamental to become familiar with the navigation with road book, GPS Unik and Iritrack, the same tools used in the big African Marathons.
MR: Ten time South African Offroad Champion from ’95 to 2011, and 6 time SA Enduro Champion, How do you face this year?
Van Niekerk: "I race for the Brother broad link KTM team here in South Africa, my racing bikes are a KTM 350f and a KTM 250f. My target this season is to compete in the 2013 Dakar Rally Take part in a few Rally Lite Series."
MR:To which races will you take part this year?
Van Niekerk: "This season I will race all of the Off Road and Enduro's in the South African national championship. Also doing Red Bull Romaniacs, X Rally Marakech, Roof of Africa and the Morocco Rally."
MR:Have you been before to Morocco?
Van Niekerk: "No, it twill be my first time."
MR:What is your target for the Xrally?
Van Niekerk: "My target for XRally is to get around the navigation and road book. I have never used the road book before. And would like to learn a bit before I do Dakar as well as spending time on those big bikes...
Racing Dakar has been a life long dream for me. From early ages I have watched legends like Kinigadner, Peterhansel and Sala race through the deserts of Africa. Having competed professionally for the last 20 years in South Africa and internationally it is time to live out my dream.
I have competed in, several International Six Day Enduro’s, desert races in South Africa and America, world extreme races like Erzberg, Hell’s Gate, The Tough One, Romaniacs and the Roof of Africa. What’s left? Dakar! I now finally have the support that is needed for racing Dakar, let’s make it happen. My title sponsors will be Broadlink and KTM."
MR:Tell us something about the racing scenario in South Africa.
Van Niekerk: "I would say South Africa is probably the biggest racing nation in Africa. And I don't know many countries that have an off road series where you can have a 500km race one way. Also the Roof of Africa was one of the first extreme events and is over 30 years old. We have a big variety off riding, from sand, to rocky mountains just about anything you want. And good weather most off the time."
2012/05/03 | 16:08 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/MOSSI