Dubai: Sabah Mukri – Race day diary for season finale at Dubai Autodrome

Sabah Mukri defends her position on track in race one

Sabah Mukri defends her position on track in race one

Race 1: This was my first time racing on the national circuit. As all the racers lined up on the grid, something felt different! I seemed completely focused; I drowned out everything else around me and wasn’t nervous at all. I said to myself all you need to do is stay with the pack, keep that throttle pinned and push past your comfort zone. I look to my left and right recognizing the racers and thought to myself GAME ON! As the red light went out, I had a really good launch; I was aggressive on the throttle as my bike pulled through the gears. I overtook the racer next to me but he out braked me entering turn one. I was determined to brake with everyone else and give it my best shot. To my surprise I stayed with the pack but that was not the only surprise I was closing the distance with same racer to my left. By the end of the first lap in the last corner I saw an opportunity to pass him. I took the inside line and caught my competitor by surprise. I held my race line and didn’t run wide and got ahead of him. Never before had I felt the pressure of keeping my position and staying ahead of a rider. By the third lap I had beat my qualifying time by six seconds. The entire race I took defensive lines wondering if he was right behind me waiting for the opportunity to get back past me. Focused on staying as smooth and consistent as I possibly could, I cleared the checkered flag for the first time I was not last! I have never had the opportunity to battle with anyone racing and was so grateful for the pressure as it made me six seconds faster so I guess that’s the push you need to improve!

Pushing hard in race two to round off a great day

Pushing hard in race two to round off a great day

Race 2: I was exhausted and felt dehydrated with the afternoon heat catching up with me. I promised myself I would never again rock up to a race unfit and had a plan to get in shape over the summer. My sponsors and friends encouraged me to race the second round and give it all I could and if I couldn’t complete it at least I gave it my best.  This time I stepped on the grid with cold tyres, I forgot to turn them on. I knew already I wouldn’t be able to stick with the group as I did in the previous race but was determined not to place last. As the start light went out, with a poor launch and a hesitant hand on the throttle I was left behind. An all too familiar scene but I wasn’t about to give in so easily. I pushed hard and by my third lap I was able to close the gap. Waiting for the opportunity to pass the same racer, we both approached turn 16 together, I have no idea where I found the courage to out-brake him and entered the corner with my back tire fish-tailing behind me. I managed to get some distance from him and finished the second race three seconds slower than my previous race but again I wasn’t last.

I was humbled when my competitor came over and shook my hand congratulating me after each race. It just goes to show there is true sportsmanship at Dubai Autodrome. I am so thankful to my sponsors for their continued support Nerds Motorcycle Racing, Vendetta Racing UAE, Torque Block, Circuit Pro Digital and Pinky Furniture & Nov L.L.C.

I also would like to thank my mentor, race day pit crew and very close friend Juzar Motiwala ‘aka George’ for always having my back. I feel lucky to be surrounded by family and friends, always supporting me and making my dream come true yet again!

I will see you all again next season, faster, stronger and ready to race, bring it on… Full gas!

Sabah became the first lady motorcycle racer to compete in the National Race Series at the Dubai Autodrome and for her efforts collected the first female competitor trophy for her efforts...

Sabah became the first lady motorcycle racer to compete in the National Race Series at the Dubai Autodrome and for her efforts collected the first female competitor trophy for doing so…

PS: Did I mention I received my first ever trophy for the first female competitor in the DAMC Sportbike race series?

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