Oct 9th 2015 – Emirati champion Mohammed Balooshi was unable to compete on the last day of Oilibya Rally Morocco, since the official medical team did not give him the clearance to go. It’s that the tests run in the evening at the Rally HQ in Agadir, following to the crash he suffered at km 12.5 of the fourth stage, did not convince the doctors who rejected Balooshi’s permission to start on the last day. The tests revealed a crack in one of the UAE’s hero ribs as well as some enduring fever from the previous food poisoning he had earlier on the week. A very disappointed and emotional Balooshi commented,
“It’s really too bad to have to retire like this after so much work done by all my team this year, I still can’t believe we made it to the final round of the championship with so much effort and we have achieved so much !! But then it’s always disappointing not to be allowed to race, especially because I feel strong and really wanted to complete the rally. Yes I have a bit of pain from the cracked rib, but it’s the heart that hurts more for not being able to bring my flag to the finish line”.
Despite not being allowed to complete at the final meeting of the FIM Cross Country Rally in Morocco this week -and with only 4 rounds of the 2015 calendar on his record- the Emirati elite athlete secured enough points throughout the season to finish the championship in 8th and guarantee a spot in world ranking’s top ten for the United Arab Emirates flag that shines next to Balooshi’s name in the International Federation’s official standings as off yesterday.
The Cross Country Rally is considered the toughest and most challenging of the motorsport universe, particularly for the motorcycles whose riders are the most exposed to all extreme terrain, weather and external conditions. The called “university of the motorsport” gathers and defies every year to the most talented, best prepared and most courageous riders in the globe, including many current and former world champions from other specialties that decide to take their sport to the next level.
Mohammed Balooshi’s standing as the 8th top rider in the world represents a new milestone for the UAE’s sport since this is the highest position achieved by an Emirati rider on a motorcycle on this world class series, which only comes to improve his own personal 12th position highlight achieved in 2014. Impressive prowess that talks about Balooshi’s outstanding capabilities and competitiveness when considered how much he achieved while only being able to complete 4 races, since he had already missed a key event this year for not being able to secure the budget, the legendary Sardegna Rally Italy. Sports2 Managing Director Mahir Badri said,
“We couldn’t be prouder of Mohammed and of the work done this year, he is a one of our country’s very talented athletes and he puts his soul on what we do, same as the rest of the team. We went thru ups and downs this year, struggled with budgetary limitations, could not make it to the Italian Rally and we almost had to call off this last round… Sounds like a tough year and it was! But we would do it all over again and again, just to see our talented Emiratis proudly raise the UAE flag at the end of the race”.
The 2015 World Championship might have finished yesterday, but work is far from being over for Balooshi and his team Sports2 “Our aim is to do the full championship in 2016 and we will do anything in our power to make it happen. Mohammed takes a day off before getting back to his training programme and we never stop, our planning for the next season already started. We feel huge pride in what we do and there is an honor difficult to explain in being able to represent our country in a world class championship in foreign countries; and also seeing people in these faraway lands recognizing our UAE’s flag and the talent Mohammed has,” added Badri.