Dubai: Stage is set for classic desert battle in Dubai International Baja

Dubai: Stage is set for classic desert battle in Dubai International Baja

Sam Sunderland speaks at the Press conference

Dubai, UAE, 9 March, 2017: The stage is set for a fascinating battle of power and tactical duelling when the  Dubai International Baja powered by AW Rostamani and Nissan launches the UAE’s second World Cup cross country rally across the dunes and plains of the Al Qudra desert this weekend.

Taking place under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the event is the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and buggies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads.

Joining next month’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on the FIA World Cup calendar, the inaugural event has attracted an impressive line-up of 67 drivers and riders from across the Middle East and overseas.

They include Dubai-based Sam Sunderland who makes a first competitive appearance since his brilliant Dakar Rally bikes victory in January. The cars, buggies, bikes and quads will be flagged away from the ceremonial start at the Bab Al Shams Arena at 7pm tonight (Thursday).

“We’re very pleased with the size and quality of the entry in the first year, and we look forward to some classic cross country rallying in the Al Qudra desert,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and the Emirates Motor Sport Federation.

Speaking at an official press conference today at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa today, Sulayem added: “This event and the baja format shows way ahead for rallying in the UAE and the Middle East as a whole, and we’re confident it will go from strength to strength.

Salah Yamout, Director of Sales & Marketing for Arabian Automobiles, the flagship company of AW Rostamani Group, said: “We’re excited to be supporting the launch of an event which is part of the ATCUAE’s initiative to make the sport more affordable and therefore more sustainable by attracting many more local-based competitors.”

Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East, said: “We are especially happy to be joining hands with our business partner in Dubai and the Northern Emirate to give our support to the Dubai International Baja which is truly exciting addition to the UAE’s motor sport calendar and gives us fresh opportunities to showcase the qualities of the Nissan Patrol.”

The Nissan Patrol is the official car for the event, and eight Patrols entered include one driven by Qatar’s reigning FIA World Cup T2 production class champion Adel Hussain Abdulla who is backed by Nissan Middle East and partnered by French co-driver Sebastien Delaunay.

The rally is supported by Dubai Sport Council, Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, Al Ain Water and AssetCo Fire and Rescue. With the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa providing a luxurious setting, the event’s operational HQ and technical parc ferme is located at the nearby Bab Al Shams Arena.

Poland’s Aron Domzala and co-driver Szymon Gospodarczyk, who lead the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies after last week’s opening round victory in Russia in an Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux, are among 31 crews representing 15 nations who will battle for honours in the cars category through the dunes and sabkha plains of the Al Qudra Desert.

Among his biggest rivals for the cars title are Qatar’s reigning FIA World Cup champion and two-times Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al Attiyah partnered by Mathieu Baumel in a Toyota Hilux, and the UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi with Emirati co-driver Khalid Al Kendi in an Abu Dhabi Racing Peugeot 208 DKR.

Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal in a Hummer H3 Evo, Dutchman Erik Van Loon, the 2015 Desert Challenge runner up, and Frenchman Ronan Chabot – both driving a Toyota Hilux – are among 10 drivers entering T1 prototype vehicles.

The 14 Emirati and UAE-based drivers competing include Ahmed Al Maqoodi who won the candidate event staged in Dubai in December that led to the rally being added to this year’s World Cup calendar. He will be partnered in a T3 Polaris buggy by 2012 Desert Challenge quads champion Obaid Al Kitbe.

New Dakar bikes champion Sam Sunderland heads a line-up of 36 riders and drivers tackling the new event, making a welcome return to action in the deserts of Dubai where so much of his development into the sport’s top rider has taken place in recent years.

Among his main challengers will be top Emirati rider Mohammd Al Balooshi, while another locally-based British contender Dave McBride returns to the scene of his victory in the December’s World Cup candidate event.

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8 hrs ago

MotoGP

Throwing it back to the #Moto2 race of the #BritishGP 2012 🇬🇧

Enjoy the last laps battle for the 2nd place between Marquez and Redding! ⚔️

#MotoGP
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I was there.....Brilliant racing!!

Very drunk day but remember the race. Loved watching Scott race. All packed and ready for Silverstone Thursday morning.

Fantastic battle 👍

I was there, great finish. Home crowd went wild when Redding got back in front, then deadly silent when Marquez had a look up inside on last bend, then wild again when Redding cut back across. Amazing stuff!

Awesome pictures!

Amazing

Very cool video MotoGP. More like this one please!!!

however Mac Marquez with his current performance does not have to be Marquez's best

Great performance by Pol & Scott at the end💪🏼..that was a cracker💥..

Very nice

Very nice

All these guys are big talents. Many riders like Pol Espargaro, Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith, Antony West & many more are great riders and capable of winning championships ( capable ). People underestimate these guys by their bad results, but really..top material is key in these classes, especially in the MotoGp class. Give them a solid ride and they'll blow your mind

Redding never got the ride he deserved.

2019, #93 is the winner..😋🏁

special suter chassis for marc and mysterious team 😉 after marc step up to motogp, this team directly disappear, nobody know where are they now.

Just shows how good Redding was but never really got the bike to really take it to them in Motogp.

Man, I miss Scott Redding in the padock "let's get it babi"

Muy buena carrera no apta para cardíacos 🤭🤭🤭

Forget just how good Redding could have been with a decent bike

now whrs redding? gone?

Nice

Nice to see maq battle for other place than 1st

Kaj mu je pa SCOTT REDDING naredil,šale in kape.😀

Bring back Redding

duel one on one in the final lap marquez lose .....

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11 hrs ago

MotoGP

The dramatic moment which cost Marc Márquez a shot at victory at Silverstone two years ago! 😱

The world champion's misfortune opened the door for Andrea Dovizioso to snatch the win! 💨

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Good Day all.

Encore! Encore! Do it again!

Unlikely to be repeated! Hope Dovi brings his A game though. 👍🏼👍🏼

Gave the rest a chance

So what's new?? Sometimes these kind of technical failures happens in Motorsport... Very rare that engine blow sky high to premier class bike.

Saya Mie Halim moh top fan sama sama

I love coming here and waiting for all the Yellow gob smokers.

I thought "the legend" was gonna win that day.. 😅

Was at this race, and that bike blowing up was almost as good as a Rossi win 😀

RAre footage for sure

Ah, I could watch that Honda blow up all day every day...

Alex Groenewold finger cross 😅👍.. voor komend weekend

#MM93 Come Back STRONGER! 💪💪💪😎👍👍👍

Fast forward >>>> he is the world champion!!

Wow

Wow

And finaly , the boss MM93 won the title one more time

Nothing can stop him not even a broken bike ! Simply the king of MotoGP !

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13 hrs ago

F1

Cue the celebrations, Bob! 🍾👏 ... See Less

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“As you can see, I’m a bit high mileage” - 😂 - Bob’s funny! What a lucky guy - I’d give my right arm to work for F1❗️

( •_•) ( >💎 oh! Preciosa insignia! /︶\

Must be an awesome feeling..I certainly Would love to work with f1 even if it was to clean a window.

Nice. Long time lots of great words over the years

Awesome to get behind the scenes!

I love the voice of that guy

Cheers to the great Bob!!!

Amazing. I remember this voice. Thanks.

More than 660 wow ! I mean that’s amazingly nice, being with the next generation sharing your experience & catching something new from them it’s a nice way. Good going Bob keep it up & don’t forget to change the baton when you still can... 👍

It’s nice to now be able to put a name/face to the voice. Keep up the good work Bob. 🎤 🔈

Bobs Brilliant we love Bob in our house 👍🏻

Love these little insights into the F1 community 👍

Amazing with the “carmen opera” music

Awesome to put the face to the voice.

Hey I’m a top fan again, but it is really cool to put a face to the voice. I never really thought about it till I saw this

Big respect for Bob cheers 🍾🍾

I now have proof of what he does when he goes away. He is my legend

I should celebrate with champagne too after being promoted to top fan for god knows what reason 😂

Finally we get to see the man! 🙌🏻

I always wondered who did the podium announcements and if it was done locally or in England. 👍

Thanks for the Top Fan position!

Never seen the man behind the legendary announcements !

Wait, what if he is the meow guy! 😆

Always wondered who did the podium announcements and now we can put a face to the voice

660 races and counting .....give Bob some champaaaaaaaagne!! 🍾🍾

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