Dubai: Al Qassimi makes flying start to Dubai International Baja as Mare grabs Bikes lead

Dubai: Al Qassimi makes flying start to Dubai International Baja as Mare grabs Bikes lead

Dubai, UAE, 8 March, 2019: The UAE’s Khalid Al Qassimi grabbed the half way lead in the Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani today as he left behind a trail of the world’s top drivers in the Al Qudra desert.


Partnered by Frenchman Xavier Panseri in an Abu Dhabi Racing Peugeot 3008 DKR, Al Qassmi took a 48-seconds first leg advantage over Jakub Przygonski, Poland’s defending world champion and last year’s winner, in the second round of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas for cars and buggies

Aaron Mare in his Husqvarna 450

Przygonski and German Timo Gottschalk in a Mini John Cooper Works Buggy were another 2 mins 9 secs ahead of the third-placed Czech pairing of Martin Prokop and Jan Tomanek in a Ford Raptor RS Cross Country on the 201.6lkm AW Rostamani Arabian Automobiles special stage.


Russia’s two-times Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge winners Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov in a Toyota Hilux Overdrive, Lithuania’s Benediktas Vanagas and Bartlomiej Boba in another Hilux and Czech pairing Miroslav Zapletal and Marek Sykora in an F150 Evo completed the top six.


While top Emirati rider and 2018 Dubai Baja winner Mohammed Al Balooshi suffered a major first day setback in the opening round of this year’s FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads, UAE-based South African rider Aaron Mare won the opening leg for the second year in a row.


Al Balooshi, the defending world champion, failed to start the stage after his Kawasaki stopped with engine failure on the road section after leaving Dubai Autodrome.

There were no problems for Mare. The Husqvarna rider built up a 5 mins 17 secs lead from the KTM of UAE-based French rider Benjamin Melot, runner up for the last two years, with Dubai based 2017 winner Mark Ackerman another 2 min 7 secs away in third on a Husqvarna


The bikes top six was completed by Kuwait’s Mohammed Jaffar on a KTM, Emiirati Sultan Balooshi on a Kawasaki and Ryan Blair on another Husqvarna.


“We’ve had a highly competitive first leg and once again the Dubai desert terrain has shown what a great test it provides for the best drivers and riders from across the region and overseas,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and FIA Vice President for Sport.


Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani saw 34 cars and buggies and 39 bikes and quads set off from the rally base at Dubai Autodrome.


The event is supported by the Government of Dubai, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, the General Authority of Sports, Dubai Customs, Al Ain Water and Emarat petrol.


In the T3 Side by Side category Qatar’s Adel Abdulla with French co-driver Jean Michel Polato in a CAN AM Maverick X3 were fastest by 4 mins 59 secs on the day from UAE-based Michel Fadel and Craig Tyson in a Polaris XP 1000.


Kuwaiti Fahad Al Musallam’s bid to complete a hat-trick of quads triumphs on a Yamaha 700 Raptor were ruined by mechanical failure, leaving the UAE’s Honda rider Khalifa Al Raisse to take a convincing 14 mins 35 secs lead over Saudi Arabia’s Abdulmajeed Al Khulaifi on a Yamaha.


For top-seeded driver Al Qassimi it was the ideal start to the Dubai Baja after mechanical failure on the opening day last year ended his hopes of victory, although he still reported a problem.


He finished the stage to say: “We had an issue with the dampener around the 30km mark and it was knocking about so we didn’t want to push the car too much, which probably cost us a minute or two. I’m very happy to finish in first despite the issues – it’s always a good thing.”


Przygonski said: “It was a good day with, nice off piste and terrain but we had to stop and change a wheel. I’m looking forward to tomorrow but the dunes and sand were very soft today and it seems everyone struggled.”


After the overnight halt at Dubai Autodrome the rally heads back out into the Al Qudra desert in the morning for the 204.93km Nissan stage before the event returns to the Autodrome at 12.30pm with the ceremonial finish taking place at 5pm.


Provisional leading positions after AW Rostamani Arabian Automobiles special stage:


  1. Khalid Al Qassimi / Xavier Panseri (ARE /FRA) / Peugeot 3008 DKR                            2:42:27
  2. Jakub Przygonski / Timo Gottschalk (POL / GER) / Mini John Cooper Works Buggy     2:43:15

  3. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (CZE / CZE) / Ford Raptor RS Cross Country                  2:45:24

  4. Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS / RUS) / Toyota Hilux Overdrive            2:51:35

  5. Benediktas Vanagas / Bartlomiej Boba (LTU / POL) / Toyota Hilux                                 2:51:41

  6. Miroslav Zapletal / Marek Sykora (CZE / CZE) / F150 Evo                                               2:56:03

  7. F Alvarez Catellano / S Lafuente Rocha (ESP/URY) / Volkswagen Amarok                   2:58:49

  8. Andrey Novikov / Vladimir Novikov (RUS / RUS) / G-Force Bars                                   2:59:47

  9. Thomas Bell / Patrick Mcmurren (ARE / ARE) / Nissan Navara                                        3:00:55

  10. Mark Powell / Chloe Jones (ARE / GBR) / Fast & Speed Buggy                                     3:03:31




  1. Aaron Mare (ARE) / HUSQVARNA 450 FC / 1                          3:09:15
  • Benjamin Melot (ARE) / KTM 450 SXF / 1                                   3:14:32

  • Mark Ackerman (ARE) / HUSQVARNA FX 450 / 1                   3:16:39

  • Mohammed Jaffar (KUW) / KTM SXF 450 / 1                             3:17:49

  • Sultan Balooshi (ARE) / Kawasaki KX 450 / 1                             3:21:55

  • Ryan Blair (ARE) / HUSQVARNA FC 450 / 1                            3:23:02

  • Abdullah Taleb Al Shatti (KUW) / Kawasaki KX 450 / 1 3:24:55

  • Richard Brewer (ARE) / YAMAHA YZ 450 FX / 1                     3:31:18

  • Khalifa Al Raisse (ARE) / Honda  700 TRX / 2                            3:33:38

  • Shannon O’Connor (ZAF) / KTM 450 SXF / 1                           3:33:50


    facebook feed

    Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

    23 minutes ago

    24H Series

    Last Saturday we had a wonderful 1st edition of the virtual 12H MONZA! 🏎️💨

    In case you missed it, you can re-watch the full race now on our YouTube channel here:

    Did you enjoy the race? 😀

    #thisisendurance #24hseries #24hseries2020 #motorsport #12hmonza #racing #iracing #esports
    ... See Less

    Last Saturday we had a wonderful 1st edition of the virtual 12H MONZA! 🏎️💨

In case you missed it, you can re-watch the full race now on our YouTube channel here:

Did you enjoy the race? 😀

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #12HMONZA #racing #iracing #esports

    3 hrs ago


    If Valentino Rossi goes to PETRONAS it's not for a farewell tour...

    "I will go to them if I think I can be competitive, I can try to win races and fight for the podium" 💬

    Don't miss Valentino Rossi VR46 Official's words on BT Sport MotoGP!
    ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    can you see the irony. if he cant even win in factory yamaha, could he even win on satelite team? he only win 10 times in 10 years, 3 years without one. only 1 or 2 podium a year.

    Welcoming VR46 to PETRONAS Yamaha, we wish you luck as team test rider.

    Thats all i want to hear from him.. still continue and i also still want to watch motogp for sure!

    É sensato. A Yamaha oficial nao pode manter um piloto com posições abaixo do 4°lugar. Porém a PETRONAS vai evoluir com a experiência dele para uma moto mais competitiva.

    Can’t wait to order the new skin YAMAHA-PETRONAS for my R1 😜😎

    Awwww I hope he doesn’t retire soon 😢

    Vale will be always the number 1...... Go Vale goooooo!!!

    He should stop wasting time and get SKY46 into MotoGP.

    He can do whatever he needs to. Retire or ride those who criticize him will never truly appreciate what hes done career wise. haters gonna hate

    His move to Petronas will be 2 secure his future , when he switches to car racing

    "If still can competitive for race and podium, why not"

    Grow up you bunch of fannys Most of the grid is full of no hopers just filling the gaps , never will win a race or a very rare podium 😱 Rossi has done it all and still has the balls to race others a lot younger than the 40 yr old he is . Respect to the Doctor 46

    Stay to the Yamaha rossi

    Sei un grande... Ma con l'inglese levati proprio 🤣🤣🤣 #DonLurio

    It’s great 👍

    No matter which way you go vale you are the top man .the goat 😉🏍🏍🏍🏍

    That's crazy shit coming from him. 😂



    On t aime t ai le meilleur et pour tjs. Marquez et compagnie t arrive pas a la cheville

    Anthony Whittle

    I Love VR46. Selalu.

    Luis Lopez

    Fallimento totale per Valentino

    Vai in Aprilia 💛

    View more comments

    3 hrs ago


    Sergio Perez has been on 50% of the podiums in Azerbaijan - here's why he and BWT Racing Point F1 Team are so strong there 🇦🇿💪 ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    You can listen to the full podcast episode here ⬇️

    Force India was always good at straights... the best final speed (bad chassis + good engine), meanwhile RedBull was always a bad car in straights, but the very best in corners (good chassis + renault engine).

    50% of the podiums, because it’s only been on the calendar since 2016. Hard to believe that he’s had an F1 career since 2011, that’s gone quick. Only blip was that season with McLaren in 2013, didn’t exactly work out for him

    because all other drivers crashed ...

    "when can I have the drink", Kimi's thought at this moment.

    Because Sergio Perez is a great driver and his results warrant him being on a top notch team.

    Well-worth the listen, I really enjoyed it!

    Good to see Perez get a perfect car this season.

    All the cars should be similar. Put Lewis in Force India's car, Sergio in Lewis's Mercedes and see what happens.

    The most underrated driver, of the grill

    The most underrated driver on the grill. He could win a tittle with a little better car.

    Any hint of a podium, he can sniff it out.

    Talentoso na condução 👏🏻

    Cuz he puts his teammate into the wall?

    You guys are desperate for content, you just post unnecessary.

    come on Sergio !!!

    Também merece...🇧🇷🇵🇹🇦🇴

    Alonso p7 💗



    Crystal Atlaschi 🇲🇽

    Do you know that you can use $500 to make $4500 online without sending your money to me or anyone else

    View more comments

    6 hrs ago


    That first F1 win feeling for Jordan 🎉🥳🍾 ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    Hill was a very good driver. He was the Champion of 1996. Has nearly won the Hungarian GP of 1997 with an Arrows (!!!) and took the first win for Jordan. Not much drivers came so close to win with three different Teams.

    What a race that was. 13 cars crashed, Schumacher's World championship ruined by David Coulthard and finally a well fought win by a great driver with underdog team.

    That was my favourite Damon Hill win although it would've been better if Ralf was allowed to race him.

    Daman was in another class to Ralf , by clearly showing that with the Win 👌

    More team orders for hill to win

    First win because schumacher crash with Coulthard.

    Damon drove like a demon that day. Commanded the race and his message to Eddie was the right call.

    Such a great race. Love it when the rain kicks in and changes the field of drivers. And who didnt love the look of the Jordan cars

    EJ couldn’t have R Schumacher ploughing into Hill, like he did with Fisichella at Argentina 1997. That was probably the very first thing he thought of, when making the decision

    "1994 World Champion Damon Hill"- Murray Walker

    I can remember the emotions that day, was always a Jordan fan and finally we got that win.

    Team Jordan was the GP team for the people. The team that let us fans see the real F1 behind the scenes. Thanks Eddie!

    If no team orders ralf won that race

    A great moment for Hill and Jordan. I was happy for both.

    Even this race proved that there wasnt much racing in those days too. For me this was very dull race with alot of accidents and accidents dont make a race exciting

    Jordan were the only team to have both races and the spare car intact after this race, every other team had at least one or two wrecked cars 🏁

    The assumption's always been that EJ gave Damon preferential treatment, fact is interviews with both have shown that if anything, their professional relationship was always strained for various reasons.

    Well, team orders were clear but clearly Ralf wasn't happy about this.

    The GP that DC trashed 10+ cars. In 2 accidents. Yes, double kill

    Frankly it’s hilarious that any Schumacher can feel hard done by when it comes to team orders.

    It’s you that needs to grow up and only you that’s the clown, everyone has an opinion but I notice your jumping on anyone that’s saying that the win was gifted, why not just agree to disagree instead of being rude to people.

    Back when everyone had a chance, imagine these days, you have a budget of 100M$ and your best aim is 5th

    One of the best underdog moments in F1

    That Jordan was one hell of a good looking motor! 🏎️

    I won’t lie..... I was in bits watching this race live on TV I love Damon

    View more comments

    Load more