UAE team set for Tunisia enduro event
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A three-member UAE team left for Tunisia today (March 3, 2010) under the sponsorship of the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) to participate in the second edition of the Arab Enduro Championship which gets underway on March 6.
The championship, organized under the auspices of the Tunisian Motorcycle Federation and Related Disciplines, will take place on a 200 kilometer route entirely in the Tunisian desert, unlike the Carthage Enduro last November which was held along the beachfront on a route between Raoued and Gammarth in North Tunisia.
The second edition of the championship, consisting of six rounds, promises to test the off-road skills of seasoned riders from the Arab World, with participants hailing from Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Kuwait, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco and the UAE.
The UAE team under the sponsorship of the ATCUAE comprises of Mubarak Al Ali, Ali Al Qubaisi and Mohammed Al Balooshi.
Mubarak and his teammates called on UAE Motorcycle (UAEMC) President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, to apprise him of preparations ahead of their departure on Wednesday.
Sulayem, who is also FIA Vice President and President of the ATCUAE, wished the team the very best calling upon them to do their country proud.
“I am sure you will give your best. Do your country proud by not just bringing us the laurels, but also by conducting yourself in a manner befitting Emiratis when we participate in championships away from our country,” Sulayem told the team.
Mubarak said they were prepared to take on the challenge and assured Sulayem that they were leaving for the Tunisia with an eye on the podium.
The team members thanked the ATCUAE president for extending his unreserved support over the years.
Mubarak and Qubaisi thanked Sulayem for sponsoring two KTM factory prepared ready-to-race bikes of world-class standard which would be used for the first time in the Tunisian championship.
The duo tested the new bikes over several days in the deserts of Dubai in preparation for their Tunisian venture later this week.
Sulayem said: “I will do whatever it takes to encourage promising young local talent in any discipline of motor sport. We have some of the best talent right here in our backyard, all that is required is for us to identify, encourage and prepare them to compete with the best in the world.”
Mubarak foresees tough competition ahead given the high-quality line-up of riders who have registered for the championship. “We know most of our competitors out there. Barring technical problems, we are confident of making it to the podium,” he said.
Mubarak Al Ali began his racing career in 1998 and, apart from bikes, has also competed in off-road rallies in the UAE and GCC, riding off with second place in the Kuwait Motocross Championship in the MX Class.
Ali Al Qubaisi has also done well for himself over the years having been placed third overall in the MX Class in Kuwait, apart from securing podiums on two occasions in enduros like the one he is participating in Cairo. More recently, last December, Qubaisi finished second in the Asian Supercross Championship held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Balooshi began his career in 2001 and in a short period made his mark as one the best enduro riders in the UAE and GCC region, topping the podium in the 2003-04 UAE Motocross season. Till date, he has bagged 15 wins in the region apart from having raced in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. His most recent victory was in Saudi Arabia in December last where he rode off with the Asian Supercross Championship title.
The Tunisian event will see competitors doing 200 kilometers over 20 loops, each loop of 10 kilometers, in testing desert terrain.