Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Dakar bike winner Walkner excited for new tussle with Sunderland and Price.
The Austrian is back on his bike after the memorable Dakar triumph in January and is ready to tackle the 1,300km route which starts and ends at the Yas Marina Circuit. Here is all you need to know:
– Abu Dhabi marks the start of the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship with six intense days across the Liwa Desert sand dunes.
– It is the 28th anniversary of the race.
– The race starts with 112 drivers and riders from 28 countries.
– Walkner, 31, revealed: “I have had so many commitments after winning the Dakar, it has been hard to keep up my training routine. Now I am focused on the world championship and recent testing in the sand of Morocco has gone well.”
– Briton Sunderland added: “Being forced to retire from the Dakar was disappointing so I’m happy to feel no injuries. I’m really looking forward to getting back to racing and Abu Dhabi is like a home race for me.”
– Australian Price said: “After the Dakar I did some testing with Sébastien Loeb, which was a lot of fun. I also contested the Mint 400 in a truck. Hopefully I can get a good result.”
– The 44-year-old explained: “I’ve never driven on four wheels in the deserts of Abu Dhabi before so I’m looking forward to that. There’s some fast guys and I’m aiming to be battling at the front with them.”
– The four-wheel race represents the third round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.