“Not getting beaten by the Dakar…”
David Thomas' first experience on the Dakar was a rough one. Despite a fine start to the rally, the South African crashed out on day 5 of the event, fracturing his leg. A crash possibly due to too much enthusiasm. But the Dakar is a tough lady to seduce. Indeed when David takes on a hobby, he's often very good at it. His first passion was for cycling and mountain bikes and that took him to compete in several downhill World Championships. After switching to motorbikes, inspired by a father who was a former South African enduro champion, he had the long term dream of doing the Dakar. The initial idea was to compete on the world's greatest rally with his brother Justin, a former surfing champion who was to sadly pass away in 2003. David therefore took on the Dakar last year for his sibling. After recovering from his injuries, the 41-year-old returns with a slightly different state of mind. The goal is to race the whole 9000kms or so and not just five days. Happy with the structure he had last year, Thomas will again be on a Husqvarna prepared by the HT team and knows that if he's consistent all the way to Cordoba, the result should be a good one.
“My dad was the one who got me into the Roof of Africa and extreme enduro races. I've been following the Dakar for the last 15 years and had always dreamt of doing it. I grew up watching Alfie Cox and those guys on their big 950cc bikes, with my jaw hanging down. Turning 41, I'm now looking forward to finishing the 40th edition. Last year after my crash, I immediately told my assistant to book plane tickets for the next Dakar while I was still in hospital. I'm not getting beaten by the Dakar. There's no way I'll be scared off. I'm coming back with more tools. Last year, I was racing every kilometre as fast as I could. I was caught up by the excitement. I'm way too competitive and I have to learn to forget that. Now I'll be racing the whole 9000kms. When I discovered that we would start with 5 days in the dunes, my face lit up. That's what I love. The more sand the better!”