“I'm determined to make it work”
Jurgen van den Goorbergh is a man of challenges. After his ‘first career' as a MotoGP racer he entered the Dakar for the first time in 2009, on a bike, and immediately finished in an excellent 17th. After challenging in a single-seat buggy he build together with his friend Kees Koolen, and one Dakar as navigator with Koolen in a truck, he decided to go for the ultimate challenge: competing in the bikes' malle-moto class, without any assistance. He soon found out it definitely is the hardest way, with no assistance at all, little sleep and not only fighting other competitors and the circumstances but especially fighting yourself. After winning the malle-moto class in 2016, last year Van den Goorbergh had to abandon in the fourth stage after a heavy crash. This year he hasn't only been busy preparing for the Dakar, which will be his last one on a bike, with his home-built KTM, but also with helping his son Zonta who is following in his father's footsteps as a motorbike racer.
J.V.D.G.: “Last year I entered with a bike I had built myself, kind of a light version to the standard rally bike and for this year it's even better. It is based on a KTM EXC: smaller and lighter. I'm just a small guy, and with this bike I can see the front wheel and stones and rocks. It may not be as fast as the big rally bikes, but it's reliable and easy to ride, certainly on the more technical tracks. I've been developing a kit for these kind of bikes myself and I've already sold three of them. As this is my last Dakar, at least on a bike, this is my plan for the future. Because of that and of course, especially after crashing out last year, I'm determined to make it work.”