1500hrs, 11 November, 202


52        Matthias Walkner (AUT)

“I am super happy to finish the rally. Today was all about the fuel and at around 170km I could see I had very little, so I had to ride slowly.

“Finally, this was a really good rally. I survived it to the finish line and I am super happy with this incredible win here. The team has done an amazing job and it is cool to win the last race of the season.

“I think this is the third or fourth time that I am here, but this time I really enjoyed a lot because I felt better and better day by day. The desert was really nice and the organization did a good job. This is definitely my best finish and it is also the first time that I win here.

“Winning my first World title also gives me a lot of confidence. But it was also very important for me to finish this race well and then look ahead to the challenges. Now we have six weeks of preparations towards Dakar and finishing with a victory makes things much easier for all of us in the team.

“No big plans to celebrate right now. Tomorrow, I will go down to Dubai and we will continue testing. I go back home on Sunday, and maybe I will celebrate a bit with my friends back in Austria, but that can wait for now.”

27        Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT)

“I tried to take it easy today. My aim was to try and finish without a mistake. Towards the end I had a navigation problem and lost time. It was a mess, but now it is finished and I am happy as we are safe for Dakar.”

42        Adrien Van Beveren (FRA)

“I was starting in front, so I decided to go easy and not do anything crazy. I knew Matthias (Walkner) would push to try and catch me. So, I preferred to stay easy and wait for him. And when he did, we rode together to the finish.

“I enjoyed the race overall. The dunes are fantastic and my rhythm is back. I feel good and I am happy to be riding fast again. So, it’s good heading to the Dakar. I feel perfect and I feel ready to go there for the fight I dream about.”

26        Konrad Dabrowski (POL)

“I had to stay really focused and make sure I did not make any mistakes. I arrived at the finish in good time and that makes me happy.

“To be honest I did not expect to finish so high in the rankings. Overall, there were some good days and some bad days. But I am really happy with the feeling I had doing this rally even though this desert was really unpredictable.

“With the Dakar around the corner, there is no better place for me to be.”

16        Ross Branch (BWA)

“Today was a good day. I took it slow in order to conserve fuel. I have about half a litre left. Overall the rally was really enjoyable and a great training for Dakar.”

5          David McBride (GBR)

“It was a good day and it was quite fast. I stopped to give some fuel to Aaron Mare who had run out. So, finished my 22nd ride in this rally, and I am feeling better than many of my recent ones.”

21        Sultan Al Balooshi (UAE)

“The track was really fast on this last stage. I pushed hard and I caught up with Andrew (Short), and stayed with him until the finish. Overall I am happy with how I rode and learnt a few things for the future.”

29        Andrew Short (USA)

“This is a nice race because it’s so close to the Dakar. The terrain is somewhat similar to what we will see in Saudi Arabia. It didn’t go too well for me, but it was a nice experience.”

112      Michael Docherty (ZAF)

“It’s definitely a great experience to ride in this my first rally and to finish in one piece. I am proud of myself and did a lot more than I thought I would. But, still a lot to learn especially with navigation. Overall, it’s been a great week and a great place to race in.”

48        David Mabbs (GBR)

“The last stage was really good, really fast and the road book was fine. It has been an enjoyable final stage where I just rode at my pace and enjoyed myself.”

121      Makis Rees-Stravos (GBR)

“I am shell-shocked to have finished. I crashed out on Day 1 of the Dubai Baja, so I am delighted to have finished here. Five days is a long time to be racing for, but really good to be here. I will certainly be back.”

19        Mishal Al Ghuneim (SAU)

“This has been a phenomenal rally with a great terrain, great organisation and great food. This is by far my favourite rally.”

115      Thomas Kongshoj (DEN)

“This is my first race, so I am really happy to finish. Over the past two days, I really got my rhythm on the sand, which is very different to the terrain in my home country, Denmark. I really have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to navigation. I really enjoyed the long stages of this rally as they suit me. I am glad to have finished.”

123      Darko Marasovic (CRO)

“It was a great stage that was quite fast and that felt very good. It was a little long without any refuelling, but the bike was flowing, so it was not so difficult. But yeah, it’s great to be back in one piece.”

103      Abdulaziz Ahli (UAE)

“I’ve finally done it, and it feels good to be arriving here. All the hard work has paid off. I had a tough fight with Manuel (Andujar), and I found it hard to keep up with him because of an injured finger. But, I am happy and proud to be here.”

102      Manuel Andujar (ARG)

“I am so, so very happy to be the world champion – it’s a dream come true. This is so different to winning the Dakar.”

130      Dan Katanov (ISR)

“It was great to come here from Israel to race in this great rally. Today I fell off four or five times, but bounced back. I am really happy to have finished. I was smiling at the start and smiling now at the finish. I will be back. I must get fitter and lose some weight.”

18        Abdulla Shatti (KWT)

“I am happy I finished this last stage. Like yesterday, I had a problem with the gear and had to ride with only four gears. But, I’m feeling good that I finished the rally. It’s a beautiful event and I’m so happy to be able to take part with all the great riders.”

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