4 years ago

Dirt and Trail July 2018 issue 2

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A MORNING WITH HUSQVARNA’S KENNY GILBERT Kenny is well known in racing circles around SA. He’s a 5 times national off-road champ and as we type this Husqvarna racer is at no 2 – and lying joint first in the champs. 13 Gold Roof of Africa’s – this is a really experienced man in race circles. He has entered Dakar for 2019 and will be competing on a 450 Husqvarna Rallye replica. Earlier this year as a “Training” and qualification exercise, he entered Morocco’s Merzouga rally, along with SA’s Stuart Gregory, Shane Nel and Ryan Bland with the Netherlands Bas Racing – and man was that a huge eye opener. His first ever race like this. He tells the story. “The biggest thing was learning to ride a rallye bike for the first time – and reading the dunes was quite a challenge. I have no idea how these guys jump them – you hit these things at full tilt – and tap off near the top, you get stuck, I’m convinced that the dune specialists have X-Ray eyes – it’s mad!” In my opinion, the nature of rallye’s like this has changed a lot – take nothing away – but it’s much like the Roof of Africa – it has moved up a a lot. Ten years ago, you were a semiretired racer and you undertook the Dakar to cap your career. NOW – many of the top enduro and MX boys who are at their peak are entering Rallye races and they have changed the whole thing.” “It felt as if I was at a World enduro, racing with a road book. Lots of the current champs were there, Joan Barreda, Andrew Short, Pablo Quintanilla, Toby Price, all the top factory riders. Pretty amazing to see. “ DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018 3 5