‘It was one of those days when the desert shows its most beautiful face. Suffice it to say that we saw all possible colours of the sand while surfing on the dunes. And finally, the sun showed up – and we missed it over the recent days. So, we might say that this stage was a successful one,’ commented Sonik, holder of the leading position half-way through the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
The defender of the World Cup title won the prestigious rally held in the United Arab Emirates two years ago and everything points to him repeating this success at the beginning of this season. It was Ignacio Casale who was the fastest rider at the finish line of the third stage, but his loss to the leader is so high that his victory is of no major significance. ‘I’m happy that Ignacio didn’t break down after his punishment and the problems with the engine. It wouldn’t be nice if so good a rider simply resigned,’ said Sonik.
The goal of Rafał Sonik is to keep his position in the rally, and he doesn’t need to engage with his rivals. Despite that, he Beauty of the desert, Sonik strives for perfection puts his foot down. On Tuesday, driving strong and hard, he avoided serious trouble twice. ‘You have to had been born at the desert to avoid making any mistakes. Even though I train here often, the layout of the dunes can still surprise me. I fell into a hole twice today, but I managed to weasel my way out without major problems,’ said the quad rider, smiling and happy.
The comfortable position that SuperSonik found himself in allows him to focus on how the individual elements of the quad are behaving during the drive. He is known for his perfectionism, and so not even a smallest detail will escape his attention. ‘The shock absorbers are a little bit too soft and have the tendency to hit. I hit the sand twice today with the floor, and even though it’s not dangerous, I feel the shock in my upper back, and that’s not very pleasant. It’s not a failure, but we will surely work on it, so that the pleasure of driving a Honda is higher. TRX is a good choice for this route. It has a better ground clearance than Yamaha and clears large dunes easier.
On Wednesday, the organizers planned a special stage that is under 260 km long, during which Rafał Sonik will keep his fingers crossed for the other Polish participants and for… Camelia Liparoti. ‘I’ve known it for years that she’s incredibly brave, but also very strong. Yesterday’s stage was very difficult, but still, she arrived a dozen or so minutes after me and Kees Koolen! I’m in awe of her determination and I hope she will keep her position until the end of the rally.