“I can't imagine not going every year”
Gabor Saghmeister has become a regular figure of the Dakar. Present on all the South American editions of the race, finishing six out of eight rallies, the Serbian suffered hell last year to reach the finish in Rosario. A severe crash on day 10 saw him break his fist but there was no stopping the strong Serbian. The 44-year-old who's seen it all on the Dakar will give it one last go on his KTM 450RR to celebrate in style his 10th appearance (he counts 2008). After that, he dreams of switching from bike to car.
“In 1993 I attended my first MX2 motocross race, and from that day on I fell in love with racing. To take part in the Dakar was a childhood dream of mine that came true in 2009, since then I can't imagine not going every year. I have always lived incredible experiences and that's also why I come back. Concerning 2016, it was a very good feeling to get to the finish, especially due to the fact that the year before I was not able to do so. It's a great feeling when you complete the rally, and when you get to the podium among the last 84 participants. On day 10 which was my best day in terms of speed, I was doing great but I hit a rock and lost control of the bike. I flew over my handlebars and hit my head. Luckily I had a good helmet and the right equipment so I didn't injure too badly. I stayed on the ground for five minutes. Eventually only when I lifted my bike, I felt that my hand was damaged. I managed to cover the last 140kms, and at the bivouac I was told that I had a broken fist. I rode the last four stages with my broken hand and it was so tough. Every single stone was a problem. I now want to try the Dakar in a car. I'm getting tired of riding bikes. My wish is to sit in a rally car with a good team, but for that, of course you need additional sponsors. I have some ideas, but first I'll do another year on the bike to round my figure to ten Dakar rallies.”