DAKAR RALLY – INTERVIEW MICK EXTANCE
Mick Extance is by far the most experienced rider in the
Dakarsport/Team Honda Europe. Since 2002 he’s been in the Dakar every
year. Always in the top 50, his best result was the 26th place overall
in 2006. Mick (46) has been riding motocross and enduro his whole
life. He was European Enduro champion in 2002, and won a gold medal
and two silver medals in the International Sixdays.
Mick Extance: “This year I am out here to race and not just finish.
From the first time I saw Dakar on TV, at the age of 17, I wanted to
race here.” With his father he always talked about his dreams of
doing the Dakar. Mick:,,My father died at the age of 60 of cancer. For
me that was the moment to say: o.k., I’m going to do it. I always felt
the top 20 is doable, and that’s my aim.” Slowly approaching his aim
Mick feels confident and is determined to finish this Dakar. “It is
far tougher than anything they threw at me in Africa. The dust makes
it extremely tough, imagine riding with zero sight.”
2007 was the first time together with Henk in the Team Honda Europe.
“I introduced Henk to Honda in 2006, and together we’ve been trying to
get Honda Europe involved. The interest worldwide in the 450 is very
strong; some of the best enduro riders in the world come to the Dakar.
Of course it would be great if Honda but also the other 450
manufacturers were more involved in the Dakar.”
“Compared to my first Dakar, I’ve learned so much. Sometimes I put too
much pressure on myself. Days like today and yesterday, when the
stages are long and tough, I like the most. But I am still creeping up
on the list, towards my goal! I always feel it’s a massive privilege
to be here, and I try not to forget I should enjoy it as well, because
it’s something really special!”
Mirjam Pol is now leading the ladies ranking in Dakar, with the
withdrawal of Tina Meier and Annie Seel several hours behind her.
At the time of writing this newsletter (12:27 AM UTC+1) Pritulyak was
still on the stage, together with a lot of competitors from other
teams. Today is a very important day in Dakar, and a lot of the
competitors have great difficulty to finish it.
Tomorrow morning we have more information for you, or check
http://tenharkeldakar.nl for the latest ranking of Dakarsport / Team
Honda Europe members in the rally.
Team Honda Europe – http://www.honda-dakar-rally.com/