This edition of Local Focus looks at the Vendetta Racing UAE team ahead of their participation in the 2016 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
Led by Team Manager and rider Alan Boyter, this team of motorcycle-mad friends was founded in 2007 to provide some unity for their individual racing efforts in the UAE and abroad.
Very soon, the team will make their biggest assault on the Middle East region’s biggest event, the 26th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with a six bike line-up.
Those racing will include ADDC legends David McBride and Steve Blackney, with almost 30 starts in the event between them, each scoring their best results in 2001 with McBride 2nd and Blackney 3rd overall behind winner Cyril Despres.
Others tackling the race include ADDC regulars David Mabbs and Paul Middleton, the returning Martin Ashfield, and a sixth yet to be confirmed rider.
It’s a testament to the standard of the team that four out of their six bikes for ADDC are modern KTM 450 Rally Replicas, one of which belongs to Scotsman Boyter who will be renting his bike to a new rider for the event as he is forced to take on more team management responsibilities.
“While I would love to race the Desert Challenge again this year, I’ve decided to step aside this year to focus on running the team. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but thankfully I enjoy the team manager role just as much as the riding!” said Boyter, who finished his previous three events 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The Vendetta team proudly do all the preparation work on the own bikes, with many being engineering professionals, and are even in the process of converting a 1987 London Double-Decker bus into their new race workshop and hospitality.
As well as competing in international events like the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and the Emirates Desert Championship national series, Vendetta also compete in road racing, being mainstays of the UAE Sportsbike Championship, and even twice venturing to the famous Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man.
At the end of 2015, Vendetta branched out from racing into the customs marked, when Boyter rebuilt his Triumph Speed Triple into a Café Racer inspired special, taking a win in its class at the Gulf Bike Week show in Dubai.
Good luck to the Vendetta Racing UAE Team, and you can follow their progress on the rally through their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/vendettaracinguae/
Words: Stuart Murray
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