The third season of the Emirates Desert Championship concluded on Saturday with the annual prize giving taking place. UAE Motorcycle Club President Mohammed Ben Sulayem was on hand to crown South African Ross Runnalls as the new Overall Moto champion.
Riding for Liberty Kawasaki, Runnalls is the third different rider in as many seasons to take the top spot, following on from inaugural champion and compatriot Sean Gaugain in 2013-14, and current Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship rider Jake Shipton, who was victorious on a KTM in 2014-15.
“I’m really happy to have taken the title this season. I’m naturally a motocross rider, so it’s great to win my first baja championship amongst some top class competition,” told Runnalls.
“The likes of Mohammed Balooshi, Mohammed Jaffar and Mark Ackerman have pushed me at every round. We’ve had a ball chasing each other through the dunes all season and I’m already counting down the days to round one of next season!”
Second overall for the season was Emirati legend Mohammed Al Balooshi, on crutches following an injury gained during the second round of the FIM Cross Country Rally World Championship in Qatar last month, and Briton Olly Eveleigh. Both the second and third place riders were riding KTM machinery.
Among the supporting classes, Warren Christie won the Over 450cc, Janne Tuohino was victorious in the Masters Class, Tom Childs was first among the Marathon Class riders, and Sune Schaffler and Vicky Northway were tied for first place in the Ladies Cup.
In the Quad Class, Mansoor Al Suwaidi made it three different Emirati champions in as many seasons, succeeding Mohammed Al Shamsi and Humaid Al Mashghouni.
The final trophies awarded on the day were for the team competition, which was one by the Vendetta Racing KTM UAE squad of Alan Boyter, Benjamin Merlot, Michael Winter, Clinton Wyngard and Steven Blackney. The Sandy Helmets Team were runners up with last season’s champions, SRG Husqvarna, in third place.
The fourth season of the Emirates Desert Championship will consist of five rounds throughout the UAE and begin in October 2016, and you can find out more at the official Facebook Page HERE.