The art of riding a motorcycle skilfully is something mastered by the incredibly few. Across all its disciplines, the universe of motorcycling entails varying degrees of skill from the rider—from high speed corners in road races and GP circuits, to jumps and switchbacks on motocross tracks, and the inhospitable terrain of rally racing. Few riders are able to conquer the challenge of two-wheels across multiple disciplines.
Undoubtedly, winning the venerable Isle Of Man TT is no small feat, and doing so would drive you straight into legend status in the world of road racing. For James Hillier, winner of the 2013 Tourist Trophy, however, this isn’t enough. The champion recently announced that he is targeting to participate in the 2022 Dakar Rally. That means he would be the first Isle Of Man TT Champion to embark on such a grueling task.
The Dakar Rally is undeniably a hallmark event in the world of motorsports. Covering more than 500 miles of the most gnarly, sandy, and tiring terrain, the event is held in Saudi Arabia’s world famous sand dunes. It goes without saying that riding continuously in such difficult terrain would require tons of training—not to mention the challenges in adopting a new regimen to transition from road racing. However, I’m pretty sure Hillier will have no trouble adapting to the sport given how skilled he is on two wheels.
Hillier will be attempting to participate in the 2022 Dakar Rally with the OMG Racing team sponsored by Rich Energy. Initially seeking to participate in notable road races, Hillier, along with the team’s aspirations for road racing gold were all but thwarted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hillier hopes to participate in road races alongside training for the 2022 Dakar next year once events are allowed to resume.