Thomas Berglund presented his new Husaberg Dakar motorcycle at "Karlbergs slott" castle in Stockholm to the public this week.
This was the first official display of his new Husaberg race bike for the Dakar race 2011 which will be his 5th Dakar Rally. The previous years results for Thomas in the race where:
- 2007 finished 19th
- 2008 finished 15th
- 2009 DNF
- 2010 finished 12th
In these previous races he was racing aboard KTM bikes, but with the new regulations of 450cc for this year for the top riders he has decided to use the Husaberg FE 450 as the basis of a special built Dakar bike.
The bike is about 20kg lighter compared to most competitors and the new Husaberg bikes have some great advantages such as the easier handling due to the 70° engine layout which is most important in a demanding race like the Dakar.
The bike has fuel injection that will automatically adjust to the big elevation changes that the riders will experience. And it also has a very strong gearbox which helps running the oil cleaner for longer duration.
On the down side Thomas admits that the time of building his race bike was too short to get enough testing done, so he will arrive in Argentina with almost no seat time at all on the bike. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything works well.
Thomas’ Team that is called "Team Scandinavia" and consists of the following riders:
- Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, Number 6, KTM (2nd place last year)
- Thomas Berglund, Sweden, Number 22, Husaberg
- Ronnie Bodinger, Sweden, Number 103, Husaberg (first time at the Dakar)
The goal for Thomas Berglund this year is definitely to finish inside the top 10 and he feels that he has never been better prepared physically for this race. But there is also a bit of uncertainty about the new navigation rules which mean that the riders have to rely heavily on old school navigation rather than on GPS navigation to find their way to the checkpoints.
Look out for the Camo-colored rider and his Husaberg.