The duo of quad riders Antanas Kanopkinas and Adamas Gančierius announced at the beginning of the year that their main goal for this season was to have at least 30 race days to prepare for one of the biggest challenges – the upcoming Dakar Rally. However, when registrations for this challenge started, the team had to change their plans, as there will not be enough places for everyone at the upcoming Dakar Rally.
After submitting their applications, the team's athletes were told by the organisers that they would not be able to join the start line for the 2023 Dakar Rally. A. Kanopkinas, one of the team members, said that this news did not change their goal, which is still to start and finish the Dakar: "Sometimes things don't go according to plan - the Dakar didn't let us in for many reasons. If you are interested you can write to me personally and I will tell you everything, but our goal has not changed - our goal is still the Dakar."
Even more ambitious goals
It is said that a goal should be set in concrete and a date written in the sand. That's what the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team has done and the goal remains the same, but the date has changed. Although the 2024 Dakar Rally is still more than a year away, the team is motivated to prove its worth and abilities once again in that time.
"The plans have been severely disrupted, but the motivation is much higher than it was. We had to prove to everyone our own worth, worth of CFMOTO as well. Now we will have to prove our worth to the Dakar organisers ASO once again," said A. Kanopkinas.
The team has already drawn up a tentative plan for next year's events, which includes the Abu Dhabi desert challenge, the Rallye du Maroc, and individual rounds of the European Baja Championship, or even the entire championship. The quad riders are also planning to compete in separate rally-raid events.
The athletes say that they have been fully prepared for the Dakar Rally, with all the necessary equipment and spare parts, and even a service truck already in the preparation. So all of this will be used for other events.
In fact, the team still has more than one event this year. In September, the team will compete in the Balkan Rally. Although it had promised to enter, the team has cancelled the Andalusian Rally, as it used to be a ticket to the Dakar, but is now no longer relevant for that. Instead, the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team plans to compete in the 24-hour rally in Albania, where over 800 extremely challenging sportive kilometres are to be covered per day. The riders say the challenge brings a lot more action and, at the same time, more adventure.
"Motivation and preparation is 100%. We were fully prepared for the Dakar, but we will aim this energy elsewhere. After all, every rally, every start and every finish is not just for the sake of one goal - every race kilometre is a goal itself that we enjoy, improve and live for," A. Kanopkinas summed up, mentioning again that this change of plans has only added even more motivation and good spirit.