Mandela Bay international racer Arushen Moodley has returned from Dubai with six wins from six starts under his belt. Competing at the Dubai Autodrome on the new Aprilia RSV4 for the Duseja Aprilia Team, Moodley has not been beaten yet in the Dubai Championship (10 events).
Here, the young champion tells of his trip:
“I knew this was going to be a tough race weekend, Scott Smart went to get some trick suspension bits from the UK so he was determined to win. Thursday’s practice went great. The Aprilia RSV4 and myself were in harmony and we were fastest in all the practice sessions by almost 1,5seconds. We are only allowed two sets of new tyres for the weekend, so I opted to use one for practice and the other for qualifying and both races.
Qualifying on Friday morning was great. I was 1,8seconds faster than Scott Smart, so I was quietly confident. In race one, the RSV4 was first off the start and first into turn one. I had Scott breathing down my neck – he somehow found a lot of pace and was matching my times lap for lap. I concentrated hard on putting in a few good laps and eventually just managed to hold him off to the chequered flag. Race two for sure was going to be an epic battle between myself and Scott. He saved his new tyres for the second race and I had to use the same tyres I used in race one. Another hole-shot into turn one – my Aprilia RSV4 was amazing off the start line.
I led for the first lap but then drama struck. My right hand ‘locked’ – I could not open my fingers to grab the brakes – I was devastated. How could this be happening – I’ve come all this way and now I’m not able to race because of some silly spasm in my hand? I had no choice but to pull into the pit garage. I could see the disappointment on the faces of my team. My team-mate Abdul Bin Laden’s personal trainer stretched my forearm and iced it which made it feel better. Lucky for me the race was red flagged due to a crash. I quickly put on my helmet, hopped back onto my bike and lined up at the start line for a completely new race. Once again I got the perfect start and broke the record on the second lap. I was pushing very hard but mid-race my tyre was losing grip and I started to fall back into the hands of the chasing Scott Smart. He got past me on the third last lap – we swapped positions every lap but eventually going into the tight chicane I set him up, passed him and won.”
Arushen was full of praise for his technicians Dean Bosch from Port Elizabeth and “Eddie” for preparing his RSV4.
Watch the races on Youtube: