Repsol riders in Dakar 2006: Jordi Viladoms
Your discipline has always been motocross, what motivated you to take part in the Dakar?
"They first offered me to do some raid tests in Tunisia. The experience was very different to what I expected and I liked it a lot, so when they asked me to race the Dakar I didn't even think about it. I had always thought about taking part, but it seemed so far away."
What does the Dakar mean to you?
"Right now a challenge. It's a very hard race, putting the rider both physically and mentally to test, and I really love getting motivated for something like that."
Which will be your task? And your aim?
"I'll basically try to learn, to help my team-mates and to reach the finish at Lake Rose."
You will participate in one of the best structures and with the best riders, is it an advantage or an inconvenience?
"It's a big advantage. I feel really lucky for being in the Repsol KTM Team, because it means to start in the best possible way. Most of the riders have had very complicated beginnings and it took them a lot to count on something like what I'll be having. I'm a privileged person."
This will be your first competition on African ground, what do you think you are going to find?
"Now I start to understand it a bit better, because I've been doing some tests in Tunisia and Morocco, but I was really shocked the first time. It's a totally different terrain with totally different landscapes compared to what I was used to. In the desert it seems as if there was nothing, but it's the contrary, there are countless surfaces, vegetation, dunes..."
What feelings have you got after the tests in Morocco?
"Very positive ones. I've been riding through completely wild places, where there's only you and the bike so you just have to buck up. The dunes were the most amusing thing. I also felt really comfortable on the bike, although it's very different to what I was used to so far, both as regards weight and dimensions as well as the behaviour. The tests have been very good to start getting used to everything and understand the reactions."
How is the relation between you and your new team-mates?
"We knew each other from the world of enduro, where we had met in races such as the 6 Days. The relationship is very good."
What would you highlight as a personal quality of yours?
"I'm calm and reflective. I think everything over before taking any decision, but I think fast."