“I always wanted to race in the desert. Participating in the Dakar Rally has always been a secret wish for me. Even when Miran Stanovnik of Slovenia raced there years ago, I regularly followed his races and successes. Even then I wanted to try it myself, but the main problem was always finances. The desire for the Dakar Rally has been growing inside me for a few years. I like to do navigation, I like to be alone on a bike and with nature. The Dakar is a race with oneself. A race in which nothing is clear until the last meter. A race in which everything changes instantly. You can have a perfect day, but by the next stage, it’s all over for you. What matters most to me is that the people who supported me and believed in me were proud. I just want everyone to know that I’m aware of every penny I’ve received and that I didn’t take it lightly. I still remember when I pull out my phone and started reading the messages on my phone and the tears came to my eyes. I could feel the pride. I felt like all the hard work had paid off. I hope we’ll write another story together. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was a huge learning opportunity for me. My major goal was to improve my riding in the dunes, make as few mistakes as possible. I am even very happy about all the problems I had. Theoretical knowledge is one thing, but sooner or later you have to experience things first hand.”
It was his destiny. After years of competing on dirt bikes and becoming a test rider for references such as Akrapovic and KTM, Toni Mulec finally had his first taste of the Dakar last year. The Slovenian who has a massive experience in terms of enduro and motocross taking part in ISDE events as well as races like the Enduropale du Touquet, showed up on the Dakar with very little rally-raid time. It however went beautifully well for Mulec who finished the rally at an excellent 24th position overall even managing to finish in the top 10 of the stage heading to Shaybah as the sand specialist that he is. For this second go at the Dakar, the 38-year-old switches from Husqvarna to KTM and will be part of the Bas World team. After a very convincing 11th spot at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Mulec fine-tuned his preparation at the Morocco rally. He’ll now be hoping to carry on improving and move up the standings.