Kenny Gilbert’s Dakar Ambitions

Kenny Gilbert’s Dakar Ambitions sponsored by Imperium Fire Proofing.

Kenny Gilbert (32) learnt to ride a bike in South Africa, despite his strong Scottish accent and went on to become one of the country’s best off-road riders. After conquering 5 South-African titles, it was time for a challenge and the Dakar beckoned! The first step was the Merzouga Rally which proved to be an “eye-opener” and “a lot harder” than he expected. Gilbert therefore takes on the Dakar with immense humility on a Husqvarna he is used to riding. His goal for this year as a rookie – simply to finish but he has far bigger ambitions for the future.

Imperium Fire Proofing is a proud sponsor of the Pretoria boy and his Dakar ambitions.

Kenny says, ‘For the 2nd Dakar, I’ll have far bigger ambitions. I’m absolutely not worried about the physical aspect, it’s the navigation and working with a road-book that concerns me”.

The Dakar 2019 started in Lima, Peru on Monday 7 January. Gilbert worked for the week before in Peru preparing his mind and his Husqvarna in the 2019 epic. Kenny admitted, “We are just a few days away from the start of the biggest race of my life,” Kenny admitted on Thursday. He is very upbeat about the race saying that his only challenge is the ‘road book’, something he is not used to.

Imperium is following Kenny and we are sure he is going to make us all proud, the Dakar is no mean feat and remains one of the planet’s greatest adventure challenges! Go Kenny – Imperium is behind you over all those dunes!

The low down on Kenny

Mark: Husqvarna
Model: FR450 Rally
Performance tuner: Bas Dakar
Assistance: Bas Dakar Team
Class: M_G2.1: G2.1 Super Production – 0à 450 cm3

Dakar 2019 runs in Peru from 7-17 January. Follow Kenny’s progress on every day, or check in here for the basics!

Kenny ends 19th overall!

“Kenny Gilbert has ridden his Husqvarna to 19th overall and second among the epic race’s two-wheeler rookies. Gilbert was ecstatic with his first result in the gruelling ten day epic through Peru after starting with a cautious 40th position on the opening day before moving steadily up the leaderboard to end up 27th overall and third of the bike rookies by Saturday’s rest day. He continued to make up places through the second week to wind up in the top twenty and on the rookie podium.
“So that’s Dakar 2019 finished!” an ecstatic Kenny confirmed. “I actually cannot tell you how I feel right now — it’s the most incredible feeling of my life actually! “These last ten days have been my best ever — highs and lows — and some real lows — it was relentless, but you know what, we did it! “All you guys, my team, my sponsors, all the fans and my supporters back home, I just can’t thank you all enough for believing in me.”

Well done Kenny – we are proud to be your sponsor!

Day 8

South African two-wheel Dakar Star Kenny Gilbert was in his stride through the 2019 Dakar Rally’s 359km Day 8 jaunt over the dunes around the Peruvian town of Pisco. The start was foggy, but the temperature soon rose to 40°C as Pretoria rider Gilbert ran 19th on his Husqvarna early on, ultimately ending the day 23rd overall as he climbed to 21st overall and also moved up a place to third among the rookies.

Day 7

“Kenny enjoyed a positive seventh stage in spite of toughest conditions — as usual — on Monday. The stage comprised a 323km jaunt across the dunes around San Juan de Marcona started half an hour late to allow the fog to lift, but none of that proved a problem to the intrepid Gilbert, who ended 29th on the day and sits 26th overall and a close fourth among the rookies.”

Day 6

Multiple South African cross country motorcycle champion Gilbert who is riding the Dakar for the first time, wound up 30th on the day to climb up to 25th overall and third of the bike rookies.

“Stage six was probably one of the toughest I days I have ever ridden in my life,” Kenny admitted. “And that’s no understatement, let me tell you!”

Day 4

“Gilbert enjoyed a solid fourth day on the 405km run from Arequipa to Moquegua in Peru. Riding his Husqvarna conservatively on the first day of the 2-day marathon stage as there was no service assistance at the bivouac, Gilbert ended 28th on the day to move up another position to 27th overall and 4th among the rookies.”

Day 3

“South Africa’s Kenny Gilbert finally got into the real groove of his rookie Dakar Rally with a fine action-packed, if secret run to 27th among the motorcycles aboard his Husqvarna to jump from 40th to 28th overall and to fourth among the rookies.”

Day 2

“Kenny enjoyed a mixed second day following a difficult first sector Tuesday morning, but the Husqvarna rider came back strong to move up the order, finishing 42nd on the day to remain in 40th position overall and fifth among the rookies. Gilbert started the first real challenge of Dakar 2019 — a 342km racing stage across the dunes from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona in 40th position, with the bikes unusually running behind the cars.”