Having secured a fourth UAE Sportbike Championship recently, Mahmoud Tannir believes he still has the motivation and hunger to challenge for more silverware.
Tannir has been in stunning form all season, winning six races and finishing second in four of the twelve races, before clinching the championship in round six.
Despite the success on track, it’s been a difficult season off it for the Honda rider as crashes and bike problems curtailed an otherwise victorious season.
“It was one of the toughest seasons for me, competition wise at the beginning but mostly on the mental side later on,” Tannir told Sport360.
“I had the most amount of crashes for few reasons, couple of own mistakes and trying to understand new tires, but mostly due to a technical problem that we only managed to find out about it just before the end of the season.
“The worst thing for a racer is not knowing the reason of crashing out as you end up going in circles trying many things, but ultimately we found the problem and had to bring in new parts. After this it was normal business again.”
Tannir, who lives in Dubai and has been competing in the Sportbike Championship for over ten years, went into the final round with a commanding 37 point lead and needed only to finish on the podium to secure the trophy, making for a less tense race day.
In an ultra competitive 600 cc competition, Tannir’s victory makes it a four titles since 2013, but it’s his latest triumph that the Lebanese rates among his greatest.
Earlier this year, he lost a friend and competitor Federico Fratelli, who died after his bike crashed during one of the rounds of the championship at Dubai Autodrome.
“Fredrico’s death had a big impact on everyone and myself included. It affected the racing atmosphere here and also made finishing the season very hard,” Tannir said.
“But I chose to honour him in the best way possible by trying to win this championship. I was lucky to share a podium with Federico and I’d like to want to dedicate my fourth title to him.”
With the popularity of Sportbikes continuing to flourish in the region, Tannir believes organisers need to capitalise on its growth.
“We have championships in three countries in the region and always new faces emerge. Now there is a new track in Kuwait which will be a good addition to the region and the sport as well,” he added.
“It’s good that we can all compete in different championships to raise the level of the sport in the region, but the organisers here need to work better on making it more affordable to everyone and especially for racers coming from abroad to compete in the UAE also.”