New arrival has Tannir on track for UAE title bid
Mahmoud Tannir is hoping a new addition to the family will prove a good omen on the eve of the new UAE Sportsbikes Championship.
Tannir, the 2011-12 champion in the 600cc class, begins the defence of his title at the Dubai Autodrome on Friday, just two weeks after his wife Deborah gave birth to their second daughter, Naya.
And he said: “I won my first race after the birth of my older daughter Shamsa, so hopefully Naya will bring me good luck in the same way.
“It has been a busy few weeks with her birth and getting ready for the new season, but it is exciting to start again and we will be ready to get going on Friday.”
Last season proved a spectacular success for Tannir, with him winning 12 out of 14 races aboard his Duseja Moto Triumph. Emulating or even bettering that feat is a massive ask, and he knows he will have to be at his very best to stave off the challenge of his rivals.
“Winning 12 races was a fantastic achievement and we had almost a perfect season with the team and the bike performing very well,” added the Beirut-born Sport360-sponsored rider.
“It is hard to know exactly who your main rivals are until the racing starts but I know there will be some very strong competition.
“[Erikas] Savickas on the Yamaha bike seemed to get better with every race last year and also Joe Oxley finished well on the Ducati.
“Then there is [Surya] Raja, who won the Rookies’ Championship, and he will be hoping to do well.
“So I know it is not going to be easy, but I am feeling good and the bike is performing well. Can we win improve on 12 wins? Why not? You have to try and improve, but we know it will be difficult.”
Given his success last time, it is no surprise to hear that preparations have been focused on fine-tuning an already potent set-up. But away from the garage Tannir has undergone a rigorous training programme with sponsors Fitness First to ensure that he – as well as his bike – is in top condition.
“I feel fitter than last season and have been training hard at the gym. It is not only what you do on the track that will bring success but what you do off of it as well,” added Tannir, who also enjoys the backing of Oakley and Mobil 1.
“And with the full support of Duseja Moto and NGK, and increased support from our technical partners and sponsors, I feel confident that the team will be able to fight for the championship.”
Qualifying at the Autodrome starts at 09.45 with the first of two races scheduled for 11.20.