Ned's event summary:
Tuareg Rallye 2013 - #97 Ned Suesse (team IYSK Wines) - final summary report
“Everything came up Ned!”
An accomplished desert racer and rally rider, not only is Ned Suesse one of very few Americans to have participated in the notorious Dakar Rally - but his solid finish (53rd position overall) in the 2012 event was particularly impressive for a debut rider.
However, Ned’s decision to participate in the Tuareg Rallye this year was a far more relaxed affair “I enjoyed the Dakar immensely, but preparing for such a big event is very tough on the rest of your life” he explains “So it was an easy decision to come here and get back to doing what I enjoy most - riding [racing] off-road with a great bunch of people somewhere new and exciting!”
Ned was aware the calibre of rider in the Profi class was very high, and that the event organizers had promised some seriously challenging stages with the move to Tunisia this year. “To be honest I was surprised at the technical nature of some of the special stages - they were more like a hard-enduro than a traditional rallye stage!” he exclaims.
With little pretension to placing particularly highly, Ned simply got on with the job of navigating well and enjoying the riding, freely admitting that soft sand dunes were not his speciality.
Fortunately Ned had chosen the ideal machine to ride in this event, a KTM 505 Enduro with a lightweight Rally Moto kit - built using spare parts from his Dakar bike. This allowed him to make the most of the available performance while many other riders on larger and heavy bikes struggled.
After finishing in 2nd position on the 4th stage - set against the backdrop of the Star Wars movie set - he summed up the day perfectly: “We used to bulls-eye womp rats back home!” he grinned - the quote illustrating how he was able to exploit his familiarity with similar terrain that he rides regularly in Colorado, while others clearly struggled with the changing conditions throughout the day.
A succession of strong stage finishes meant Ned was never out of the top ten overall, and the consistency and levelheadedness he had shown during the Dakar once again paid dividends - while faster riders made mistakes, Ned paid particular attention to his navigation (although he admits he found the accuracy of the roadbook very frustrating at times), and did not push himself or his machine unnecessarily - resulting in a podium position 46 minutes ahead of the third-placed rider.
Perhaps his whole ethos towards racing, and his participation in this event particularly can be summed up by the inspiration he employed to secure another 2nd place stage result - just one minute away from the race leader: “I’d reached the start of the final sector at about 11.45am, and already knew the hotel we’d be staying at that evening stopped serving lunch at 2pm - I factored that I could just about make it in time (which he did!), so that was all the motivation I needed... and it all came up Ned!”
Ned Suesse was part of the US rally team supported by Rally Management Services and If You See Kay Wines during the Tuareg Rally.
results #97 Ned Suesse (USA) - class: Moto Profi
Day 1: 10th
Day 2: 3rd
Day 3: timing suspended
Day 4: 2nd
Day 5: 2nd
Day 6: 4th
Day 7: 14th
2nd Overall (MP)