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While the Bahrain International Circuit may be famous for its four-wheeled action on track, riders on two tyres are proving that their own mean machines are just as thrilling and engaging to watch.
The Bahrain Motorcycle Racing 600 (better known as the BMR 600) series is currently underway, providing thrills and spills on specifically-selected machines in two different classes.
Its fourth round of the season, to take place on Saturday, will be a special occasion as two exciting young riders from Europe, Mika Perez and Fabrizio Perotti, will be competing for the MSK Racing team.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Salman Al Khalifa is the team owner of MSK, which is a major sponsor of Perez. Perotti races in the same Spanish championship as Perez and was also enticed to ride in Bahrain by Shaikh Mohammed.
Perez is an up-and-coming Spanish rider from Altea. The 18-year-old’s finest achievement to date is winning the 2016 Wil Sport European Junior Cup, powered by Honda.
After racing minibikes in the Valencian Championship in 2007 at the age of eight, Perez quickly rose through the ranks and by 2012 he had already won the national ‘Cuna de Campeones’ MiniGP140 title. In 2013, he made a one-off appearance in the European Junior Cup as a wildcard lined up by Honda Spain. The following year, Perez impressed many by finishing sixth in his first full EJC season.
In 2016, Perez was a master of consistency as he claimed one win, three second places and one third in the first six races, before securing a fourth place in the last race in Jerez to secure the championship.
Perotti is a rider in the FIM EWC World Endurance Championship for the Moto Ain Yamaha team and has also been regularly involved in the RFME CEV Superstock 1000 with Kawasaki Team Speed Racing.
Series promoter John Beddall, who originally came up with the concept of BMR in 2011, believes it will be an exciting round of the championship with its added star attractions.
He said: “These two are excellent riders and it will be a great opportunity to see them race in Bahrain, and also for our usual riders to face a much stiffer challenge and get tips.
“They were very interested in coming here and racing with our guys. With the winter in full swing in Europe, there are no opportunities to race at the moment so these guys are itching to get back on their bikes in a competitive format.”
The race will be the fourth round of six in the BMR 600 Championship, and as part of the BIC’s latest National Race Day. Other races which will thrill fans are the 2,000cc Challenge and the Bahrain Superbike (BSBK) Championship.