Today, we launch a new section on REVV Travels’ blog, featuring interviews with personalities from the world of motorcycling. We couldn’t have started better than with rally rider Albert Martín. At just 33, he has become a prominent figure in Spanish motorcycling.
A Spanish Rally Champion, 3rd in the European Rally Championship, and 3rd in the Original category of the 2022 Dakar, Martín has just won the Addax Rally in Morocco. He’s now eyeing victory in the 2024 Dakar Original to support his charitable project, Vida Perra. In this interview, he shares his secrets, motivational tactics, and dreams yet to be fulfilled in motorcycling.
REVV: Hello Albert! To start off, could you tell us more about your journey in the competitive world of motorcycling?
ALBERT: It all began in 2006 when I was 16. I convinced my parents to buy me a bike, a KTM 2504T, which was a challenge to start. I began training in motocross and competing in the Catalan championship. A knee injury in 2008 forced me to step back from this world. However, during the 2020 pandemic, I bought a trail bike for outings with friends, but my nature led me to rally-raid within a few months, thanks to Isaac and Carles.
Fresh from winning the Addax Rally
Albert recently triumphed in the inaugural Addax Rally in Morocco, a grueling 1,000-kilometer race through the Merzouga desert, spanning sand zones, rocky tracks, and the famed Erg Chebbi dunes, all in six days.
R: Was this rally part of your preparation for the Dakar in January?
A: Yes, after a summer of physical training and motocross, I knew I needed sand experience. I chose to participate in two races in Morocco, which turned out to be excellent training.
R: What impressions did this competition leave on you?
A: It was a pleasant surprise. Being the first edition, anything could happen, but Fernando and Alvaro did a great job. The organization was top-notch, and the roadbooks were incredible.
R: What was the toughest part of this race?
A: Managing setbacks is always tough, but we maintained a good pace.
Focusing on the 2024 Dakar
With the 2024 Dakar approaching, Albert is also competing to raise funds for abandoned pets through his project Vida Perra.
R: How are you preparing for the upcoming months?
A: We’ll continue with gym sessions and long stints on the rally bike.
R: Tell us more about Vida Perra. How did it start?
A: My professional life is tied to the pet sector. I wanted to bring attention to the issue of abandoned animals.
R: Why choose the Dakar, especially the Original category (without technical support and solo)?
A: The Dakar is long, dangerous, and media-friendly, perfect for promoting Vida Perra. The Original category represents the true spirit of Dakar, and I believe I have the pace to lead.
R: Do you think this experience can foster empathy towards animals?
A: We hope to show, through the race’s hardships, the plight of abandoned animals. Like Dakar Original competitors, these animals rely solely on themselves.
R: How do you incorporate animal aid into your daily life?
A: Through my company Prozovalls and Piensoparaperro.es, we organize campaigns and fundraisers with animal welfare groups. Vida Perra has been a significant part of our collaboration with Revolución Pata.
R: Facing the toughest category in Dakar, what are your strategies and essentials?
A: Avoiding falls is key. Balancing between riding for 10-12 hours and getting enough rest is crucial.
R: What are your future plans regarding charitable competitions?
A: I plan to continue with Vida Perra and other charitable events beyond Dakar.
R: After multiple Dakar experiences, how do you manage your emotions?
A: Long rides can be mentally taxing. My trick is to play the same song on loop to lose track of time and focus.
R: How do you prepare for a challenge like Dakar?
A: Physical training, mental resilience, and technical guidance are crucial. Ivan has been a great mentor.
R: What makes Dakar unique compared to other rallies?
A: It’s hard to pinpoint, but the combination of ambiance, adrenaline, and struggle is addictive.
A Career Full of Achievements
Albert has a significant list of accomplishments: 3rd in the 2022 European Rally Championship, Spanish Rally Champion, and multiple victories in national and international competitions.
R: Is winning a priority for you?
A: Winning is always the goal, but the journey to get there is just as important.
R: Do you enjoy competing without aiming for the title?
A: Winning requires the right mindset and thorough preparation.
R: How do you ensure safety as a rider?
A: Each race has its nuances. Risk assessment and strategy are key.
R: How do you stay motivated for these demanding challenges?
A: Titles are memories of experiences. I look forward to creating more great memories.
R: How do you handle problems during races?
A: Staying calm and finding solutions is crucial. I recall a race in Extremadura where, despite a severe fall, I managed to win.
R: What’s the most common issue you face in competitions?
A: Breakdowns are generally preventable, so it’s about learning and adapting.
R: What safety technologies do you use?
A: The most advanced safety feature is the motorcycle airbag. Thankfully, I haven’t had to use it yet.
Dreams, Journeys, and the Future: Always on Two Wheels
R: What dreams do you have left in motorcycling?
A: I aim to participate in iconic events like the Six Days of Enduro and the Enduro race in Le Touquet.
R: Any other disciplines you’d like to try?
A: I’m drawn to supermoto and anything with wheels.
R: Any advice for our readers who love motorcycle travel?
A: Focus on enjoyment and always look for the positives.
R: How do you feel before and at the start of a competition?
A: There’s a bit of nervous excitement.
R: After 17 years in motorcycling, what have you learned?
A: This industry is driven by passion. It’s a life university, teaching resilience and perseverance.
R: What’s your favorite type of riding?
A: I’m particularly fond of rallying.
R: Your favorite routes in Spain and the world?
A: I’m not big on landscapes while riding, but Spain offers diverse terrains. As for the world, deserts are stunning.
R: Any favorite motorcycle gatherings?
A: I enjoy the local motoclub events for their great atmosphere.
R: How many bikes have you owned? Any favorites?
A: Between 20 and 30. My favorites are the Husqvarna Rally and the Super Duke GT.
R: Any advice for someone interested in trail riding?
A: Patience is key. Skills develop over time.
R: Finally, any dream motorcycle trips?
A: I haven’t planned any non-racing trips yet, but South America intrigues me for its diverse terrains.
We hope you liked this new section on the blog, as well as getting to know a little more about Albert Martín and his Vida Perra project, in which you can participate with your donations.