Our Story So Far
Vendetta Racing UAE was formed in 2007 to compete in the new Sportsbike Championship held at the newly-opened Dubai Autodrome.
Team founder, Alan Boyter competed in the 2007/08 season aboard a Suzuki GSXR 600. It was a baptism of fire for the rookie rider, but that experience laid the foundations for bigger and better things to come.
The following season Boyter partnered with current UAE sportsbike champion, Mahmoud Tannir who was then also starting his second season. With two new bikes, (Yamaha R6) and a season’s worth of experience under their belts, Vendetta were becoming a credible race team. Race after race the results improved and with came it minor sponsorship deals.
Going into the third season of racing the decision was made to invest more into the team, the thought being that a well put together private team would attract more media attention and with it, larger sponsors.
New bikes again, this time Triumph 675 Daytona’s built by T3-Racing in the UK who were running the triple challenge series in the UK. With T3's expertise to get the best out of the bikes and yet more racing experience, both Boyter and Tannir did well during the 09/10 season both achieving podium finishes.
Yet it was the 10/11 season that really put Vendetta on the map. The team picked up a major sponsor in the way of YAS Marina Circuit and put together a highly successful season with several podium places. It was also the season where Vendetta competed in a first overseas event. Qatar’s MotoGP support race provided Vendetta with a first and second place in the 600cc class and saw the riders claim a number of 1000cc scalps along the way.
With a taste for racing on foreign soil firmly established, another plan was soon hatched. Vendetta Racing was to race the Isle of Man TT circuit in the Manx GP. With Steve Blackney riding and Boyter as crew chief, a long-standing and highly successful partnership was formed.
As practice for the race, Boyter and Blackney competed in 3hr Endurance races in the UK, organised by Hottrax. Using the same R6 to be used in the Isle of Man, (two riders, one bike) the duo learned how to compete for longer periods compared to that of short circuit racing and, of course, learned how to race in the wet and grey conditions of the British weather.
With the 2010 Isle of Man, Manx GP on the Vendetta CV, the boys repeated the adventure in 2012, all the while competing in key endurance rounds in the UK.
Back in the UAE, the 11/12 season was an overwhelming success for Team Boyter/Tannir. The baby blue Triumphs won every single race in the 14-race season with Tannir marginally beating Boyter to be the 11/12 Sportsbike Champion.
By the time the 12/13 season rolled around, Vendetta had undergone another evolution. A move to the 1000cc category was announced and the proven two-rider team of Boyter/Blackney was reunited.
The partnership cut a swathe through the Sportsbike ranks with Blackney and Boyter claiming the lion’s share of podiums, a state of affairs that continued into the 13/14 season. In fact, so dominant was the Vendetta brand, that Boyter claimed the overall 1000cc invitational class for two consecutive seasons.
And it was 2013 that saw Vendetta undergo another innovation - using their fast accumulating experience as a launching pad into another type of racing.
As Blackney, a nine-time Middle East Motocross Champion cut his teeth in off-road events and Boyter, although traditionally a track rider had been riding the desert for training, it made perfect sense for the team to enter the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
The Desert Challenge, part of the FIM cross country rallies championship, is an international event featuring all the major factory teams.
This was quite a different challenge compared to short circuit racing in Dubai but buoyed by the experience of racing the Isle of Man, Qatar and the UK, which each featured their own complications, Vendetta was poised for a first foray into the sand. An international event certainly is a step up but at least it was on the dunes of home.
For the 2013 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, a two-man team was established. Boyter, a first timer to off-road racing but with plenty of desert training under his belt was joined by new Vendetta recruit, David Mabbs.
Mabbs was switching codes after a highly-successful nine years in the Desert Challenge on four wheels. The pair were ably assisted by off-road specialist, Blackney who, with nine Desert Challenges to his credit as a rider, was in prime position to support what could be considered a fairly green partnership.
Mark Reid from the UK was also pulled in as crew to ensure the two Honda 450CRFx motorcycles were kept running throughout the five-day event.
For a first time out, a 14th place for Mabbs and 16th for Boyter were very respectable finishes. It was also the first time the team had received points in a world championship event.
The 2014 Desert Challenge echoed the format of the previous year and again the boys achieved respectable finishes. Vendetta Racing was slowly becoming known within the off-road rally community.
By the 2015 Desert Challenge Vendetta had grown in size, adding two additional riders to the team in the shape of Paul Middleton and David McBride. Both riders had competed in the event numerous times, McBride having lined up for the majority of the Desert Challenge events since it started in 1991.
Now competing head-to-head with professional international teams and mixing it up with the works teams such as the KTM Factory team and HRC Honda, Vendetta received the 'Team Moto' award for the 2016 event.
By 2014 Vendetta had stopped racing in short circuit events (other than entering one bike in the odd one-off race) and filled the void by entering the Emirates Desert Championship.
More riders were added to the line-up for these championship with Chris Dunn and Tom Childs getting a first start for Vendetta while Blackney made a desert racing comeback. With a spread of riders covering most of the available classes, Vendetta won the 2015/16 Championship.
To date, Vendetta still compete in the local Baja championships, consistently taking home podium finishes at every round.
The year 2016 heralded the start of the Dubai International Baja. Another FIM World Championship event held over two days. Entering a four-man team for the first event held in the UAE, it was McBride who won the race outright, a perfect start to a new championship round of which Vendetta have competed in year on year.
2017 marked another change for the Vendetta boys. As well as competing the Desert Challenge, the first round of the FIM cross country rallies championship, Vendeatta’s team of Mabbs and McBride went on to vie for the Veterans Trophy across every round of the world championship. This took in Qatar, Chile and Morocco but sadly food poisoning on the last day of the Rallye du Maroc for the entire team (and half of the other teams) put paid to the chase.
Instead Vendetta took home a second in the Veterans Trophy and 10th and 11th place for McBride and Mabbs in the World Championship standings overall. A fantastic result for a private team.
Another milestone in the Vendetta Racing achievements was a single bike entry, in the form of Mabbs in the Africa Eco Race.
A 14-day event, covering more than 6000kms, the 2019 Africa Eco Race started in Monaco, included a ferry ride to Morocco, then saw racers ride through Mauritania finishing in the Senegal capital of Dakar.
Mabbs finished in 9th place in the 450 class and 11th overall. A stunning achievement in a race where just finishing is held in high regard.
From 2017 to date, Vendetta Racing have again raised their game. As well as competing with its own bred riders, the team now support international riders and rent 'ready to race' motorcycles for events such as the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
International, multi-day events are a challenge in themselves to for overseas private riders due to the extensive support, logistics and local knowledge required but with the team's experience and set up, race packages are now offered to international competitors.
This can be as simple as mechanical and logistics support (Vendetta did this for two riders in 2018 and one rider in 2019) or full support and bike rental (one rider 2019).
Mabbs and McBride realised their off-road dreams in 2020, entering in the third chapter of the Dakar and the first one ever to be held in Saudi Arabia.
Initial plans were to enter a 6 bike team but due to logistical issues and unknowns due to the race being in a new country so it was just our 2 core riders. Both entered into the Malle moto class, the toughest class where no support is available and everything you need must pack in a small metal trunk.
Sadly the dreams were cut short. Day 3 seen Mabbs took a tumble on rocks, trapping his leg under the bike, breaking his tibula and fibula in several places.
McBride survived the rocks of the northern territory of Saudi and was slowly making headway through the field on day 6 when disaster struck, a broken fork leg on his KTM. A Failure which none of us have ever seen before or since.
Dakar 2022, We have unfinished business!