Tosha Schareina is the name you need to keep an eye on in the world of Rally Raid… if you haven’t heard of him already.
He signed up to the Honda Team in 2023 and has been on it from the get go. His first rally for the team was Sonora in April which saw him finish a fantastic second and he was the top Honda rider after five stages across the Mexico desert. You could say he took to the Honda CRF450 RALLY like a duck to water.
We had a quick catch up with the Spaniard as he prepares for the 2024 Dakar Rally.
“Ruben Faria (Monster Honda Rally Team manager) did a great job giving me that opportunity, as did the entire Honda team. I arrived in Mexico with very few hours on the bike but the truth is that everything went very well.
Of course that first race with my new Honda was incredible because it was my first ever podium in the World Rally-Raid Championship. I tried to ride without pressure and think only about having a good rally and that's how it happened.”
As if that didn’t show he was one to watch, he was the Baja Aragon victor and then at the Desafio Ruta 40 round of the World Rally-Raid Championship in Argentina, he took victory after four stage wins to finish ahead of eventual series Champion Luciano Benavides by over 11 minutes. He achieved what he’d always dreamed of, taking the top step on the world stage and was also able to return the trust that the entire team had had in him which now sees him as part of the factory Monster Energy Honda Team.
“It is a dream come true, since we were children we have all dreamed of riding an official motorcycle. Of course we have achieved great results but it is also the work of many people behind me, the real effort is theirs. From my family, mechanics, every member of the team and also those people who have given me the opportunity and believed in me.”
With an uncle racing motocross it rubbed off on the young lad from Valencia and when a seven year old Tosha first got a motorcycle for his birthday it set him on the path to all things two wheels.
So was the world of Rally Raid one that had always been on his radar?
Going through the enduro ranks he has never ventured far from the podium, twice-winner of the Spanish Cross Country Championship, second place in the Spanish Enduro E2 Championship and first in the Hispanic and Cuenca Rallies, he’d always had his sights set though on the big one, the Dakar.
His first venture at the world’s toughest race was in 2021 where he finished a commendable 13th and was also the second best rookie.
“The truth is that it was something new for me, it was my second time in the desert and I was very unprepared. I had almost no experience in navigation or riding in the desert so I tried to learn as much as possible but I think I did some good stages as I gained lots of experience in those two weeks of racing. I think we’ve all underestimated the Dakar in our first edition, it is the toughest off-road race in the world and it shows.”
The 2024 edition starts a bit later on the 5th January and will include a tough 48-hour marathon stage, huge dunes to master and tricky navigation. But if Tosha does what he did at the last round in Morocco, which was lead out the stages and still win those tests without any navigation issues, then he’ll be a force to be reckoned with at the opening round of the 2024 World Rally Raid Championship in Saudi Arabia.
“Navigation is something that I like, of course I still have a lot to learn which I do from all my colleagues. The feeling of not having any footprints on the ground and having to make all the decisions yourself is something I like.
Of course it is a sport that you have to be prepared for in all aspects especially with the mental side of things, it is very important as there are many hours of concentration on the road book. I think there is no other key than work and more work.”
Away from rallies, this happy go lucky rider seems to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie and it’s no wonder that he was recently signed up as a Monster Energy athlete.
“Honestly I have many hobbies as I think I like almost all extreme sports. Of course all disciplines of motorcycle, car, bicycle but also climbing, some surfing and now I want to get my skydiving license. And to get out of the routine I also like gaming a bit like Fortnite.”
With less than a month until the biggest event on the Rally Raid calendar, the 28 year old will no doubt be knocking on the door of stage wins, it could even be his year to have the prized Dakar trophy in his hands on January 19th in Yanbu. Maybe in the future on four wheels too.
“We are fighting to one day win the Dakar. It is a very hard way ahead but it is what we dream of. The cars attract my attention a lot and it would also be a dream to be able to race in the future but first we have a lot of work ahead of us.”