Dakar – Dakar moto 2019: update on the route and the favorites –


Dakar moto 2019: update on the route and favorites

Dakar - Dakar moto 2019: update on the route and the favorites -

The Austrian manufacturer KTM, undefeated on the Dakar motorcycle since 2000, is a huge favorite to his own succession in the 2019 edition – scheduled for January 6 to 17 exclusively in Peru – with his trio of official riders Matthias Walkner (winner in 2018), Sam Sunderland (2017) and Toby Price (2016)…


138 motorcycle riders are expected on January 6 in Lima (Peru) for the start of the 2019 Dakar, which spans 5,000 km – including 3,000 of specials – to be covered in eleven days. The arrival, scheduled for January 17, will also be in the capital of Peru where the entire 41st edition of the rally-raid will be held. A first in the history of the Dakar, always contested in several countries before that…

  • MNC file : All the news on the Dakar

The opportunity once again to wonder about the future of the "Dakar" as its field of action is reduced each year under the weight of economic and / or ecological pressures from the various host countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia and … And this, despite its transfer from Africa to Latin America in 2009. It’s a bit as if the 24H Motos du Mans were relocated to Qatar and planed at eight o’clock. !

The organizer ASO positive by highlighting the complexity of this 2019 edition, marked according to him by "the unparalleled intensity" of certain portions. The reason ? The fact that the course gives pride of place to sandy passages ("70% sand", assures Amaury Sport Organization) because of its route through the formidable Peruvian dunes, where many abandonments were recorded last year. 

"It’s a bit like competing in the Vendée Globe only in the roaring 40ths," said race director Etienne Lavigne, who is no longer assisted by former motorcycle rider Marc Coma. By leaving s the Spanish broke his last link with the Dakar where he won five editions on the official KTM… 

Who to beat KTM ?

At the time – between 2005 and 2015 – Coma and Despres shared the successes on the King of Rallyes, with one constant: the supremacy of the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM, undefeated in the Dakar since 2000. That is seventeen (17!) Editions consecutive wins by the Orange brand.

 Dakar - Dakar moto 2019: update on the route and the favorites -

The 2019 vintage seems to follow the same trajectory since "Katoche" aligns Matthias Walkner above, Sam Sunderland and Toby Price on his official 450 Rallies: nothing less than the last three Dakar winners on the most homogeneous motorcycle on the grid, at within the best-run team !

With sound, Walkner will wear the number "1" while his teammate Toby Price will have the plaque stamped with the number 3. And number 2? In theory, it goes to the Argentinian Kevin Benavides, second overall in 2018. But the official Honda rider, a little superstitious, prefers to keep "his" No. 47 on his CRF !

Within the Honda clan, Joan Barreda Bort will also try to win the cup in the Dakar. The Spaniard undoubtedly has the speed to succeed (22 stage victories), but must improve his navigation skills and better control himself: Barreda still too often goes wrong by forcing his talent.. 

Dakar - Dakar moto 2019: update on the route and the favorites -

It is also up to Honda – which also aligns the experienced Goncalves in its official team – not to make the same mistakes as in previous editions, both in terms of reliability on its CRF450 Rally and on a strategic level: remember that its four drivers of factory received a one-hour penalty in 2017 following illegal refueling…

Van Beveren "has the keys in hand to win"

KTM’s other main competitor is Yamaha, whose bike now shows the necessary speed and robustness. The Japanese manufacturer is fielding two particularly competitive French drivers: Xavier de Soultrait and Adrien van Beveren, triple winner of Le Touquet and a real sensation since his first Dakar in 2016.

 Dakar - Dakar moto 2019: update on the route and the favorites -

Remember that "VBA" occupied the top of the standings last year before suffering an eliminatory fall in the 10th stage, from which he recovered with broken ribs, a perforated lung and an injured shoulder. "It was very hard: I touched my dream with my fingertips and it fell apart", he recalls.

The 27-year-old rider is thirsty for revenge and intends to satisfy it by winning the Dakar 2019: "I know that I have the keys in hand to win," said the Yamaha official. "The competition will be tough but I’m not having complexes: they‘re all my friends, but I intend to beat them!".

Probable bursts are also to be expected from "old wolves of the desert" like Pablo Quintanilla (3rd in 2016) on his Husqvarna technically identical to the KTMs or from Stefan Svitko (2nd in 2016) on his private Katoche. The Metge brothers (Adrien and Michael), reunited for the first time in the French team Sherco, have for their part Top 10 goals.

Among the tricolor entries, we can also mention the friendly specialist in road rallies, who is about to discover the world of the Dakar within the 2B Moraco team. ! 

Six bikers on the Dakar 2019

We know that this 41st edition of the Dakar has two more female motorcycle riders than in 2018, six in all, with the arrival of the Spanish Sara Garcia and the Peruvian Gianna Velarde. The Iberian Laia Sanz (17th last year) will be the standard bearer.

Finally, 32 motorcycle and quad riders are entered in the trunk-motorcycle category – renamed "Original by Motul" -, therefore without any assistance or structure for maintenance and repairs … These courageous adventurers can be recognized by their bibs on a red background. , when that of the elite pilots is on a yellow background and on a white background for the rest of the participants.

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