At the jubilee 40th “Dakar” KTM will try to win the famous rally-marathon for the 17th time in a row. How this task will be difficult, and who of the opponents of the Austrian brand has the ability to interrupt such a long winning streak? Official site of the rally-RAID has estimated alignment of forces.
“The chances of winning have ten riders” – gave its forecast for the current winner Sam Sunderland.
Forecast British rider demonstrates how the situation has changed in the motorcycle category compared to the times dominated by Cyril despres and Marc Coma. The new leader KTM is well aware that in the course of the rally-RAID dreams of victory can break down in unexpected ways. He learned this from his own experience this year, when torrential rain in world Cup final in Morocco drowned his bike in the dirt and said goodbye with hopes for the title.
The winner of “Dakar-2016” Toby price also has something to say about Fortuna. A large part of the year, the Aussie has recovered after a hip fracture, who received when falling at the fourth stage of the rally-marathon in January.
But this experience of the two leaders does not take brand KTM the rank of the main favourite on the road to a record 17th consecutive victory. At last year’s rally-RAID third rider Matthias Walkner took second place and celebrated a victory at the rally of Morocco, whereas Antoine MEO finished the race in fourth, proving that it is not worth it to write off.
Rivals KTM for almost two decades to be content with second places and victories in individual stages, but that doesn’t mean they gave up. For example, with Honda power always to be reckoned with. Let Joan Barreda Bort is not the most stable racer, but definitely very fast, considering Victoria on the 19 special stages. Great hope Honda can also become the silver medalist of the race 2015 Paulo Goncalves, if fully recovered from a recent crash in training. It is not necessary to delete from the favorites list, Kevin Benavides. The Argentinian went on “Dakar-2017”, but at the rally of Morocco was a serious competitor to Walkner and finished second.
Yamaha after his return to the Dakar rally finished on the podium with David Fretigne (2009), elder Rodriguez (2011 and 2012) and Olivier Bamom (2014). A new impulse team gave the young riders: Adrien van Beveren (fourth place in 2017, Franco Caimi became the best newcomer at the “Dakar-2017” (eighth place), Xavier de Soltre last season won the Rally Merzouga, ranked fourth on the stage in Argentina and fifth in Chile.
The most stable racer in two of the last “Dakar” Pablo Quintanilla will speak again on the Husqvarna motorcycle.
That, total with Sunderland is 11 racers in the list of contenders.
There are on the “Dakar” participants in the group, whose fate depends entirely on the availability of necessary tools in the trunk, equipment and spare parts. They have no technical support teams, and to service their motorcycles or ATVs they have to sacrifice sleep.
In 2018 in the extreme category, Original by Motul, which is named after the title sponsor Motul, claimed 28 brave souls, among them the bronze prize-winner in the category motorcycles 2014 Olivier Payne. Former factory Yamaha rider will be faced with new conditions and compete with rivals, have experience of playing all alone. Will follow with interest the developments!
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