Even your granny probably knows about the Dakar Rally, the world’s most famous off-road endurance race which has been testing motor vehicles of various types to destruction since 1978. But very few people truly appreciate the sheer level of commitment and meticulous planning this genuinely iconic event demands of its participants.
Now held in South America having relocated from the original Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal route due to security concerns, the event still demands phenomenal levels of endurance, skill and dedication. We’re talking almost 6,000 miles across some of the continent’s toughest terrain, some of it mountainous, in both the searing heat and the freezing cold, at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet!
Here we join the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team as they put their bikes to the test, making their final preparations for the 2015 event. Multi-time Dakar winner and Cross Country Rallies World champion Marc Coma is joined on the team by 2014 Dakar runner-up Jordi Viladoms, alongside Ruben Faria and Sam Sunderland. The riders, together with team manager Alexander Doringer, fill us in on the key challenges they face at what is the culmination of a whole year of careful planning and hard work.
Fully confident in their vehicles, which performed magnificently at the 2014 event and have been subject to only minor tweaks and adjustments, they tell us their main obstacle is a psychological one. Can they cope with the dread and anticipation as they face the hardest challenge on the Motocross calender? Based on the awesome riding on display here, you can probably bet on it.