The opening motorcycling stage of the 2013 Dakar has been a sort of introduction to the whole thing, with the bikes that left Peruvian capital Lima in a proper ‘parade’ fashion to take on a 250 km liaison to get to Pisco, where they had to face a 13 km timed stage. Chilean Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez (KTM 450 Rally) turned out to be the fastest rider: he won the stage and became the first leader of the 35th edition of the most important motorcycle rally-raid of the season. Lopez, 37, covered the 13 km in 7 minutes and 52 seconds, winning by a single second over Dutchman runner-up Frans Verhoeven (Yamaha) and with fellow Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) clinching the third spot on the podium just 5 seconds behind.
Fourth place went to another Chilean rider, Patricio Cabrera (Kawasaki, +11 “), followed by the number one favorite of the event, Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM, +13″), and the David Casteu (Yamaha, +15 “). Portuguese Ruben Faria (KTM, +19 “), Argentine Javier Pozzolito (Honda, +21″), Norway’s Pål Ullevalseter (KTM, +26 “) and Spaniard Joan Barreda Bort (Husqvarna, + 29 “) round off the Top 10 at the end of today’s special. Helder Rodriguez of Portugal, the main rider for the returning Honda HRC team, had to settle for the 29th place.
All the first 32 riders in the standings are contained in one minute, which says a lot about the actual importance of today’s stage. All in all, it has been a sort of prologue for what is coming next: tomorrow the contenders will have to face a 385 km stage with start and finish in Pisco, with 242 km of special stage (mainly sand) and 85 km liaison. See the results of the first stage of the 35th edition of the Dakar right after the jump.
We are just a week away from the 2013 Dakar Rally, the most important raid of the season that will kick off in Lima, Peru, on January 5. The event has abandoned the African continent a few years ago in favor of the rugged and beautiful landscapes and forests of South America but, at least as far as the motorcycle competition is concerned, the main theme will once again remain the same: hunting for KTM, the Austrian manufacturer whose hegemony in the event lasts continuously since 2001, when it was the late Fabrizio Meoni to triumph in Dakar with the LC4 660R.
After the announced defection of Spaniard Marc Coma - who’s still struggling with a shoulder injury suffered in the Rally of Morocco - Frenchman Cyril Despres becomes the obvious favourite for the win as he and his injured teammate have won the last seven editions of the Dakar. Certainly the absence of Coma was a blow to the KTM Factory Team - which had to call in American Kurt Caselli in his stead - but the proven competitiveness of both Despres and the KTM 450 Rally machine will surely allow the squad to fight for its twelfth consecutive win.
As specified by the KTM team menager Dorringer, Caselli will be able to race without any pressure on him to achieve a top position. The American will be supported by the two regular “water carriers” of the KTM Rally team, Ruben Faria of Portugal and Juan Pedrero of Spain. This year KTM is also fielding a Factory “B” Team made up of South African duo Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk, who are joined by Poland’s rising rally star Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski.
The 2013 edition of the Dakar, the most important event of the rally season that always characterizes the beginning of the new year is just around the corner, and in these days most teams are gearing up for the event. Among the main favorites for the win there’s the KTM Rally Team, which will field 3-pronged line-up of acknowledged specialists made of Frenchman Cyril Despres (4 times winner of the race), Spaniard Marc Coma (3 times winner) and Portuguese Ruben Faria.
The three aces of the Austrian team will compete aboard the KTM 450 Rally, and it is pretty clear that all three can be considered as very strong conteders for the triumph, with Despres and Coma that have won all of the the last seven editions of the race. However, KTM itself can be considered as the real and absolute ruler of the ‘Motorcycle category’ of the Dakar Rally, given that they won every single one since 2001, when it was the late Fabrizio Meoni to inaugurate a series of 11 consecutive victories for the Mattighofen-based manufacturer.
In view of this very important event, KTM has released a bunch of official photos starring the team that will be in charge of extending that impressive winning streak, that is threatened by the official Husqvarna and Aprilia teams and by the brand new Honda official squad, which will field the bramd new CRF450 Rally. The Dakar 2013 will go through the different and breathtaking territories of Peru, Argentina and Chile (in this order), with arrival scheduled for January the 20th in Santiago.
Apparently the film crew did not obtain the necessary permits from the Ministry of Tourism and Enviroment to ride along the Casamanya Peak and other spots of the Andorran Pyrenees and one of the city councils has started legal action to fine both two riders (Despres resides in the Andorran town of Arinsal) for ‘violating’ the area without permission and the fine could be between 50 and 500 euros, which is really peanuts if you compare the feedback and publicity that the Freeride 350 received after this video.
Source | motofan.com
If you follow the Dakar rally you know who Cyril Despres is, while Cedric Garcia is a mountain bike rider who has won several MTB championship races and both take to the rocky hills of the Grandvalira in the Andorra mountains with KTM’s Freeride 350.
Debuted at this year’s EICMA show, the KTM Freeride 350 is an entry-level, user-friendly and street-legal enduro that - which also comes in a zero emissions version - and is set to hit the European market in 2012.
Here’s a preview look at the new KTM 450 Rally that will race at the 2011 Dakar rally with a line-up of impressive riders. While KTM got its nose a little out of joint over the new rules for the Dakar rally, it got to it building a new bike and has on-board for this year riders Cyril Despres, Marc Coma, Juan Pedero and Ruben Faria.
While we imagine KTM might dominate the 2011 Dakar all the same, if not because of its new technical development then because of its long experience, we can expect a more balanced rally that might challenge the KTM status quo in this sector. Aprilia put in a good performance last year and is back again this year with its RXV twin-cylinder, and there is some mixed competition turning up that might put a spanner in the KTM decade-long dominance.
The KTM 450 Rally is KTM’s response to changes which initially threatened to stall its 10-year dominance of the Dakar rally. While Aprilia proved in the last edition that it knows how to build a competitive 450cc bike with its Aprilia RXV 4.5, KTM’s first reaction was to drop out. Rather than having a little tantrum though, the company luckily came to its senses and started to develop its own 450cc model. After all, it’s one of those companies you’d expect would be able to innovate and adapt.
Which means we can now see Cyril Despres putting the new KTM 450 Rally through some teaser paces in this video. What’s more, KTM has been intelligent about the way it’s going to develop its new bike, concentrating not just on its offroad characteristics but also what it needs from a touring point of view to get it through the tough Dakar.
KTM is therefore probably looking at a chassis option of a steel trellis frame similar to the 690 Enduro as it would be better able to fit additional equipment. In this video Cyril Despres tries out the new KTM 450 Rally on his private track in the Pyrenees before it debuts in October at the Rally de Maroc. We might get to see it at the 2010 EICMA, too.
Dakar 2010 has concluded with Cyril Despres and his KTM taking out first place. Pal Ander Ullevalseter came second, also on a KTM, but what a success story for Aprilia! The RXV 4.5, ridden by Francisco Lopez, came in third in a fantastic result for its first official participation in Dakar.
The final stage was to Buenos Aires was won by Ruben Faria, with Ullevalseter coming second and sealing his overall place. On his overall victory, Despres said it was a hard Dakar this year, but he never doubted he would win it. The last stage was fast and easy and takes the riders into Argentina’s capital after 15 days and nearly 9,000 km of racing. See the final results first to fifth, after the jump.
Over the shortened route for the Stage 9 of Dakar 2010, Marc Coma won the stage with his KTM. The stage was about 170 km long due to severe fog in some areas, and it also marks the last stage in the Acatama desert.
Francisco Lopez‘ new Aprilia RXV 4.5 continues to do well at third overall and coming in third for this stage after Cyril Despres with his KTM. The brand also took out fourth spot, before Yamaha came in fifth with rider David Fretigné. Despres is in first place overall before Stage 10 starts.
1° #1 Marc Coma (SPA) KTM;
2° #2 Cyril Despres (FRA) KTM;
3° #9 Francisco Lopez (CHI) Aprilia;
4° #4 Pal Anders Ullevalseter (NOR) KTM;
5° #12 David Fretigné (FRA) Yamaha;
The Aprilia RXV 4.5 has just won its first 2010 Dakar stage, with rider Francisco Lopez on board. The whacky but cool bike is a new entry for Aprilia, with the change to 450 cc models making it competitive this year. It has some nifty features in addition to the Dakar-needed help like the additional fuel tank and navigation equipment.
Lopez won the fifth stage in Aprilia’s first ever Dakar victory, crossing the Acatama desert in five hours and 52 minutes. Marc Coma experienced problems with the rear wheel of his bike, meaning he fell to 19th place. After the jump is a video with some great footage of the fifth stage, and the Aprilia win, as well as the placings for this stage. The sixth stage sees the riders cross the Andes, completing 670 km.