The Dakar 2017 promises to be a rally unpredictable and although all
indicates that the category of bikes will be a duel between Honda and KTM,
predictions are for breaking. In this aspect, the enormous talent and
speed that have been shown to several drivers, the classic ‘outsiders’ who do
appearance in each Dakar and the new navigation system can
shake the category. Something similar will happen in the category of quads, where
the absence of the brothers Patronelli opens the letter favorites. The usual
controversy, and the high degree of unforeseen events that accompany this category is a
cocktail very attractive.
Toby Price (#1) is the rival to beat. Current champion
Dakar, double winner of a round of the World FIM of Cross-Country and competing
for KTM, the brand possessors of the last 16 victories in the bike category,
everything is in your favor. However, the enemy is in ‘house’ with Stefan Svitko
(#2), the pilot has shown that without having a KTM official can fight for
the ‘Touareg’. Another of the great rivals to Price will be Pablo Quintanilla
(#3), third and fourth in the last two editions of the Dakar, and the tip of the spear
Husqvarna, branded as ‘sister’ in KTM.
Sam Sunderland (#14) and Matthias Walkner (#16) are the other
two strengths of KTM to maintain its hegemony. Both have ample experience
and speed, although the results in the Dakar have not finished exit. With
all, are a bet of weight against the army of the Honda and in which the tip
spear is Joan Barreda (#11). The spaniard is due to its great opportunity of earning
the ‘Touareg’ with a team built around him, and in which also
compete the experienced Paulo Gonçalves (#17), Ricky Brabec (#9) and Michael
Metge (#15), these last two as men of ‘second effort’ to the low of Kevin Benavides.
It remains to be seen if the new Yamaha WR450F is the height of
the solid mounts from KTM and Honda. If so, the veteran Helder Rodriguez
(#5) and Adrien Van Beveren (#6) will strive to improve the fifth and sixth
since harvested in 2016. By Sherco race Joan Pedrero (#12) and Adrien
Metge (#26). Both will be more focused on getting to finish in the top ten
of the test, but it can give the surprise. A goal shared with Gerard
Farrés (#8), and Ivan Cervantes (#25), spearheads the project of Himoinsa Racing Team, and also with Laia Sanz (#19) and Armand Monleón (#10), both with
Although the absence of the two brothers Patronelli by
discrepancies with the current format of the Dakar open, without a doubt the payroll of
favorites in the category of quads, this list remains quite small
in comparison with the category of motorcycles. In this aspect, and, despite the two
drop-outs in a row has joined in the last two editions of the Dakar,
Ignacio Casale (#251) is one of the biggest challengers to the ‘Touareg’, a role that
maybe share with Rafal Sönik (#250), every time that the Polish won the Dakar in
the category of quads in his edition of 2015.
It is difficult to say if Josef Machacek (#252) in this triplet
favorites. Although he ended up as the first quad in 2009, their last three
investments-a quad bike and two drive – have ended in abandonment. In this
look, the pilot of Chrudim you will have to prove that he will be again point to
the controls of the Yamaha QDY 700 L. on the contrary, Sergey Karyakin (#254) has
proved that if you can fight for the ‘Touareg’ after finishing fourth in
2016 and to have in his record a stage victory, coupled with in addition in the edition
of the Dakar 2014, the year in which he made his debut in the test.
All in all, this Dakar comes with a series of factors
they are the perfect breeding ground for pilots to south american to shine.
We talk about Nelson Augusto Sanabria (#257), Walter Nosiglia (#256), Santiago
Hansen (#261) or Paul Copetti (#263). The first three have been within the
top ten of the category on a regular basis in the last few editions of the Dakar and
have tonteado with the podium, while Copetti has suffered four retirements
consecutive despite his natural speed. To fight for this top ten
it should also be the pilot Spanish Jose Luis Espinosa (#275) thanks to its
new quad, although it should take a great step forward.