The 40th edition of the Dakar promises to be a rally unpredictable. The new proposal of the promoter of the race, with a route that returns to focus on the navigation and the dunes thanks to the return of Peru, draws a panorama in which to speak of favorites is really complicated. In the end, the motards are the ones who suffer most from the hardness of the test, the climate changes and the own doom inherent in the Dakar, in which a fall or a mistake can leave you out of the game. Even so, we’re going to do a review for the favorites for the ‘touareg’ in the category of bikes and quads.
beyond the expected duel between KTM and Honda, when speaking of favorites is best to look at pilot to pilot. And as it is logical, Sam Sunderland (#1) is the rival to beat. The KTM rider defends his victory in 2017 and does so in the first place to his team-mates. And is that the signature austrian has several candidates to victory. Matthias Walkner (#2) comes second in the last edition of the proof and Toby Price (#8) is the winner of 2016. Also with a KTM, but with the colors of the Himoinsa Racing Team, will look for the victory Gerard Farrés (#3) after stepping on the podium a year ago.
Honda’s account in his particular bet to win the Dakar with Joan Barreda (#5) as the tip of the spear. In a plane similar should be Paulo Gonçalves (#6), although their participation is in doubt after suffering a fall during a training prior to the test. Maybe a point of weakness for a brand like Honda, the whole time that there are riders that have proven to be very fast, and they can be a threat. Stefan Svitko (#9), the Yamaha riders Adrien van Beveren (#4) and Xavier de Soultrait (#23) or Joan Pedrero (#12) with the Sherco will be pilots to have very in account.
Within this group of drivers deserves a special mention Pablo Quintanilla (#10) after the great level shown throughout the season in the World Rally FIM Cross Country with the Husqvarna. In addition there are a number of pilot that can surprise and sneak into the Top 5 if the race flows in their favor. We talk about Franco Caimi (#7), Michael Metge (#14), Ricky Brabec (#20) or Adrien Metge (#24). In this aspect, should not give up to fight for the Top 10 three Spanish riders called to do very well as a are Laia Sanz (#15), Armand Monleón (#17) e Ivan Cervantes (#25).
The category of quads is by definition the most unpredictable and often decide to discard in the second week. The clearest example is that of Sergei Karjakin (#240), which defends victory after not being on the shortlist of favorites from the last edition. However, the Russian pilot knew how to avoid the problems and take advantage of the failures and dropouts of their rivals to finish to take the ‘Touareg’. His main rival was Ignacio Casale (#241), second-ranked and, despite everything, a big favorite to victory in the 40th edition of the Dakar, always with the permission of a Rafal Sönik (#243), who already won the Dakar in 2015.
knowing the conditions that decide the category of quadricycles, there are a large number of pilots that if you don’t fail and take a step forward you can aspire to all. Axel Dutrie (#245) was fifth in 2017, while Jeremias González Ferioli (#246) was at the gates of triumph in 2015 edition in which he finished second. Seem that the days of glory of the veteran Josef Machacek (#247) has already passed, but will never be ruled out, as several of the riders from south america as Nelson Augusto Sanabria (#251), Walter Nosiglia (#256) or Paul Copetti (#242). And seen its flashes in 2017, closes this list Kees Koolen (#254).