KTM had been unbeaten since 2001 when more than 140 riders lined up for the start of the 39th edition of the Dakar Rally in Asunción on January 2, 2017. Orange was once again the predominant color at the start line – over half of the competitors had opted for the machine that so often wins this event, the KTM 450 RALLY.
Tag: KTM 450 RALLY
As the most demanding rally race in the annual calendar the Dakar Rally requires serious navigational skills, with racers having to find their way through thousands of miles of rugged offroad terrain. The principles of rally navigation are simple – the course is marked on a roll of paper called the roadbook and there are checkpoints and un-manned waypoints that riders must cross.
Following his illustrious 10-year Dakar career, Jordi Viladoms hung up his racing boots at the beginning of 2016 to take on a key role within KTM’s rally team. Becoming the Sport Manager the Spaniard has been busy putting his vast experience to good use with the goal of guiding KTM’s official riders on their quest for more winning glory.
Living within an hour’s drive of KTM’s headquarters, Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team’s Matthias Walkner is Austria’s next big thing in international rally competition. A member of the KTM family for more than a decade, the 30-year-old rider from Salzburg enters his third Dakar Rally knowing he has what it takes to battle for the top.
It’s an unbelievable spectacle, this Snow Speed Hill Race in Pichl, in the Styria region of Austria: 170 competitors tear up the ski piste at Reiteralm on motorcycles and snowmobiles. Winter sports holidaymakers are rubbing their eyes in disbelief at this crazy carry-on as they sip their après-ski drinks. It was just a pity that this time one of the favorites was forced to be a spectator.
Passion to win is probably just as important as physical fitness and talent in offroad racing. With Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ivan Cervantes it’s clear that the passion and desire to race for wins is still very much apparent, despite the Spanish star being one of the more seasoned riders in the Enduro World Championship.
The Dakar trophy has been on tour since it was handed over to this year’s winner, Red Bull KTM Rally factory rider Toby Price. In what is unbelievably only his sixth Rally to date, the 28-year-old Aussie took the prestigious Dakar crown and has recently returned to Australia to begin the next phase in his program. We caught up with Toby during his journey up to Queensland to see if the Dakar glory has sunk in!
With the Dakar heading into its final stages we reflect on the comments made by the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team Technical Manager, Stefan Huber, who gave us his inside line right before the race began. It was a busy build up, but with things in full swing and Price leading the KTM campaign at present, it’s interesting to look at his predictions coming into the race.
Delivering a stand-out performance during his debut Dakar appearance last January, in finishing third alongside Marc Coma and Paolo Goncalves Australia’s Toby Price showed that he’s got what it takes to be a top Rally racer.