Stefan Huber talks rally testing, rider characters and improvement by destruction!
Tag: KTM 450 RALLY
The incredibly tough Dakar Rally is definitely the highlight and most prestigious race in the calendar for the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team. However, the work never ceases; not only does the team race selected rounds of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, testing and development continues right the way through the year.
Just months after a disappointed Sam Sunderland crashed out of the Dakar Rally, the British-ace is back on the podium with a runner-up spot in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
We followed Jurgen van den Goorbergh in his run up to his final Rally Dakar entry; his final attempt at winning the Malle Moto class. Obviously we’re very curious as to how the Dutchman got on in 2018’s rally. The former MotoGP™ rider spills his guts on the hardship of the most grueling rally raid in the world.
It’s like a fairy-tale. In 2017, Matthias Walkner finished runner-up at the Rally Dakar. A year later, after working hard on both his fitness and navigation, he returned to the Dakar on the new KTM 450 RALLY machine he’d helped to develop. After two weeks of riding in one of the toughest Dakars ever, Matthias clinched victory – an Austrian rider on-board an Austrian machine, with an Austrian title sponsor!
As we reach the well-earned rest day of Dakar 2018, it can certainly be said that this year’s route so far has been one of the toughest. From the start in Lima, Peru to today’s rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, the competitors have passed through days of desert and will now head into the mountains, racing at an altitude of over 2,500 meters.
KTM has enjoyed no fewer than 16 consecutive Rally Dakar victories. Even since 2011, when rules changed and engine sizes were reduced to a maximum of 450cc in an effort to bring other manufacturers into the event, KTM have won every single race. With an all-new bike for 2018, KTM once again take to the start well-prepared, well-motivated and hoping to take win number 17 …
Winner of the 2017 Rally Dakar, Sam Sunderland has had a mixed season in this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. A title contender right up to the final round in Morocco, Sunderland endured a series of minor injuries and bad luck that eventually ruled him out of the running. Despite this, his pace throughout the year has been hugely impressive, with wins at the opening two rounds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Sam heads into the 2018 Dakar as the man to beat.
Now approaching its 40th year, the 10th to be held in South America, the Rally Dakar really is one of the toughest sporting events on the planet. More than 500 competitors will race for glory over 9,000 km of varied terrain through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. One of those competitors is Laia Sanz. Multiple world champion in trials and enduro, the ‘Queen of the Desert’ will be starting her eighth Dakar on January 6. The KTM BLOG caught up with Laia as she travelled to Morocco for her final training camp before the Rally starts in just over one month’s time.
With 16 consecutive wins at the notoriously tough Rally Dakar the KTM Factory Racing Team is gearing up for another tough battle in January with the sole aim of continuing this unbelievable success-streak.