Dakar and also previous ones have
shown that there is much more to lose
than to gain. You can be faster on the
straight sections, but then you can
lose a lot in the mountains and tech-
nical parts. We must also remember
that in Dakar we have 13 stages, and
an engine with performance mod-
ifications is not as reliable as one
without them. Around the engine we
modify almost everything: steering,
suspension, axles, wishbones, frame,
floors, tank, fuel system, seat, and all
electrics and the navigation system.
We leave something like 20 percent
of the original quad. It is based on
experience from 15 years of testing
and taking part in different rallies all
over the world.
If someone were to ask my advice
on riding Dakar, I would stress prepa-
ration. You can’t take on such a chal-
lenge when you don’t have enough
skills, experience and knowledge.
You have to be sure that you did
everything you could to face that
The next thing is to take it easy.
You can’t try to show that you are
fast on the first stages. You have to
think about the finish line, which
is 6500 miles ahead of you, so you
better ride cautiously. When it’s your
The motorcycles and ATVs use the same course in Dakar,
while the cars and trucks are allowed to use wider, less
demanding routes. This often means the ATVs have the lon-
gest time on the course.
On day eight, the rainwater mixed with the saline in the soil
to make a corrosive liquid that wrecked electrical components.