KTM Prepare For 2014 Dakar Rally
With the KTM Rally team putting the finishing touches to their 2014 Dakar Rally effort in Spain, Enduro21.com takes a closer look at the team’s final preparations before shipping everything out to South America.
Missing out on the 2013 Dakar Rally through injury, Marc Coma is back on the team and ready for action in 2014. Fit, fast and extremely motivated, the Spaniard is confident about the South American challenge that lies ahead.
Finally stepping out of former teammate Cyril Despres’ shadow, Ruben Faria can now focus on his own result in Dakar. Runner-up to Despres in January, the Portuguese rider should start the race as a favourite for a podium result. But the KTM rider is still not 100 per cent recovered from his broken wrist sustained in Brazil. Working hard on his fitness, Faria hopes be ready for battle come January 5th 2014.
Chilean’s finest Chaleco Lopez enters the Dakar Rally as a full factory backed KTM Rally rider. Third overall in 2013, Lopez has the speed, experience and skill set necessary to take himself to the top step of the podium. Now with the added reassurance of KTM’s support behind him, he’s a real threat to break the Despres/Coma eight-year win streak that has dominated the event since 2005.
New & Improved
KTM head to South America with their all-new 450 Rally. Going back to the drawing board, they’ve reworked it from the ground up. The bike is lighter, slimmer and more refined than ever before. Put simply it’s more ‘enduro’ and less ‘rally’. Quietly confident about what they’ve achieved, the team hope this is the bike that will guide them to their 13th consecutive Dakar Rally win.
All Hands On Deck
During the team’s final shakedown in northern Spain, they spent two day’s fine-tuning suspension before shipping everything out to Buenos Aires. Relaxed, calm and often cracking a joke, the team were upbeat about the progress they’ve made since their initial outing with the bike in Morocco last month.
With KTM’s photo shoot coming just days before Kurt Caselli’s untimely death in Baja, Caselli had more than earned his place on the team following his performance in 2013. Sadly missed, Kurt will be at the forefront of everyone’s mind as the team roll of the starting ramp in Rosario, Argentina on January 4th.