The epic Dakar Rally started in Paraguay on January 2nd and it has already showing signs of being the toughest ever, with hot favorite and last year’s winner in the motorcycle category – KTM’s Toby Price – crashing out when in the leading position. Toby is not alone of course, with over 25 top riders already withdrawing due to crashes and injuries, but now the heat is really on to see if KTM can retain their Dakar crown and win it for the 15th time.
Adria Mobil has participated in the Dakar with world-class partner, KTM, every year since 2013 and this January 2017 is no exception. The route started in Asuncion on January 2nd with a modest 454km test and each day the rally raises the game until the 14th when competitors and their vehicles finish at Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Adria’s provides a small fleet of motorhomes for the KTM and Husqvarna riders and key support team members. Dakar is the ultimate real world test of quality and durability – not to mention the motorhomes provide some much needed respite for the riders at the end of most of the stages.
Each day the motorhomes motor ahead of the rally and set up basecamp, traversing all kinds of terrain and unmade roads, in parallel often to the actual rally competitors. This year even by stage 4 the Dakar has seen hailstones the size of golf balls, torrential rain and lightning strikes too. Later in the race the vehicles also have to cope with extremes in altitude and temperature.
Adria fleet at Dakar 2017:
The following Adria motorhome models will tackle the 2017 Dakar with KTM:
- Sonic Supreme 710 SL
- Matrix Plus 670 SL
- Sonic Plus 700 SLT
Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner are the men to follow in the KTM team.
The KTM riders will be under extreme challenge from rivals Honda who see 2017 as a great opportunity to topple the champions. With Champion Toby Price now out, the lead KTM rider is the popular Austrian rider Matthias Walkner, who won the Cross Country Rally World Championship in 2015. He is perhaps now the strongest contender for this year’s Dakar amongst KTM’s talented team of riders, with team mate Sam Sunderland also tipped for glory.
Pablo Qunitanilla’s Husqvarna is also a main threat.
One Adria Matrix is also being used by KTM sister brand, Husqvarna, by Pablo Quintanilla who won the Cross Country Rally World Championship in 2016 and by Pela Renet who is multiple World Champion in Enduro. Pablo is currently proving to be the strongest threat from KTM team’s sister team Husqvarna but lets hope KTM in whichever guise, continue their Dakar dominance.