Four months ahead of the start of the most trilling motorcycle enduro races and two-and-a-half months before the closing of the registration, the 2011 edition of the Dakar already has a full house motorcycle and quad riders.
The registration period for the 33rd edition of the Dakar Rally - that will take place in Argentina and Chile from January 1st to 16th next - is already nearing the end.
As in the race as well, the motorbikers were the fastest to send in their registration forms and dossiers and their number has reached and even surpassed the limit set by the organizers of the rally raid.
In order to provide for the best possible management of the motorcycling event, only 200 motorbikes and quads will be allowed to start the race in Buenos Aires.
As requests for further registrations in both categories are still flowing in, a waiting list has been established to allow a few more riders to join the race should any of the already registered contenders defect in the weeks to come.
For the 2011 Dakar, motorbike manufacturers are moving towards 450cc bikes or less. After Aprilia, which managed to put Francisco "Chaleco" López on the podium for his very first time in the race, it is now BMW that has registered and is sporting big ambitions with the creation of the Speedbrain BMW Rally Team.
The new team immediately hired David Frétigné and Frans Verhoeven, who first test rode the machine in 2010. Bearing in mind that all the riders in the elite category have to register with a 450cc, the new outsiders will race on equal terms with the usual duel contenders Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, who both won the last five editions of the raid they participated in on KTM bikes.
In the struggle for final victory, we will also have to count with the expertise of Yamaha with 450cc bikes, and on Honda and Sherco riders of the likes of David Casteu.