2012 Dakar Rally
The KTM Factory rally team is “Ready to Race” Dakar once again as it looks to take an 11th consecutive title.
And the 2012 Dakar title is more than possible due to the amount of talent the Orange Rally Family brings to Dakar.
The leading riders on the team, which is under the leadership of manager Alex Doringer and technical manager Stefan Huber, are two riders who recently renewed their contracts with KTM – Marc Coma and Cyril Despres.
Both the Spaniard Coma and the Frenchman Despres have three Dakar Rally victories each. Although both riding for KTM Factory, the two rivals will compete in respective liveries of their individual sponsors – Coma for MRW KTM, and Despres for Red Bull KTM.
And as always, both riders have their support riders, or “water carriers.” Joining Coma once again is his fellow countryman Juan Pedero, and joining Despres is Ruben Faria of Portugal.
KTM says all four will compete on the latest 450 Rally bike, which has “undergone overall updates and improvements to the 2011 model on which Coma and Despres successfully absolved the bike’s maiden Dakar ride, finishing 1-2 after 17 days grueling competition.”
These four riders recently traveled to Fontjouncouse in the south of France to further test the 450 Rally motorcycle.
But it wasn’t only the factory riders; there was one additional KTM rider in France training – KTM Enduro Factory rider Johnny Aubert. The French rider will enter the Dakar for the first time in 2012 as a privateer. KTM says Aubert will be piloting a standard KTM Rally bike that will be maintained by the KTM Customer Service, which supports the many KTM privateers who contest the rally (about 50 percent of the motorcycles at Dakar are KTMs).
Alex Doringer (KTM Factory Rally Manager) says: “What we want to do is to give Johnny a taste of what its like in the Dakar. His object not be to get a top result on his first time out, but to finish the rally and to learn as much as possible in the process.”
KTM reports that the Factory Team’s vast amount of equipment for the Dakar Rally is scheduled to leave for Argentina from the French port of Le Havre on Monday, Nov. 1. The 2012 Dakar Rally begins Jan. 1, 2012 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, and travels almost 3100 miles to finish in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 15.
Attached below is a video of the KTM Factory Rally Team and Aubert testing and conducting a photo shoot in France.