KTM’s Lopez Withdraws From Desafio Inca Rally

KTM Racing on Monday announced that factory rider Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez of Chile has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming Desafio Inca Rally, part of the Dakar Series, due to start on October 3, 2013. KTM factory team manager Alex Doringer said Lopez was very disappointed not to be riding in the Inca, a chance to race in front of his many fans and on terrain very similar to the desert plains at home in Chile.

The popular Chilean has decided not to ride in the Desafio Inca because of recurring back pain. Although a tough decision, the break will give him a short additional recuperation time ahead of the final round of the World Cross Countries Rally Championship in Morocco scheduled to start on October 13, according to KTM.

“Clearly Chaleco is disappointed not to be racing and he has promised to return to compete in front of his South American fans at the first available opportunity,” according to Doringer. Doringer added that the team had decided that Chaleco should not risk anything ahead of the upcoming Morocco Rally, which represents the factory team’s final and very important preparation for the Dakar 2014.

Winning four of 14 stages at the 2013 Dakar rally, Lopez finished third overall on an all-KTM podium with winner Cyril Despres, and Ruben Faria. Lopez also competed in the 2013 Sealine Rally in Qatar, finishing fourth, as well as sceond in the 2013 Desafio Ruta 40. Lopez races in the official KTM factory team together with Marc Coma, Ruben Faria, and Kurt Caselli.

Photography by Rally Zone