Dakar Rally 2015 By the NumbersFor fans of off-road rally motorcycle racing, the most wonderful time of the year arrives after Christmas and at the beginning of the New Year. This is when the world’s most talented dirt riders put their bodies, bikes and minds through near torture to complete the Dakar Rally – rightly coined as the “world’s toughest race.”
This year’s 37th edition is tougher than ever, placing motorcycles and four wheelers against each other and the dry terrains of South America. Upon completion, 5,775 miles will be covered in 13 days, with nearly 3,000 of these timed specials. And like the 2014 Dakar Rally, there will be only one rest day between stage six and 13.A mirror of 2014, Dakar Rally 2015 begins and ends in Buenos Aires, and will take competitors through three countries – Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. This year’s rally begins Sunday, January 4, and ends Saturday, January 17.In the motorcycle field, KTM has dominated the Dakar Rally since its first win in 2001 (Paris). That first title for the Austrian “Ready to Race” brand was earned by the Italian Fabrizio Meoni, who piloted a KTM LC4 660R victory. He completed the same feat in 2002 (Arras-Madrid) aboard the LC8 950R.Next to win for KTM was the Frenchman Richard Sainct in 2003 (Marseille – Sharm el Sheikh), then Nani Roma in 2004 (Arras-Madrid) – both piloting LC4 660R bikes.Then began the Cyril Despres/Marc Coma era – the Frenchman Despres earning five wins, and Coma four, including the 2014 Dakar Rally, which was also held in the same three South American countries slatted for 2015. This gives KTM 13-consecutive wins at the Dakar Rally (no rally was held in 2008 due to security issues when four French tourist where killed in Mauritania, North Africa).Despres split with KTM ahead of the 2014 Dakar Rally, competing for Yamaha. But in 2015, he switches to four wheels, spearheading Peugot Sport’s return to auto rally racing after a 25-year hiatus.Piloting his almighty KTM 450 Rally, Coma will be the only past champion competing in 2015. But that’s nearly a stat; much talent will be present by riders like Olivier Pain (Yamaha), Barreda Bort (Honda), Helder Rodrigues (Honda), Sam Sutherland (KTM) and Jodi Viladoms (KTM), to name a few.Only two Americans will compete in 2015 Dakar Rally – privateers Gira Tony (KTM, #119) and Narino Antonio (Husqvarna, #164).As of this writing, there are 166 motorcycle entries – and 88 of those are on KTM machinery. For the complete entry list, click here.Following are some preview stats of Dakar Rally 2015:Dakar Rally 2015 – The Numbers:
Dates for start and finish of the 2014 Dakar Rally: January 4-17 – Official ceremonial start in Buenos Aires on January 3)
Rest Day: January 10
Total route: 9,295 km (5,775.6 miles)
Total timed specials: 4,752 km (2,952.8 miles)
Longest distance in a single day: 1024 km – 636.3 miles (Stage 12)
Longest timed special: 781 km – 485.3 miles (Stage 8)
Shortest distance in a single day: 393 km – 244.2 miles (Stage 13)
Support vehicles: 3 x 26-ton MAN support trucks; 4 x air-conditioned Adria motorhomes for riders’ sleeping quarters 10-12 hours on the bike
Average rainfall in the Atacama Desert (Chile): 0 mm
Total number of competitors (in motorcycle class): 168
Dakar Rally 2015 Stage Info:
January 4 – Stage 1: Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz – 663 km liaison, 175 km special (838 km, 520 miles)
January 5- Stage 2: Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan – 107 km liaison, 518 km special (625 km, 388 miles)
January 6 – Stage 3: San Juan to Chilecito – 437 km liaison, 220 km special (657 km, 408 miles)
January 7 – Stage 4: Chilecito to Copiapó – 594 km liaison, 315 km special (909 km, 565 miles)
January 8 – Stage 5: Copiapó to Antofagasta – 235 km liaison, 458 km special (697 km, 433 miles)
January 9 – Stage 6: Antofagasta to Iquique – 369 km liaison, 319 km special (688 km, 427 miles)
Rest Day – Iquique (January 10)
January 11 – Stage 7: Iquique to Uyuni – 395 km liaison, 321 km special (717 km, 445 miles)
January 12 – Stage 8: Uyuni to Iquique – 24 liaison, 781 km special (805 km, 500 miles)
January 13 – Stage 9: Iquique to Calama – 88 km liaison, 451 km special (539 km, 335 miles)
January 14 – Stage 10: Calama Marathon Stage – 520 km liaison, 371 km special (891 km, 554 miles)
January 15 – Stage 11: Marathon Stage to Termas Rio Honda – 161 km liaison, 351 km special (512 km, 318 miles)
January 16 – Stage 12: Termas Rio Honda to Rosario – 725 km liaison, 298 km special (1024 km, 636 miles)
January 17 – Stage 13: Rosario to Buenos Aires 219 km liaison, 174 km special (393 km, 244 miles)
2015 Dakar Rally TV Schedule:NBCSN will provide broadcast coverage of the Dakar Rally 2015. The coverage begins Monday, January 5, at 4:30 p.m. ET, and the half-hour broadcast will highlight the previous day’s racing. This coverage continues weekdays at 4:30 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 a.m. during the rally.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to email@example.com and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!