Five little known facts about Team KTM at the Dakar

Copyright: © KTM Images

We’re just a few days away from the start of the most famous desert rally in the world, the 2019 Dakar Rally. This year, Peru plays host to all 10 stages of this prolific race and KTM are once again sending a strong team in hope of claiming an unprecedented 18th straight win.

In order to get the fan’s tails wagging before the first kilometres of the Peruvian’ desert are eaten up, KTM divulged some little known facts about Team KTM’s approach to the famous race.

Here are our 5 favourite things we didn’t know about the Dakar.

Petrol at the Dakar is not regulated by the organizers

The KTM team get their hands on the best fuel they can, preferably a minimum of 98 octane for maximum performance. During the race riders will stop at refueling points, which are placed so that there is never more than 250 km between stops. Riders aren’t allowed to accept fuel from spectators, although if they are forced to do this they’re usually way out of the running and protests are rarely made.

After a full day in the saddle, riders only get about 6 hours sleep a night

The race is gruelling and you’d expect that once a stage is over, riders eat then crash out for a well earned rest. But that isn’t the case. Riders have to go through the following days road book and attend the rider briefing before any sleep can be had. It’s a tough to make the start line each day, let alone finish the race.

When you’ve got to go…

You’ve got to go. There aren’t many clean flushing toilets in the middle of the Peruvian desert. And when you’re racing against the clock, time is of the essence. So yes, riders often have no choice to go en route. It’s safe to say a good shower is always necessary at the end of each day.

The KTM team has a support rider

Things always go wrong during the Dakar. That’s why Mario Patrao, Portugal’s most decorated off road rider is the designated support rider for Team KTM. He’s technically racing with the team, but if one of the riders competing for the win has an issue, Mario will be on hand to get them going again. His help could be the difference between a win and a retirement. Good on you Mario!

KTM haven’t lost since 2000

That record is ridiculous. Could you imagine your football team winning the league 17 seasons in a row? KTM have won every single Dakar since Fabrizio Meoni’s win aboard his KTM LC4 660 R in 2001. Even when the rally moved to South America in 2009, KTM kept winning. According to KTM, their success in the Dakar is purely down to the team working as one to produce an unstoppable force in what is truly the world’s toughest motorcycle event.

Hopefully you’re looking forward to the 2019 edition of the Dakar as much as us. And fingers crossed for an 18th KTM victory on the bounce.

You can keep up with Team KTM’s progress and read the full Dakar facts article on the official KTM blog here.