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The 2021 Dakar Rally race will be starting this week. Here is a quick overview of what we can expect from the upcoming racing season. The 43rd edition of the off-road rally race will be held between January 3 to 15, 2021 in Saudi Arabia. The scrutineering and a small prologue stage before the actual rally race will be held on January 1 and 2, 2021.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the motorsport events across the world have either postponed or cancelled. However, as things settle down across the world, the world's toughest and dangerous rally race is back to test the limits of participants and their machines.
Hero MotoSport In 2021 Dakar Rally
Hero MotoSport will be entering the 2021 Dakar Rally with three riders: Sebastian Buhler, Joaquim Rodrigues and our Indian ace rally rider CS Santosh completing the line-up. The company has made several changes to the motorcycle and has been improved in top speed, acceleration along with a larger fuel tank for a better range — here are all details.
TVS Pulls Out Of 2021 Dakar Rally
The TVS motorsport division along with Sherco Rally participated in the previous editions of the Dakar Rally. However, the Indian manufacturer has confirmed that it will not be participating in the upcoming 2021 Dakar Rally. It will not be providing any technical support for the Sherco Rally team in 2021 for the rally race.
TVS has announced that it will continue to sponsor the Sherco Rally team along with the Indian rider Harith Noah. The Sherco Rally Factory Team riders Lorenzo Santolini and Rui Goncalves will continue to ride the Sherco TVS RTR 450 Rally motorcycle — here are all details.
Ashish Raorane Enters The 2021 Dakar Rally
Ashish Raorane will be competing in the 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally. Ashish will be competing as a privateer in the Malle Moto class. He will be riding the KTM 450 Rally Replica motorcycle, that comes purpose-built from the factory and is sold in very limited numbers.
The Malle Moto class is one of the toughest categories in the race, as the riders are not allowed any support from the team. According to the rules, the rider will be alone through the entire duration of the race. However, the Dakar organization will assist the riders in this category by transporting all the required tools and accessories.
2021 Dakar Rally Participation
A total of 295 vehicles are entering the 2021 Dakar Rally competition across all classes. This is the lowest number of entries in 25 years, which could be due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in the world. The upcoming rally edition will see a total of 501 participants competing in the race, which includes 16 women.
In addition to the main race, the 43rd edition of the event will also have a competition called the Dakar Classic. In parallel to the main race, the cars and trucks that participated before the 2000s will be appearing in the race, making a comeback.
The 2021 Dakar will have 108 motorbikes, 21 quads, 124 cars and SSVs and 42 trucks, which are expected in the upcoming season. Additionally, 26 vehicles have been entered for the new "Dakar Classic" category.
Route & Stages
The upcoming edition of the Dakar Rally will start on January 3, 2021, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The rally race will conclude in the same city on January 15, 2021, after passing through various areas including the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. The entire race will be resting for a day during the racing season in Ha'il on January 9, 2021.
The 2021 Dakar participants will be covering a total distance of 7,646KM, out of which about 4,767KM will be the special section. The total race distance has been divided into 12 stages. Also, the total race distance is shorter by 300KM as compared to the 2020 Dakar Rally race map.
The 2021 edition of the Dakar will continue with handing the participants the roadbook for each stage just before 15 minutes from the start. Additionally, organizers will be installing an audio alert on all vehicles. It will warn the participants when they are reaching a dangerous section of a stage.
One of the key rules changes includes mandatory use of airbag jackets for two-wheeler and quad bike racers in the event. The organizers have also announced the motorcycle riders will be restricted to use just six of rear tyres for the entire event. Also, no maintenance work will be allowed during a refuelling stop.
Thoughts About The 2021 Dakar Rally Starting In Saudi Arabia
The 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally will be the first major motorsport event to start next year. With most of the rally events cancelled during the year 2020, the 43rd Dakar Rally race is among the most anticipated event for participants and fans. Stay tuned for a complete race report from each stage of the rally.