Who have been the dominant Dakar riders and brands in recent years?
KTM first won the Dakar rally in 2001 and will be going for the company’s twelfth consecutive victory in 2013. (There was no rally in 2008). In recent years the professional class has been safe the hands of KTM’s factory riders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres, universally recognized as the best in the world. KTM Rally Factory Team colleagues in Parc Ferme and the sharpest of rivals out on the track, Coma and Despres have won the Dakar alternatively for the past seven years. Despres triumphed in 2012 so it is Coma’s turn to try to steal the title in 2013.
When did KTM win its first Dakar Rally?
KTM first won the Dakar Rally with Italian Fabrizio Meoni in 2001, who rode a KTM LC4 660R. Meoni returned in 2002 to take a second victory riding a KTM LC8 950R. In 2003, Frenchman Richard Sainct won on a KTM LC4 660R. It was his third Dakar victory. The following year he was killed in an accident competing in the Pharaons Rally. In 2004, it was KTM rider Nani Roma of Spain who was first across the line riding a KTM LC4 660 R.
When was the start of KTM’s era of domination with Despres and Coma?
2005 was the beginning of a hard fought competition between the riders who have since established themselves as the world’s best – Cyril Despres and Marc Coma. Both ride for KTM factory supported teams. French-born but resident in Andorra, Cyril Despres took his first title in 2005 riding a KTM LC4 660R. The race also claimed the life of Meoni who crashed in Kiffa, Mauritania during the 11th stage of the race and later died of a heart attack. The 12th stage of the race was canceled out of respect for this 2-time winner. KTM’s Spanish rider Marc Coma was second to Despres laying the foundation for what has become one of the sport’s great rivalries.
The story so far:
2008: Rally cancelled
It goes without saying that the stage is set of a battle royal in 2013.