In Quotes: Start-line soundbites from the Dakar

Motivation, expectation and machinery are all on the menu when we talk to big hitters at the Dakar.
Ruben Faria ready to race at the Dakar
Ruben Faria ready to race at the Dakar © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool
By Tim Sturtridge

Marcos Patronelli #250 – Yamaha Racing Argentina: “I get the feeling that this Dakar will be really hard. None of them are easy, but this one will be long. Staying fully motivated will be vital, as well as doing what's necessary whilst trying to enjoy it and working hard on a day-to-day basis.”

Cyril Despres #1 – Yamaha Factory Racing: “There are lots of different phases: arriving in the country where we will start racing, sitting on the shiny brand new bike for the first time, then scrutineering and the podium ceremony… The more of these steps we tick off, the nearer we get to the start.”

Marc Coma #2 – Red Bull KTM Factory Team: “It feels like we are entering a new era of the Dakar. I believe that this will be the most open and competitive race I have been involved with. I think the race will be equally interesting for competitors and spectators.”

Chaleco Lopez takes his bike through scrutineering
Chaleco Lopez takes his bike through scrutineering © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Chaleco Lopez #5 - Red Bull KTM Factory Team: “Joining up with my new team this year has been an awesome experience. Now my aim is to repay the faith the team have shown in me and also give my fans in Chile plenty to cheer when the race arrives in my country.”

Ruben Faria #8 - Red Bull KTM Factory Team: “The big difference for me this year at the Dakar is that I’m nobody’s waterboy. I’m no longer a support rider so instead I can decide on my own tactics for the race. I’m looking forward to this extra element of the challenge.”

Helder Rodrigues #7 – HRC Rally: “This year with the separated routes between the bikes, cars and trucks, the organisers are probably going to put the bikers through something more difficult. For me this is a good thing.”

Go to our dedicated 2014 Dakar Rally event page for the latest videos, news, stats and interviews from inside the Bivouac of the world's toughest race.

Kuba Przygonski gets ready to roll
Kuba Przygonski gets ready to roll © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Sam Sunderland #18 – HRC Rally: “This team is so dedicated that the work has be going on right up until the start-line. We have had three days of testing in Argentina since arriving and now I’m ready for what I came here to do.”

Kuba Przygonski #15 – Orlen KTM Rally Factory Team: “This will be my first time racing the Dakar without Jacek (Czachor) and Marek (Dabrowski) so that will be a new experience. I still have plenty of unfinished business on my bike and I want to push from the beginning this year.”

Giniel de Villiers #302 - Imperial Toyota: “We will be paying close attention the whole way to minimise the risk of mistakes. If we can manage to have a clean race then there’s no reason why can’t find ourselves in a good position at the end of this Dakar.”

Carlos Sainz and Timo Gottschalk check their Buggy
Carlos Sainz and Timo Gottschalk check their Buggy © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Carlos Sainz #303 – Red Bull SMG Rally Team: “There is only one goal to arrive with when you have already won the Dakar before, that is the desire to go and win it again. My motivation comes from the passion I have for this race and also because I know I have a good car that will allow me to fight until the end. We've worked our socks off to make our car as fast as possible by making the most of the rules on buggies.”

Eduard Nikolaev #500 – Team Kamaz Master: “Our strategy won't change much in relation to previous years. We will drive together for the first part of the rally and then during the second week, Vladimir Chagin, our Team Manager, will decide who is the best placed among us to fight for outright victory.”

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