KTM Fatory Team Riders (from left to right) Alain Duclos, Cyril Despres, Marc Coma, and Jordi Viladoms.
Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) No 1:
I am starting to feel quite at home here now. We were met off the plane by the guys from KTM Argentina, they organised a place for us to test the bikes, they organised a dinner for us and we have been treated like royalty. Everybody seems very enthusiastic about the race. This morning at the organisers briefing they announced that 80,000 people had come to see us at scrutineering and tonight all 500 competitors will do a demonstration lap of the town. They don’t know exactly how many people will turn out for that but I think there will be a lot. And then tomorrow morning the race gets underway. No prologue, no short European stages, just straight into a long stage. I can’t wait!
Marc Coma (Repsol KTM) No 2:
We have been here now in Buenos Aires since the 28th of December and time is starting to drag a little. The people have been super friendly and the city is beautiful but now I am ready to go racing. Tomorrow’s first stage is unusual for a Dakar start in that it is very long. Normally we only have a short special of 100 or so kilometres, whereas here it will be 400 kilometres straightaway. The first two or three days look very fast with not so much navigation and then after that things become a bit more ‘normal’. I am really looking forward to it.
Jordi Viladoms (Repsol KTM) No 9:
Scrutineering here went very smoothly and now my bike is waiting for me in the parc ferme. It has been pretty relaxed the last few days but everything is about to change and tomorrow we will have a very early start to get to the beginning of the first special.
Alain Duclos (Kaestle KTM ) No 14:
Starting a Dakar as a factory rider is a new experience for me. Normally, when you are a privateer, by the time you get to the start line you are already exhausted – there is so much to do. When you are a factory rider a lot of things are taken care of and I feel very relaxed. In addition my job is not to get on the podium but to support Cyril (Despres), so in a way I have even less pressure and can enjoy the ride.