Matthias Walkner: “I’m actually excited to tackle my subsequent Dakar Rally. It’s at all times an enormous occasion for us and it’s the one you at all times wish to win. With so many days racing, over so many kilometers, it’s positively the hardest race on the calendar. It sounds just like the organizers have deliberate an particularly robust route for 2023, and with a couple of rule adjustments thrown in, I believe the race will current an enormous problem. I’m nonetheless coming off a 12 months the place I missed numerous races after receiving surgical procedure to my shoulder, so hopefully I don’t get any points there. However in fact the aim is to win. I do know I’ve a tremendous staff round me, and the bike is working rather well proper now – all of the testing and growth has actually come collectively. The Dakar at all times throws up a couple of surprises, however I really feel I’m tremendous ready for this one and I’m wanting ahead to getting began.”
Toby Worth endured a tricky 2022 season that noticed his huge potential knocked by a street e-book subject on the Dakar, adopted by a crash in Morocco later within the 12 months, which pressured him to withdraw from the Rallye du Maroc whereas preventing for the win. Nevertheless, the skilled Australian is aware of that something can occur in rally and has already put his troublesome 12 months behind him to concentrate on the Dakar. Proud of the event carried out to his KTM 450 RALLY machine over the summer season’s testing, and assured that the navigation-focused 2023 Dakar will swimsuit his skillset, Toby is fired-up to assault the formidable occasion.
Toby Worth: “The 2022 Dakar didn’t fairly go as deliberate for me. I had a problem proper firstly on day one with one notice within the street e-book, and that made it actually robust to get again in rivalry with the entrance runners for the remainder of the occasion. I do know my tempo was there, however rally may be robust and typically issues simply don’t go your manner. We had an enormous hole in the course of the 12 months and put that to good use testing with the staff. I felt nice going into the Rallye du Maroc and my tempo there was good, it’s simply unlucky a crash put an finish to my race. We’ve acquired some extra testing to do now in December forward of a brief break over Christmas, however then it’s straight again to it on the finish of the 12 months. I’ve had 5 podiums on the Dakar, and I do know I’ve the tempo to win – the whole lot simply wants to return collectively and I’m certain I may be up there preventing for an additional title.”
Trying ahead to racing his second Dakar Rally with Purple Bull KTM, Kevin Benavides can also be centered on rewarding all of the exhausting work put in by the staff with a win. The Argentinian has loved a stable 2022 season with podium leads to Chile and on the closing world championship spherical in Spain. With one other 12 months of expertise gained racing the KTM 450 RALLY, Benavides feels snug on the bike and with the staff and heads to Saudi Arabia assured and extremely motivated for fulfillment.
Kevin Benavides: “2022 has been actually good for me and I’m excited to hold this sense into the 2023 Dakar. Though my closing consequence wasn’t nice on the 2022 race, I do know I had the velocity to do higher. Abu Dhabi was additionally robust with a technical subject close to the tip, however once more I used to be nicely inside the highest three on tempo. After spending the summer season testing with the staff, we made numerous adjustments to the bike, they usually paid off with a podium on the Atacama Rally and a robust end in Morocco. Ending as runner-up on the closing spherical of the 12 months was nice and actually helped to construct my confidence forward of 2023. I’ve been doing numerous work with my coach all year long and really feel ready each bodily and mentally forward of such a protracted Dakar. I’m wanting ahead to it and might hopefully safe one other podium consequence for myself and the staff.”
Norbert Stadlbauer – KTM Rally Group Supervisor: “Our KTM riders can’t wait to race the Dakar. Toby is match, nicely, and stuffed with confidence – he’ll undoubtedly be aiming to carry house his third trophy on the 2023 occasion. Matthias has been present process an intense testing and coaching program since having his shoulder repaired. The brand new guidelines and lengthy occasion ought to swimsuit his type, I’m actually wanting ahead to seeing what he can obtain on the race. Lastly, Kevin has had a superb 12 months and has proven actually good velocity on the bike. He is aware of what it takes to win, so if the whole lot falls into place he will certainly be up there. General, we have now spent the 12 months making numerous enhancements to the KTM 450 RALLY. The 2023 Dakar is wanting prefer it’s going to be extra demanding than ever, however we’re 100% able to race!”
Robert Jonas – Head of Motorsports Offroad: “With three former champions within the staff, Purple Bull KTM are wanting super-strong for Dakar 2023. It’s a massively vital race, not only for the riders and the staff, however for KTM as a complete. Everybody has put in numerous work over the 2022 season, each by way of racing the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship, and in creating the bike. With a number of rule adjustments and a protracted, 14-stage occasion forward of the staff, something can occur on the Dakar. However I imagine we’re prepared for something and as at all times they are going to struggle their hardest to retake that iconic trophy.”
The 2023 Dakar Rally begins on December 31, 2022 with a brief Prologue stage, adopted by 14 robust levels of racing earlier than the rally concludes on January 15, 2023.