News 23 Dec 2013

Grabham readies for second Dakar Rally assault

KTM Australia rider to embark on South American challenge.

Source: KTM Images.

Source: KTM Images.

Australian desert racing hero Ben Grabham will depart home at the end of this month in preparation for the 2014 Dakar Rally.

The South American event will take place from 5 January in Argentina, and after finishing 15th on debut this year, he’s eager to use that knowledge to his advantage next month.

“It’s been a lot more relaxed heading into my second Dakar having a bit more of an understanding of what’s ahead, not like last time when I was trying to prepare for anything,” he commented.

“Last time I felt pretty fresh body-wise at the end, I was just mentally fatiguing from the concentration and the navigation. This time I’ll push on a bit more physically and hope that what I’ve learned about the navigation makes it easier mentally.

“This route will start in Argentina, which I’m looking forward to. I enjoyed it last year and found it very similar to Australian conditions, but it’s important to be up the front so as not to lose time in the dust.

“After that, instead of Peru we’re going to Bolivia for a day or two which is new to everyone so it should be exciting. It’s a bike-only section, so they should be able to make it more technical – I’ve been doing more technical riding on the KTM 450 Rally lately.

“Finally we go to Chile where they’ll throw a bit everything at us like dunes and dry old crappy desert, before we finish in Santiago.

“I was 15th last year so I hope to go a lot faster and put into practice everything I’ve learned over the last 12 months, but it’s a bloody long race so it’s about minimising mistakes.”

The famous Dakar Rally is the toughest off-road racing challenge on the planet, and this year’s 14-day epic traverses an 8743 kilometre route through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile with a total of 5228 kilometres of competitive stage.