Registration for the 2016 Dakar for motorcycles and quads closed on Wednesday, July 15, as usual, two months after it opened on May 15. The time has come for the selection of competitors, which will be a baptism of fire for the new sports director of the Dakar, Marc Coma.
For once, a multitude of riders submitted their bids to the Dakar organisers. Amateur and professional competitors from all over the world were required to fill in their bid documentation to enter the selection procedure.
Marc Coma, whose experience and keen eye will help determine who gets a place in the very promising 2016 field, is now in charge of the selection process, but the core concept remains the same: both skill and experience count. Safety is the number 1 concern and the Dakar is the toughest race in the world, so competitors must have solid rally raid experience.
Marc Coma: “We’ll pick riders who meet very specific requirements: experience in top rally raid events, navigational experience, their physical attributes and their training programme. The riders have sent us their ‘resumes’ and, although choosing is never easy, we’ve got to stick to our main objective. It’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for rookies and, in general, all the amateurs, who make up the vast majority of the field. They train hard to stack the odds in their favour to fulfil their dream: crossing the finish line in Rosario on January 16.”
The famous “letter” will be sent to competitors by the end of July, but the list of selected riders will be announced at a press conference held in Paris on November 18.
Registration will remain open until November 1 for cars, trucks and assistance vehicles.