Wheels24

New engine rules for Dakar quads

2011-12-28 08:04

Marcos and Alejandro Patronelli return to take on the 2012 Dakar Rally though new engine capacity rules could open up the quad bike category.

Marcos (winner in 2010) and Alejandro (winner in 2011) took on the Dakar 2011, with the title-holder suffering from an ankle injury. Marcos had abandoned the race after three stages, leaving it up to his elder brother to take on competitors and ultimately triumph.

In 2012 the Argentine duo's position is far from certain especially as they will be deprived of the Yamaha 900cc they piloted in 2010.

RIVALS

Under new rules the limit has been set at 750cc for two-wheel drive quads, as part of a measure aimed at achieving consistency when it comes to vehicle power.

Argentinean riders remain key players in the race with Sebastian Halpern, Tomas Maffei and Jorge Santamarina winning a total of 10 stages.

Czech racer Josef Machacek aims to add a sixth title to his collection while Polish protégés Lukas Laskawiek and Rafal Sonik could emerge as top rivals for the Patronellis.

Christophe Declerck, who finished fifty seconds from the podium in 2010, will no longer be penalised by the lack of power that he blamed from the handlebars of his Polaris.