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Don Hatton retires from the 2013 Dakar race


We are sad to announce that Don Hatton has retired from the 2013 Dakar Rally

Late in Stage 3 of the event Don was involved in a collision with one of the large race trucks. After a gallant attempt to keep the bike going with no navigation equipment, no driving lights and barely operational approximately 4km from the end of the stage the bike failed to re-start. He was brought to the end of the stage by Dakar medical staff, which follow the race to ensure the safety of all the entrants, and who had been following him since approximately 20km from end of the stage.

Don has not suffered any life-threatening injuries and appears to be ok.

We wish to thank all of Rally Raid Canada’s supporters, sponsors and fans. Hopefully we will be back for the 2014 Dakar !

For more information and photos check out www.rallyraidcanada.com

Rally Raid Racing Factoid – things you might not know or thought of :

These are huge events to finance, organize and facilitate. It takes thousands and thousand of hours of preparation and operational work to lay out the route, make sure there is enough fuel stops, man the check points etc.

To give you and idea of just how many people are involved, just consider how many medical staff there are. Four doctors on motorcycles to accompany the race, four doctors in support vehicles (car or 4x4), two doctors in helicopters, two nurses specialized in trauma, and two physiotherapists. That is more than some of our smaller communities in Canada have in their hospitals!

And tonight we are thankful to the organizers and the volunteers of the Dakar for their foresight for making sure Don made it to the bivouac safely.

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Don Hatton completes the second stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally

Canadian Don Hatton has successfully completed the second day of the 15 day long Dakar Rally. He has moved up finish the stage 163rd overall in the motorcycle class.

Today’s stage was from Pisco, Lima and back again. It comprised of a short liaison section of only 85 km but a fairly long 242 km special. The Dakar organizers labelled the day “nothing but sand” and they were not wrong. The special stage was comprised of some spectacular scenery of huge sand dunes made up of very soft, fine granulated, wind blown sand. Beautiful to view but very hard to ride a motorcycle in.

“The bike and the support team are great. The best I have worked with since I started in Dakar racing in 2008” Don says. “The sand is a challenge. It is just never ending. And starting late today at the back of the motorcycles makes it even worse. Not because of the terrain but because the faster of the cars are catching and passing you at what seems 100 mph while I am trying not to get stuck in the sand. It’s just crazy!”

Days Completed: 2 Days to go: 13

Dakar Racing Factoid – things you might not know or thought of :

When we all travel oversees we tend to get upset stomachs. It is due to a variety of things such as the stress of traveling, different foods and water supplies, heat etc. Known by various names: Montezuma’s Revenge, Delli Belly, etc it is not fun for a traveler to have to miss part of their vacation due to this ailment. But if you are a competitor in the Dakar race that is even more challenging. There is not a lot of restroom accommodations in rural Peru and if nature calls you have to answer it. Immediately. So off you go to try and find a private place, stop, remove all your safety gear and go about your business. Oh did we mention that you are surrounded by crowds of spectators.  Challenging to say the least but then this is Dakar.

For more information and photos check out www.rallyraidcanada.com

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Don Hatton finishes the first day in the 2013 Dakar Rally


Don Hatton of Rally Raid Canada has finished the first day of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Peru.

The first day’s short special stage from Lima to Pisco of only 13 km is to sort out the starting place for day 2 of the Rally and to allow the teams to get acclimatized to the rally. The better the time today, the better the starting position on the next day. Don finished 177th today.

“We know our speed is not the end all be all today – finishing is more important. Today’s special was more like a motorcross style ride in sand. Sand with no “crust” on it to allow you to get momentum going. ” Don notes.

The stage may be short but it is just as important as any stage on the Dakar. First day withdrawls due to crashes or mechanical failure are not uncommon.

Days Completed: 1 Days to go: 14

Rally Raid Racing Factoid – things you might not know or thought of :

This is the 35th edition of the Dakar. It is the 5th to take place on the South American continent, which has hosted the event since 2009.  This years event is from January 5 to January 20 with the competitors following the route between Lima Peru and Santiago Chile, with a rest day on January 12 in Argentina.


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Don Hatton is officially in the 2013 Dakar Race


Scrutineering is complete. Don Hatton is officially an entrant in the 2013 Dakar !!

“I am happy and relieved” noted Don after the seven hour task of getting himself, his gear, and the Husqvarna motorcycle through all the various technical inspections. He had no doubts about the quality of the bike built by his teammate and legendary Dakar racer Simon Pavey. Anytime you are dealing with a large international governing body, in a foreign language (in this case French), interpretations of regulations can sometimes be difficult, but in this case everything went as planned.

Don test rode the Husqvarna TE 449 rally bike in the past couple of days, setting up the suspension and getting to know the bike. “It rides just like a normal dirt bike, not like a heavily laden rally bike like the old KTM 690 was. Which is a good thing because the sand dunes are endless, with the softest sand we have seen since racing in Dubai in 2009!” Don says.

As the bike and gear are now sequestered in the Parc Ferme until the beginning of the race the team has a day off to see some of Lima and get together with some of their fellow Dakar racers. The talk in the bivouac is of the first few days of endless stages of sand, elevation in excess of 3,000 meters and the grueling pace set by the organizers.

For more information and photos check out www.rallyraidcanada.com

Good luck Don!

Check out the following video (at the 14 second mark) where you can see Don and Simon Pavey.





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Canadian Don Hatton to enter 2013 Dakar


The bike has been purchased and shipped. The entrance fee has been paid. The support team has been assembled. We are off to Dakar 2013!

Don Hatton of Team Rally Raid Canada is entered in the most grueling motorcycle endurance race in the world. This is Don’s fifth entry in the 14 day long Dakar race – formally known as the Paris Dakar race till it’s move to South America in 2009 – part of the FIM World Rally Championship.

This year’s event is being hailed as the most difficult in the 35-year history of the rally. No easy first and second days to get used to the Rally schedule as in prior years, but rather a brutal first four days of in the sand dunes near Lima Peru prior to heading over Atacama Dessert with elevation in excess of 10,000 ft!

Don notes, “I am in the best riding shape I have been in the past few years. I am so looking forward to this year’s Dakar race. 2013 is the year we cross the finish line in Chile”.

Don has teamed with good friend and nine-time Dakar participant Simon Pavey. Simon is the well-known operator of the Off Road Skills Motorcycle Training School in Wales, UK. Simon is also well known for his training of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman for their round the world motorcyle ride documented on the TV series “Long Way Round” as well as staring in the “Race to Dakar” documentary.  Don and Simon will be racing under the Delta Kunstoffe Husqvarna UK team banner with support provided by their talented and experienced race team.

The team is riding race prepared Husqvarna TE449 motorcycles in the Marathon Class. “BMW Canada (supplier of Husqvarna motorcycles in Canada) has been excellent to work with helping me source a Husqvarna TE449 in Canada. Although Husqvarna UK was more than willing to supply a bike for me to ride I wanted one sourced from and registered in Canada so that after the race I can bring the bike home and use it to promote the sport here in Canada” states Don.

For more information and photos check out www.rallyraidcanada.com


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Don Hatton - Rally Raid Canada going to Baja

The Baja 1000 is an iconic motorsport event, equivalent in status with the Indianapolis 500 Indy car race or the Daytona 500 stock car race as one of North America’s premier sporting events.

We are proud to announce Rally Raid Canada in conjunction with Duncan Motorsports is entering the 2010 Baja 1000 for the first time!

Don Hatton has put together an all-Canadian team of experienced local riders from Vancouver Island looking to tackle the infamous Mexican off road race. Along with Don will be riders Nick Caldwell and Paul Gallagher all from the Duncan area and Marc Ebdrup from Nanaimo

“I am really excited about this team” Don says. “Enthusiasm is not an issue with these guys. Keeping them calmed down and focused on getting all the riders to the finishing line will be” he notes.

The team will be riding a factory supplied Husaberg FE570 Enduro. Don’s race mechanic Bernie Wright, former chief mechanic for world champion Cyril Despres, is modifying it to suit the conditions found in the Mexican classic. Although powerful and reliable one of the biggest upgrades to the Husaberg will be an ancillary lighting system to allow the riders to see better in the darkness at high speeds.

Rally Raid Racing Factoid – things you might not know or thought of :

This event draws hundreds of competitors and thousands of support personnel and vehicles totaling some 10,000 people. Although the Baja race is a sprint race where the top competitors can complete the course in about 18 hours the logistics of providing fuel, mechanical services and rider support is as daunting as any of the longer Dakar style races.

The 2010 Baja 1000 starts on November 18, 2010 and will compete on the classic Ensenada to LaPaz peninsula course this year

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Don Hatton raising money for United Way

Hold onto your helmets! Don Hatton, renowned Dakar Rally Racer, owner of Duncan Motorsports, and a local Cowichan celebrity has joined forces with the Cowichan Exhibition, as the new venue for their annual Ride for The Way, and “Bikefest 2010” fundraiser for Cowichan United Way!

The event, which launched in 2009 is sure to be a real crowd-pleaser for Cowichan Exhibition visitors, and if last year is anything to go by, should bring several hundred bikes, and riders together all raising money to support those in need in our community.

The event is on Sunday September 12th, and kicks off with a Pancake Breakfast from 8:00am to 9:30am and then riders and passengers will take a scenic tour of the Cowichan Region touring up through Crofton and Chemainus, to Cedar, through to Yellowpoint and then back down the highway to The Cowichan Exhibition Grounds for a BBQ lunch and plenty of time left over to enjoy all the attractions of the Cowichan Exhibition, with The Midway, Tractor Pull, Vintage Machinery, and Horse Shows and other attractions.

As well as an opportunity to meet Don Hatton and hear some of his daring exploits in The Dakar Rally, there will be Vintage Motorcycles, and a Trials demonstration, a 50:50 Draw, and other events.

Participants are asked to pay $35 to take part in the Ride for The Way, which includes entrance to the Exhibition, pancake breakfast, event ride with Poker Run, and BBQ lunch.

Early registration is encouraged. In fact the first 100 People to PRE- REGISTER will receive a FREE T-Shirt to commemorate the event.

To register online go HERE or call Duncan Motorsports at 1-866-746-2453

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