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Details of rule changes from Dakar organizer - ASO

Well, after yesterdays shocking news of KTM's withdrawal from the Dakar we went looking for a bit of information on the rule changes. We found some, but it reads a little like a bad google translation - all the information is there but it just isn't quite clear enough to be exactly sure what it means.

We thought we'd post the direct quote from the ASO here regarding the rule changes, as they apply to motorcycles:


Bikes: on equal terms
For several years, more and more of the top bikers have won specials or finished in the leading ten overall positions using under 450cc bikes. At the same time, the smaller capacity machines have been more and more present, representing 40% of the registered riders at the start of the 2009 Dakar. Financially more accessible and more reliable than the older bikes of the previous generations and now more adapted to the demands of off-road rallies, the 450cc still have a deficit in performance that prevent them from reaching even higher ambitions. This difference will be totally erased for the 2011 Dakar during which only bikes with engines under 450cc will be accepted.

A bridle in 2010 for the amateurs over 450cc

In order to reach this objective of levelness between competitors that will open the number of potential victory contenders, a transition measure has been taken for the 2010 Dakar. Aware of the important number of competitors already having bikes of over 450cc, the organisers have decided to accept them for this edition with the obligation to set up a bridle reducing the power of the engine. This bridle, conceived to limit the performance to the level of the 450cc, will be provided by the rally organisation.

The champions on 450cc in 2010

This modification aiming to support the amateur riders that want to line up at the start of the rally will not be applicable to a certain number of professionals and semi-professionals for which a list will be established later. The possible winners will therefore be forced to use as soon as 2010 a bike of under 450cc. On equal terms, they will battle it out using the qualities that define champions in the discipline: physical endurance, piloting, navigation.

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