We’re just days away from the start of the 2023 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. This year, two Motul-backed teams, Honda and Sherco, will be gunning for glory. This is what some of the riders had to say as they prepare for the world’s most challenging off-road race.

Ricky Brabec – Monster Energy Honda Team

“We had a great season after a challenging Dakar 2022; it wasn’t easy to get through that first day with the time loss of 40 minutes. At the end of the W2RC we ended up second, so that’s a positive, and we also had some nice stages and podiums throughout the year. As far as changes go, we’re on the same model as previous years. The winning package, we know it works and we know the bike is capable of it. The plan for me this year is to get through the first week without making a massive mistake and stay calm. I’m looking forward to seeing how all the new rules they have planned for us are going to work, with time bonuses.”

Pablo Quintanilla – Monster Energy Honda Team

“The 2022 Dakar was very satisfying, it left me happy with my performance, with my performance. It was also my first Dakar with Honda, in a new team. The expectations and motivation were high and I was able to have a very intelligent race, very stressful, fought until the end.”

Lorenzo Santolino – Sherco factory team

“Setting a goal of a result is more like dreaming than being realistic because there are so many things we cannot control. But obviously, you have to have a target, and after finishing 6th in 2021, I want to finish in the top five. It’s so challenging because even if everything goes well. The competition level continues to improve. There are a lot of fast riders and others who have a lot of experience.”

Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Honda Team

“I was relieved when I returned to competition in the Rallye du Maroc to win on the second stage. It was the first change of team of my career, I wanted to prove to Honda that they had made a good choice by recruiting me. It gave me confidence that the bike was running well and that I was still in the game. I think I’ve collected a few more keys to success with the Honda team, but I’m definitely not in it’s now or never mode. I want to continue step by step, making a podium would already be great, I’ve never done it. I recently won stages in Morocco, won in Andalusia, that’s good. But I know that in the Dakar it goes a step above and above all that you really have to respect this race because a lot of things can happen.”