“With participation in 41st Dakar Rally, Orlen Team wrote another beautiful page in its history. This year’s appearance and result achieved are the best gift for 20th anniversary of Orlen Team. Amazing World Cup season and full of emotions Dakar Rally are behind us – we believe that PKN Orlen and Orlen Team have another year full of common successes and great sporting moments ahead,”
“It was an extremely tough rally, so the organizers’ previews became 100% true. There was a lot of soft sand, and that’s what drivers are afraid of the most – you can lose a lot of time because of it, lose the rally in one place. For us, the most difficult moment was the problem with the gearbox – we lost over an hour, but, luckily, it was fixed quickly. But the stress we had was huge. Then we also got a lot of support, for which I have to thank family and fans, who believed in me until the very end,”
“We were positively shocked that we were able to drive with the same pace as the real masters of the steering wheel, like Al-Attiyah, Sainz, de Villiers, Roma, Loeb – we were fighting with top Dakar competitors, who have raced for 30 years, almost as much as I live. We are proud to represent Poland and our partners, like PKN Orlen, with great distinction, competing as equals with the biggest motorsport players in the world. Fighting on every stage we gained something, for what we had craved for years – respect from top Dakar competitors,”
“After Dakar, it’ time for summaries, making plans for next year. For sure we’ll come back to the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – participation in the 2018 edition made us jump onto a higher level in terms of confidence and pace of driving. We’ll try to repeat this training plan to be stronger in the next Dakar,”
“I consider my performance very successful – every day I tried to ride my best, what resulted in a place in top 20. The most stressful moment of the whole competition was my bike failure in the marathon stage. I had to fix it myself, without the help of the service team, but luckily everything went well. Participation in the really entails great physical effort – tiredness set in, and after next stages, jumps from the dunes and bumps, I started to feel the pain in my formerly broken leg. First Dakar finish and top 20 result – it makes me really happy. Now it’s time for having some rest, regeneration and making plans for the next season,”
“I gained a lot of positive experience and knowledge from this rally, although Dakar 2019 was a bit unlucky for me. I was ready 100%, the bike was doing well, until that unlucky Stage 8. Then I had engine failure, which put me out of the rally. Sorrow was huge, especially because from 6th, 7th stage I started to increase the pace, reaching the level that enable me to compete with the best riders in the world. I hope that I will learn this lesson for future – which will certainly pay off,”
“The attitude of the whole Orlen Team deserves praise – Kuba drove great, Adam had a positive performance, and Maciej was riding really well too until the failure. This rally showed that our young bikers are competitors worth training harder. They can keep the pace set by top competitors, they ride with confidence, sometimes they make navigational mistakes, but these are mistakes that can be eliminated in the next stages of training. One thing is sure – the rally in Peru proves that in the near future our bikers will fight for the top 10. Only because of mechanical problems, which happened also to the top competitors, we don’t have two bikers in top 20 of the rally,”
“On the first day, the fuel was burning, but despite that we finished as the fastest Czechs on four wheels which was a quite promising start for us. In the second stage, unfortunately, we lost the 6th gear and that slowed us down significantly, but apart from these we had no major technical issue with the car. But we decided to take a more cautious approach and to concentrate on reaching the finish line because we realised quite soon that this year’s Dakar is maybe more dangerous than ever, there were many terrible accidents.”
“We tried to overtake a car and the wind was blowing from the right side. We tried to pass him on the right side, but he was probably not seeing us, and was pulling a little bit to the right, in our way, so we had to pull to the right, too, to avoid the crash. But there was a big hole there and we crashed into it at high speed. The hit was really horrible! In the first moment I was expecting the car to roll, but fortunately we stayed on the wheels. When we got out of the car, we were surprised to see that the car was not damaged at all, only the front plate bent and our throttle pedal was gone,”
“This year’s Dakar was completely different than my first one last year. This year we had almost no technical problems and no stories, but we returned home with a 17th place which is a quite good result for us. As for navigation, this year’s roadbook wasn’t really informative, it practically only contained the directions and almost no information about the dangers and this is reflected in the many accidents. Tomas did a very good job during the whole race and we are very happy with our result.”
“The team and the car worked perfectly. It has been my best Dakar so far, not just for the result itself but also for being part of such a very well organised, truly professional team, and there is a good chance for this cooperation to continue. But the first task is to recover fully, to bring my body in a hundred percent shape and only after these can I start thinking about races.
I would like to say thanks to all who helped us on our way from the accident to the start of the Dakar and throughout the race, especially to Martin Prokop and all his team. I’m very grateful that our sponsors stayed with us in the hard times and kept supporting us also when the future wasn’t clear at all. Their trust was a great drive for us to find a way to be able to take part in the Dakar. And I also want to say big thanks to all our fans, the support we got through social media and other channels was really touching and inspiring,”
“The debut had a bitter taste –the driver from Warsaw admitted right after his comeback to the country. – But it also had a bright side.”
“We had to say goodbye to the rally only at the halfway in a way that was difficult to predict – we got stuck in a trap with no way out,”
“We consistently stuck to our plan, which was constant driving without flat tires, getting stuck in sand, navigational mistakes and other adventures, what in a certain moment gave us 8th place overall.”
“Of course, I will regret for a long time those last range of dunes and finish in Lima, which we didn’t cross”, he added. “But I’m sure that all the time of preparations, and the rally itself as well, have developed me as a driver, moreover, I lived an adventure, which I’ll remember for life.”
“Tremendously difficult routes awaited us. Trial sections, soft dunes, narrow mountain tracks and stones hidden in fesh-fesh are only a part of surprises, which we met. One of the greatest challenges was… the time of driving on each stage. Almost 1000km long stages made us barely leave the car during the day. But the toughest thing for me was unpredictability of the route. The fact that organizers were giving us so little information about it before the start, forced us not to lose vigilance on the stage not even for a while,”
“For the past one year, waking up in the morning and going to sleep in the evening, I was thinking about how to prepare the best for Dakar. There wasn’t a single day when we weren’t discussing it with Maciej. Barely happened a day without physical training, and actually all our starts in the last season were targeted at preparations for This Start. Now it’s time to take a deep breath and plan next challenges. These will be sporting and non-sporting as well, but not less ambitious,”
HRC was not successful on our seventh challenge at the Dakar. I would like to apologize that we were not able to win the title, and that we could not meet the expectations of HRC fans worldwide.
At the same time, I am proud of our Monster Energy Honda team, as it has proven itself to be very competitive. I appreciate the huge effort put in by our riders, team members and development team.
In the 2019 Dakar, we experienced many situations that were unpredictable, but as with every Dakar, we have improved our ability to respond, and gained valuable experience.
I am afraid we were not able to respond to the circumstances that we faced.
I hope all Monster Energy Honda team members will have a good rest, in preparation for the next challenge. HRC will also start preparation for next Dakar soon!
Finally, I would like to thank all of our sponsors and supporters, as they give us the strength to challenge the Dakar, and promise they can look forward to better performances from Honda and HRC in the future.