Monster Energy Honda Team has officially confirmed its participation in the next Dakar odyssey. Joan Barreda was on hand for the presentation of the 2020 edition of the Dakar Rally, which took place today in the Qiddiya complex, some 50 kilometres from the Saudi capital Riyadh. Barreda, with 22 wins, is currently the rider in the motorcycle category with the highest number of stage victories
The vast yet unknown Saudi Arabian desert, in particular the Rub Al-Jali, will be the new stage for the forthcoming Dakar. This is the second change of continent since the great adventure, created by Thierry Sabine in 1978, left Africa and headed for South America after the suspension of the 2008 edition. After 11 editions on the American continent, from 2020 onwards, the Dakar Rally will have the Middle East as its arena, or more precisely, Saudi Arabia, which becomes the first country in the Arabian peninsula to host the legendary rally.
The first details to emerge, at the first major official presentation of the race, are the start and finish dates, plus the rest day. The Dakar 2020 will kick off on January 5th in Jeddah, on the coast of the Red Sea, and will end on the 17th of the same month in Qiddiya, after having enjoyed a rest day in the country’s capital, Riyadh.
As usual, the Dakar Rally will be the final race in Monster Energy Honda Team’s competition calendar. The other dates will include – in addition to several tests and some international competitions – the participation of most of the team’s factory riders in all FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship events.
Raul Castells - Monster Energy Honda Team Manager: "We had been waiting for the Dakar to change continent and visit some new landscapes. Everything will be brand new, for the most part, and it adds a great incentive to the race. As always, the ASO will organize the event with their best guarantees. It will be a new test and a new challenge for all. We accept the decision and we are also anxious to get the new adventure started and see what the Middle Eastern race will bring us for us. On the other hand, we wish to thank all the South American public and the countries that have hosted the Dakar over the eleven editions and also Honda South America for the support they have given us in our seven participations in the Americas. Hopefully this new adventure in Saudi Arabia, for at least five years, will be a favourable one. We will try our hardest to win the race."
SourceMonster Energy Honda Team's official press release