For sure there will be an ongoing fued between Spaniard and last year´s winner Mark Coma and Frenchman and earlier winner Cyril Despres in the bike category, as well as the duel between Argentian Alejandro and his brother Marcos Patronelli, each with one win. Though, never to forget the Dakar is the Dakar and any thing can happen, no matter how well equiped for the race you seem to be...
The blond viking who potentially is the only one with experience and knowledge enough, not in a manufacturers team, to win the Dakar rally on the bike. This will be Pål Anders´ 10th start, 9 follow troughs (always within top ten), best position 2nd in 2010. Best of luck, would just be heaven to see this guy take the no 1 position on the podium!
26 Ze Helio (Brazil) The very talented and much appreciated Brazilian is back. Dropped out last year after 6th stage and a broken clavicle. Has been competing on four wheels this year in Rally Cuesta Off-Road, with a strong outcome, but back again in the Dakar on 2 wheels. Aiming for a top five position.
29 Thomas Berglund (Sweden) Captain of the Swedish armed forces is back to fulfill his mission, a top ten placement. His best Dakar brought him to a 12th position (2010) and last year a crash and a broken collar bone stopped him. Go get that top tenth position!
41 & 42 Prohen Brothers (Chile) Felipe and Jamie These two guys just bring something special to the rally, and of course the joy and pride of Chile representing in the Dakar.
45 Laia Sanz (Spain) -Tall beautiful Spanish Laia, last year´s debutant and winner in the Ladies trophy. Back to be the winner again?
55 Kemal Merkit (Turkey) - a fun, sweet and helpful rider in the rally, stable as ever and returning once again for the adventure. Helped Swedish rally princess Annie Seel without considering his own time loss and placements last year. Big heart!
86 Jes Munk (Denmark) - Made his debut in the Dakar last year but was forced to leave after 5 stage, after another rider hit him and he broke his arm. Recovery and preparations has worked out perfectly. Finished the Pharaons Rally at a fourth place in October. And chances for a great placement looks bright.
94 Wei Guang Hui (China) The only Chinese rider to participate on bike this year, has two former starts (2009, 2010) and one finish. Did in fact ride along with the British female Tamsin Jones for a bit late, late nights in the dunes 2010.
107 Ronnie Bodinger (Sweden) - 2nd start - was leaving the rally last year after engine problems and a very sore shoulder due to an earlier fall. Back to make it through.
150 Luis Belaustegui (Argentina) - Argentinian and Spanish language teacher living in Kansas City, back to do the full Dakar on a 150cc!! He was pulled out last year after not reaching the finish of one of the stages in time (actually helping others get over the dunes)...
250 Alejandro Patronelli (Argentina) Together with his brother this is the all time favorites of Argentinian motorsport lovers. Make no mistake, charming as few. Alejandro took his first win in the Dakar last year and in 2010 reaching the finish 2nd to his brother. Will for sure get their well earned attention this year as well.
252 Marcos Patronelli (Argentina) winner in the 2010 quad category. Withdrew from the 2011 Dakar as he was recovering from an accident, fell bad and forced to take a leave. Now he´s back to fight for the 1st position again. More to come on this one...
259 Camelia Liparoti (Italy) - grand lady of the quad category, 4th start coming up, 2 finished races, and 1 quits. Best position was last year and a 10th. Driving the Yamaha YSM 700R SE. Found her way to the rally through her work as a journalist and then decided not only to report from the rally, but to actually participate.