Don Hatton of Team Rally Raid Canada is entered in the most grueling motorcycle endurance race in the world. This is his fifth entry in the 14-day long Dakar race – known as the Paris Dakar event until its move to South America in 2009 – part of the FIM World Rally Championship.
This year’s event runs from January 5-20 and is being hailed as the most difficult in the 35-year history of the rally. There are no easy first and second days to get used to the rally schedule as in prior years, but rather a brutal first four days in the sand dunes near Lima, Peru prior to heading over Atacama Dessert with elevation in excess of 10,000 ft.
“I am in the best riding shape I have been in the past few years,” Hatton said. “I am so looking forward to this year’s Dakar race. This is the year we cross the finish line in Chile.”
Hatton has teamed with good friend and nine-time Dakar participant Simon Pavey, operator of the Off Road Skills Motorcycle Training School in Wales. Pavey is also well known for his training of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman for their round the world motorcyle ride documented on the TV series “Long Way Round” as well as staring in the “Race to Dakar” documentary. Hatton and Pavey will be racing under the Delta Kunstoffe Husqvarna UK team banner with support provided by their talented and experienced race team.
The team is riding race prepared Husqvarna TE449 motorcycles in the Marathon Class.
“BMW Canada [supplier of Husqvarna motorcycles in Canada] has been excellent to work with helping me source a Husqvarna TE449 in Canada,” Hatton pointed out. “Although Husqvarna UK was more than willing to supply a bike for me to ride I wanted one sourced from and registered in Canada so that after the race I can bring the bike home and use it to promote the sport here in Canada.”--From Team Rally Raid Canada