Dakar Rally organiser ASO has released details of the 2021 event that kicks off at the start of January in Saudi Arabia.

The official presentation of the detailed route was digitally published yesterday, detailing not only the finalised route but also the specifics regarding each stage. In total there will be 12 stages for the 43rd running of the event along with the prologue and 4,800km of timed special tests.

Reigning champion Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda) is back to defend his title alongside team-mates José Ignacio Cornejo, Kevin Benavides and Joan Barreda.


Among a number of amendments to the rules for 2021, riders will be limited to six rear tyres for the duration of the event and there will also be a limit to the number of piston changes and a ban on mechanical repairs during refuelling. The use of jackets with airbags is mandatory.

“ASO has done a great job and explained the generalities of the different stages,” said Monster Energy Honda General Manager Ruben Faria. “We have a bit of information but we can say that it will be a very tough Dakar.

“They want to add more navigation to slow the Dakar down and make it safer and that’s a good thing. It is, broadly speaking, a very complete, technical Dakar and, hopefully, a very good one. We think it will be more difficult than last year. It will be a great challenge for everyone.”