The details of the Rally Dakar 2016 have been unveiled in Paris and the race looks set to be a tough prospect. The Team HRC riders will go into the rally favourites to take overall victory.

With less than a month and a half to go until the Dakar fires up its engines, race organizers ASO have made public the details of the forthcoming 38th edition of the Dakar Rally: 9332 kilometres in total, 4701 of them special stages that will be crucial to decide the winner of the 2016 edition.

It will be the eighth time that the legendary off-road endurance race is held on South American soil. On this occasion the action will take place in Argentina and Bolivia.

Team HRC was present for the event held in the Pavilion Gabriel, in the centre of the Parisian capital, represented by General Manager Martino Bianchi and Team Manager Wolfgang Fischer, as well as three riders from the squad: Joan Barreda (32), Paulo Goncalves (36) and Michael Metge (36).

In addition to Barreda, Goncalves and Metge, Team HRC will field two other riders for the 2016 edition of the Rally Dakar, Italian Paolo Ceci (40) and young American Ricky Brabec (24) making his Dakar debut.

Dakar Director Etienne Lavigne promised the participants, “A great journey and a great adventure… that will remember its origins”. Sporting Director Marc Coma followed, outlining the changes to the Dakar 2016, which will include two marathon stages. In the first of these, the Jujuy – Jujuy stage, riders will not be allowed to work on the bikes, while the second Belén – Belén marathon stage, reverts to the classic version where only riders will be permitted to work on the bikes. The following stage could bring surprises too, in the difficult dunes of Fiambalá, where starting order will be decisive given that bikes, trucks and cars will start together.

The 2016 Dakar Rally starts and finishes in Argentina, although the warmth and colour of Bolivia and its people will once again host part of the race. Buenos Aires, the Argentinean capital, stages the race start on the January 3rd 2016. The next thirteen days and more than 9.300 kilometres will be an endless trail of tracks, dunes, mountains and rivers. Temperatures will range from 4 to 45 degrees Celsius. Anyone lucky enough to survive all of this will be rewarded with the sight of the finishing line in Rosario, Argentina’s third biggest city.

For this edition of the Rally Dakar, Honda will once again be the official motorcycle and supplier of the race.

Total KM
2 January
Buenos Aires – Rosario
357 km
11 km
3 January
Rosario – Villa Carlos Paz
632 km
227 km
4 January
Villa Carlos Paz-
Termas de Río Hondo
786 km
450 km
5 January
Termas de Río Hondo –
San Salvador de Jujuy
663 km
314 km
6 January
San Salvador de Jujuy –
San Salvador de Jujuy
629 km
429 km
7 January
San Salvador de Jujuy – Uyuni
642 km
327 km
8 January
Uyuni – Uyuni
723 km
542 km
9 January
Uyuni – Salta
793 km
353 km
10 January
11 January
Salta – Belén
766 km
 393 km
12 January
Belén – Belén
436 km
285 km
13 January
Belén – La Rioja
563 km
278 km
14 January
La Rioja – San Juan
712 km
431 km
15 January
San Juan – Villa Carlos Paz
931 km
481 km
16 January
Villa Carlos Paz – Rosario
699 km
180 km

Private: Martino Bianchi

Team HRC General Manager

So we are here for the Dakar 2106 presentation and I think that it will be really interesting. Marc Coma underlined that the two marathon stages will make all the difference. I think that also from Salta to the end of the race will be quite difficult because we come down from very cold stages in Bolivia at very high altitude to a very very hot area with a starting procedure that will be a bit different with a mix of bikes and probably cars and trucks. It will be an interesting race as usual. I think that Marc Coma did a good job with the new procedure of three minutes between each rider. Team HRC is ready. HRC in Japan have done a lot of work on the bike, also all team work hard in order to be ready for the big challenge. We are fully set up with everything that we need in order to have a good race.

Joan Barreda

We will have a strict marathon stage waiting for us where the bike cannot be touched from the time of arriving to the time of departure the next day. Argentina and Bolivia we know about from a long time ago. The main thing that could mark a difference from other years is that Marc Coma, who is the Sporting Director, knows the competition very well and so the second week is sure to be a complicated one. Close to the Andes navigation will be difficult. Also, the fact that we could start mixed with trucks and cars will be another factor to bear in mind, as it could prove the difference between one rider and the others.

Paulo Goncalves 2

From what we have heard today, we know that it will be a very hard Dakar. We were expecting it. It will be an intense competition with more days in altitude and the complicated marathon stages. We will have to be very well prepared. The work that we have done up until now should serve us well to put us at a high enough level to be able to overcome any adversaries.

Michael Metge 19

It will be a very long Dakar with some long specials and some marathon stages which will put everyone to the test. Also, the start will include cars, bikes and trucks starting together, which will be a novelty. It will be very technical on the Argentinean tracks with some very difficult navigation. Let’s see if we can overcome it!

Team HRC Dakar 2016 presentation

Team HRC Dakar 2016 presentation

Best landscapes of the Dakar 2015 - Press conference

Best landscapes of the Dakar 2015 - Press conference (04/16/15)

Location Information

The greatest and toughest rally in the world, the Dakar’s history has been written in the heart of some of the world’s most stunning deserts and belongs to the world of the greatest sporting challenges of our time. Both a motor race and an orienteering challenge, the Dakar Rally pits… read more.

Lima, Perú - View in Google Maps