Francisco Lopez started his bid for the 2012 Dakar championship with a fantastic first day from Mar Del Plata to Rose De La Pampa. The Chilean rider finished ahead of last year's winner, Marco Coma, and Argentina's Javier Pizzolito.
KTM has been a dominating force at the Dakar Rally for the last decade. The manufacturer's dominance has a lot to do with its two most talented riders, Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, who have claimed the last six Dakar titles.
The 2012 edition of the Dakar Rally kicks off in just a few days. Riders like Cyril Despres, Marc Coma, and Chris Birch will head out on a 5,000 mile race through South America on New Years Day for the 34th running of the Dakar.
Marc Coma has won three Dakar rallies in the last five years. The Repsol rider, who won last year's rally, will be aiming for his second consecutive title when the 2012 Dakar rally kicks off on New Year's day in South America.
Don Hatton has completed more endurance rallies than any other Canadian motorcycle racer, but the British Columbian native will be missing the 2012 Dakar rally.
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