The Sherco Factory Team has unveiled the machine which will uphold its fortunes in the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia from January 1-14.
To be ridden by Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino, Portugal’s Rui Goncalves and India’s Harith Noah, the latest version of the marque’s 450 SEF Rally – closely linked to the 450 SEF Factory enduro machine – has been completely revised by Sherco’s factory race department as the pursuit of the elusive first Dakar Rally victory continues.
Tested in prototype form at the recent Rally of Morocco, the updated 450 SEF Rally has a new engine and chassis and a new forged swingarm – designed to provide the Sherco riders with a lithe and manoeuvrable machine to navigate through the unrelenting and energy-sapping sand and camel grass of the Saudi Arabian desert.
Other components on the 450 SEF Rally include an Akrapovic exhaust system, BOS Mac Racing suspension, Michelin rubber, Funnel Web air Filter, Selle Dalla Valle seat and AFAM chain.
The machine and riders will be officially unveiled in Saudi Arabia on December 28 ahead of the gruelling 12-stage 8375km rally which will start and finish in the port city of Jeddah – with a rest day on January 8 for teams, riders, organisers and support staff to catch a breath.
The event will commence with a massive 834km stage from Jeddah to Ha’il on January 1, but with only a small 19km special (ie timed) component.
Then it really starts to get serious, building up to a whopping 465km timed section on stage four (January 5).
Santolino heads into the 2022 Dakar Rally emboldened after a superb sixth place finish in 2021, while Goncalves was 19th and the third rookie home in the same event – a launching pad to push for a top 10 finish in 2022.
The diminutive Noah – 172cm and 70kg – made his Dakar debut in 2020, and his desert career comes the back of a brilliant motocross CV in his home country: seven national titles, as well as three supercross championships.
Three Aussies will also compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally: Toby Price, Daniel Sanders and privateer Andrew Houlihan.
A total of 145 riders will line up in the motorcycle division, including former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci who is making his desert racing debut in the toughest cauldron of all.
For more information on the 2022 Dakar Rally, click here
We’ll also run regular updates on the Sherco Australia Facebook page