The 37th edition of the Dakar is unveiled in Paris

The start list for the 9,259-km route confirmed at the presentation will include 164 bikes, 414 vehicles in total and 665 competitors.

At the ceremony, presided by Race Director Étienne Lavigne , full details were announced about the participants and the 9,259-km route for the latest edition of the Dakar, which will again take place in Argentina, Chile y Bolivia in a loop format.

In the motorcycle category, in which HIMOINSA Team is taking part, the number of competitors has risen to 164. The most significant absentee this year will be the Chilean rider Francisco “Chaleco” López, who recently underwent an operation on his knee. Another rider who won’t be jumping on a bike this year is five-time winner Cyril Despres of France, but rather than remaining on the sidelines like “Chaleco”, he will be trying his luck in the car category along with Carlos Sainz and Stephane Peterhansel. Participating in the other categories will be 138 cars, 64 trucks and 49 quad bikes, for a total of 665 competitors from 53 different nations. Of these, the youngest will be the 18-year-old Argentine Jorge Lacunza, while the oldest will be the Japanese Yoshimasa Sugawara, who at the grand old age of 73 will be climbing into a truck again.

The route will be the one that has been discussed for the last few months. The Dakar will again run through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, with the motorcyclists taking their rest day on 10 January. The event will be covered by over 2000 accredited media organisations and broadcast by seventy TV channels in more than 190 countries.

Race Director Étienne Lavigne also remarked that “For the 2016 edition of the Dakar we could visit a sixth Latin American country. We spend hours designing routes and connecting countries.   We’re prepared to travel anywhere, nowhere is off limits.” 


20th and 21st November: the port of Le Havre

Technical pre-checks and loading of the European competitors’ vehicles. A total of more than 700 vehicles from all categories

will take to the sea aboard the MV Grande Amburgo for the 21-day crossing.

30th and 31st December: Euroamerica Port

The arrival of the Dakar! Vehicles which have travelled from Le Havre will be picked up at the Euroamerica Port, close to

Buenos Aires.

1st, 2nd and the morning of 3rd January: “TECNOPOLIS”

Happy New Year! Just a few hours after midnight, the first competitors and their race and assistance vehicles will complete

administrative and technical formalities at the Tecnopolis, the big exhibition centre to the north-east of Buenos Aires.

The South American competitors are expected first, on the morning of 1st January.

3rd January: Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires

A huge crowd is expected outside “La Casa Rosada”, the presidential palace, to cheer on the competitors on the start

podium, between 3 pm and 10.30 pm.

4th January: Buenos Aires – Villa Carlos Paz

First stage of the race, first thrills… the Dakar has well and truly begun.

10th and 12th January: Iquique, rest for the marathon participants

The motorcycles and quad bikes will rest at Iquique on 10th January, followed by the cars and trucks on 12th January.

17th January: Arrival in Buenos Aires

The bravest competitors will celebrate the end of this extraordinary adventure at the Tecnopolis, surrounding by what is

expected to be a huge crowd.


Stage 1, Buenos Aires (ARG) – Villa Carlos Paz (ARG)

Motorcycles-quads: 838 km, special 175 km

Stage 2, Villa Carlos Paz (ARG) – San Juan (ARG)

Motorcycles-quads: 625 km,  special 518 km

Stage 3, San Juan (ARG) – Chilecito (ARG)

Motorcycles-quads: 657 km, special 220 km

Stage 4, Chilecito (ARG) – Copiapo (CHI)

Motorcycles-quads: 909 km, special 315 km

Stage 5, Copiapo (CHI) – Antofagasta (CHI)

Motorcycles-quads: 697 km, special 458 km.

Stage 6, Antofagasta (CHI) – Iquique (CHI)

Motorcycles-quads: 688 km, special 319 km

Rest Day

Stage 7, Iquique (CHI) – Uyuni (BOL)

Motorcycles-quads: 717 km, special 321 km

Stage 8, Uyuni (BOL) – Iquique (CHI)

Motorcycles-quads: 805 km, special  781 km

Stage 9, Iquique (CHI) – Calama (CHI)

Motorcycles-quads: 539 km, special 451 km

Stage 10, Calama (CHI) – Salta (ARG)

Motorcycles-quads: 891 km, special 371 km

Stage 11, Salta (ARG) – Termas Río Hondo (ARG)

Motorcycles-quads:512 km, special 351 km

Stage 12, Termas Río Hondo (ARG) – Rosario (ARG)

Motorcycles-quads: 1.024 km, special 298 km

Stage 13, Rosario (ARG) – Buenos Aires (ARG)

Motorcycles-quads:393 km, special 174 km


Motorcycles-quads: 9.295 km, special 4.752 km


HIMOINSA Team en route for Buenos Aires

The support truck loaded with all the necessary materials and the motorbikes are travelling 1,700 km to the French port of Le Havre (France), where they will set sail for Buenos Aires, the last stop before the Dakar.

The 2015 Dakar officially gets underway on 3 January with the start podium, the presentation ceremony, outside the presidential palace “La Casa Rosada” but the teams and riders taking part in the blue ribbon event in the rallying calendar have already travelled thousands of kilometres to reach the starting line. They are currently on their way to the French port of Le Havre, where the motorcycles, materials and support truck will board the MV Grande Amburgo along with another 700 vehicles and set sail for the Euroamerica Port, located very close to Buenos Aires.

The support truck, with Manolo Díaz in charge, along with another vehicle pulling a trailer with the three motorcycles, supervised by team mechanic José Ruíz, left first thing in the morning from HIMOINSA’s main headquarters in Spain. Ahead are two destinations. The nearest, the French port of Le Havre in Haute Normandie, and the furthest, the port of Buenos Aires, where all the equipment required to take part in the Dakar will arrive around two weeks later. In total a trip of more than 12,700km, underlining what the riders have said so often; that the toughest challenge is reaching the starting line for the Dakar, an allusion to the gruelling work that has had to be done throughout the entire year of preparations including fine tuning the bikes, contacts with sponsors, etc. Upon arrival at the French port, the Dakar organisers will carry out various checks to ensure that everything is okay to start the journey to the toughest challenge in the rally raid world. Next, all the material must undergo stringent examination by the French customs authorities and, upon arrival, by their Argentine counterparts.

“The truck is essentially divided into three parts. The first is the workshop with a HYW-13 T5 13 kVa diesel generator powered by Yanmar, the heart of our maintenance set-up, which will provide us with energy, and a large capacity, high-pressure air compressor for removing dust from and cleaning the vehicles. This year we also have a 500-litre water tank with a machine that will enable us to thoroughly clean the vehicles; you can imagine just how dusty and dirty they get. The second section is a storage area, where everything is kept in hermetically sealed boxes to provide protecion from dust and classified as parts for the bikes and the truck. The third section will contain tyres, replacement engines, heavy tools, chassis, etc. Here everything is carefully organised so that we know precisely where to swiftly find whatever we need when required. At the moment the truck is in France, where we’ll encounter temperatures as low as -100, then we’ll be travelling on the boat, where they’ll suffer the effects of the weather, dampness and salt deposits, and to cap things off, it’ll be summertime and 400 when we dock in Buenos Aires,” says Manolo Díaz when we ask him about when we ask him about the materials that the support truck for the Dakar 2015 is transporting.

We tend to make the error of thinking that responsibility for whether or not the rider mounts the podium at the end of the Dakar lies solely with the motard, but if we are familiar with the dynamic and competition rules, we understand that the mechanics, support team and riders share this burden. “The support team can’t help the riders on the timed sections but it can on the link sections. Our mission is to attempt to support them on the link sections. When they enter the special section, we take another route and meet up again at the end of the special section. This is a critical point because they may have suffered a fall, a breakdown… and then they still have a 400-km link section. Like the riders, we are monitored by a navigator who registers everything, we have speed penalties. If we pass through a village where you have to travel at 60km/h and exceed this limit even by one kilometre, the rider is handed a twenty-minute penalty and fined 600 euros. If this happens three times you’re disqualified from the Dakar. You have to keep a very close eye on speed, travelling through the villages.. What often makes matters worse is that when you’re competing you’re going flat out, the terrain… but here you have to get used to the driving that you encounter in cities, villages … and that’s really dangerous. On these South American stages it’s in Argentina where you’re most frightened. People are so passionate about the event in this country and when you’re reaching the ends of the stages and approaching the cities, the crowds are huge and some people stand right beneath the truck to get a photo without you realising. At times it really does get a bit scary,” says Manolo Díaz, who this year will complete his twelfth Dakar, eleven of which have been with Miguel Puertas at his side. And now he is in charge of the entire back-up operation. When we ask him about the most spectacular areas of the Dakar, he replies that “there are two beautiful stretches of the Dakar, namely the Atacama Desert in Chile and the forest zone around Chilecito and Fiambala in Argentina. Both are truly spectacular.”

The next chapter in this adventure will be at the end of December, when the riders, support team and mechanics board a plane to Buenos Aires determined to ensure that the three riders successfully complete the Dakar.

El camión de asistencia listo para embarcar

Las motos y el camión de asistencia pasan la verificación

Vehículos del Dakar

Las motos protegidas

Foto de grupo en HIMOINSA

Team introduction

Miguel Puertas, Rosa Romero and Antonio Gimeno, HIMOINSA Team riders.

Uncertainty unveiled! The Raid rally team, participating in the Dakar 2015, presents its riders. 

The KTM 450 EXC is the bike chosen for this adventure. A Scania R420 6×6 TT truck with T5 setup will assist the motards. Two mechanics and a driver complete the HIMOINSA Team.

With less than two months to go before the start of the toughest Rally Raid on the planet, Dakar 2015, Team HIMOINSA was presented to both the media and special guests at the official project début, held at HIMOINSA’s main facilities in Spain, a Spanish multinational company specialised in the manufacturing and marketing of power generation systems.

The day started with an exhibition in the auditorium hall of the nine Dakar finisher medals won by Miguel Puertas. Along with the medals, the official uniform that the team will be wearing in the Dakar rally and two symbolic pictures of the riders were on display guarding the entrance to the auditorium. A few minutes after the scheduled time the presentation began with the première of the official HIMOINSA Team video recorded in south-eastern Morocco, in the area of the Erg Chebbi dunes.

After which a press conference was held, starting with some words from HIMOINSA executive director, Francisco Gracia, focusing on the determining factors that have led to the Spanish multinational continuing with its commitment to the Dakar rally, this year promoting the creation of a full team, with three motorcycle riders. “We want to break onto the scene strongly with a leading team and make our début at Dakar 2015 with all our motards becoming finishers, reaching the podium in Buenos Aires. I also want to thank international companies Yanmar and Vision Advisors for wanting to embark on this journey with us.”

Miguel Puertas, sporting director and rider took the reins of the presentation by listing one by one the details that make up this ambitious project. In addition, the rider from Granada faces a sporting challenge that few have been able to manage in the history of the competition: Ending tenth consecutive Dakar rallies. “I have finished nine Dakars. To achieve this you need good luck to be with you at times when you come very close to having to retire. I have had experiences where I had both feet off the raid and I have been able to continue and finish. So far, I have clocked up 90,000 km, this year the plan is to successfully complete 100,000 km at one of the toughest events in the world. It is an image of strength and perseverance, I want to achieve it. I want to give back to HIMOINSA what they have given to me over this time.”

One of the new faces to join the team is the Catalan rider, Rosa Romero. The rider, wife of two-time Dakar winner Nani Roma, is one of the few women who dare to participate in this event, a cross between motor sport and extreme adventure. Rosa, who had previously participated on three occasions without managing to finish, is a clear example of what the HIMOINSA Team wants to represent. “It’s complicated. Nani experiences it from a professional point of view and I have to try to make sure that my race is separate from his and cannot have any negative impact on him. It has always been more of a drawback than an advantage in my favour, though he has always tried to make sure I am able to race at Dakar. This year he is very happy that I was able to join the HIMOINSA Team.”

The rider who completes this trio of motards is Antonio Gimeno. The rider from Madrid makes his return to a trial in which he participated in 2011, achieving a successful 46th place. “For me, being part of the HIMOINSA Team is outstanding; to be on the same team as Rosa Romero and Miguel Puertas is a privilege. To be part of such an exciting project motivates me to push hard to ensure that all three of us reach the end of this rally.”

Rueda de prensa en HIMOINSA

Press Conference at HIMOINSA


Miguel Puertas atiende a los medios Antonio Gimeno en el photocall Rosa Romero entrevistada El equipo en HIMOINSA Headquarters Fran Gracia y los pilotos mirando la KTM 450 EXC Repasando aspectos técnicos Foto oficial de equipo Ambiente del auditorio En plena rueda de prensa Esperando en el auditorio de HIMOINSA Headquarters Miguel Puertas, piloto record


Francisco Gracia, (HIMOINSA Executive Director)

Miguel Puertas (HIMOINSA Team Rider )

Rosa Romero (HIMOINSA TeamRider )

Antonio Gimeno (HIMOINSA Team Rider )








Promotional video

Filmed in Southeast Africa.

After deciding to put together HIMOINSA Team, one of the first issues was to film a promotional video to present the team and its riders, while conveying the philosophy, values and modus operandi HIMOINSA Team wanted to transmit to the rest of the world.

HIMOINSA Team’s communication department started writing an audio-visual script that reflected the Non Stop energy of the riders competing in the gruelling race, as well as that of HIMOINSA as a company and its product range. “I wanted to divide the spot up into two parts. With the first, I wanted to illustrate each rider’s preliminary and internal concentration and meditation before taking part in the Dakar race. And with the second, I wanted to show the riders as a team. Through action, this part should show how tough it is to compete in a rally raid, in which they have to focus on driving and navigating at the same time” said Fran Sáez, the team’s press officer.  The choice of music was based on the different rhythm each part should have. In the end, an epic style was selected to mesh with the pictures used in the video.

For filming, the choice of venue was based on finding a rich landscape that was typical of rally raid. In the end, the decision was taken to go to Southeast Africa all the way to Hassilabied, near Merzouga, in Morocco. The Erg Chebbi dunes, the black desert and its environs provided the perfect backdrop. It is also the most popular place for motards to prepare for the Dakar. “The worst part was the dust and sand, but it was a luxury to have Dakar riders star in the video. The biggest takeaway for me was spending time with the team, the colours of the desert, the riders’ hard work and my fellow sufferer, Fran, who helped me through it all” said César Sánchez, a cameraman from audio-visual production company Séis70 when asked about his experience filming a presentation viedo for the Dakar team.

The final product was unveiled during HIMOINSA’s official presentation. Those who missed the event were able see the video on our web page, social networks or YouTube.