SBK World Champion Carlos Checa is preparing to face the grueling …

SBK world champion and MotoGP race winner Carlos Checa has announced that he will attempt to add another illustrious distinction to his repertoire when he starts the grueling Dakar Rally.

The Spaniard is the latest in a line of top racers to give iconic but arduous rally-raid endurance a chance, following his compatriot and two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso, as well as many famous WRC drivers, including Carlos. Sainz and Sébastien Loeb.

While the stars of the bike have already crossed paths to try for Dakar success, Checa will also change discipline with an entry into the four-wheel class behind the wheel of the Team MD Rallye Sport buggy over the Saudi dunes.

The event has taken many forms from its original format of racing between Paris and the Senegalese capital of Dakar, via the Sahara, with a trip to South America preceding its current home in Saudi Arabia.

Wearing his famous # 7 plaque, Checa – who will team up with co-driver Ferran Marco – says it’s a challenge he has long wanted to take on.

“I will participate in the next edition of the race, driving a Buggy Optimues with the French team MD Rallye Sport. My navigator will be the experienced Ferran Marco. I had wanted to do the Dakar for a long time and finally everything fell into place and I can take up this major challenge.

Considered one of the toughest motorsport events on the planet, the 2022 edition of the Dakar Rally will start on January 2 and run until January 14.

Checa – the last rider representing Ducati to win the WorldSBK championship, in 2011 on the semi-private Althea 1098R – is not the only high-level motorcycle rider to have his eye on the Dakar rally.

KTM MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci has said he also plans to take part in the 2023 event with the Austrian manufacturer after being banned from his Tech 3 MotoGP lineup for 2022. However, he recently revealed that he is also considering switching. at MotoAmerica with Ducati in the seat previously occupied by Loris Baz.

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