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Dakar 2010: All about French Rally Team Elf Sherco Dakar.

Last week on the French riviera, David Casteu presented his new Dakar and 2010 Rally world championship Team. In the headquarters of French Newspaper powerhouse that is Nice Matin, many elected officials, Chamber of Commerce representatives joined sports celebrities and sponsors such as Fred Lequien (ASO), Luc Alphand (Skieur-pilote auto), Fabien Planet (International Sherco Enduro rider), Arnaud Vincent (GP moto), Philippe Corsaletti (Elf-Total), Marc Tessier (Sherco), Philippe Quillot (Massa), Pierre Souvigné (O'But), Gérard Benielli (Dif'Azur). The very next day, Bivouac was set on the hills of local countryside in order to start Dakar simulations for the Team's logistics and break-in the bikes.

David Casteu explains: "This year, with the help of my sponsors ELF, Sherco, Massa and Rockstar Energy, I chose to take my future into my own hands and to build my own team. For the last two months, I have been wearing two hats : Rider #1 and Team manager. But the later, I will drop it the day I land in Argentina to focus on my own race."

Beyond extremely professional people, David has relied and surrounded myself with many devoted friends who are supporting him in more ways than one. We can bet this synergy will make the difference in what is recognized as the toughest motorsport event in the world, Le Dakar.

"These last 3 months were really hard on us on all levels....we did not really sleep much at all. But Saturday night, when I stayed in the field where we set up camp, I tool a look around me and really paid attention to my team, I was really happy. I did realize that I went far and deep with details and that I really used my years of experience as official factory KTM rider to put together a great team, my team!"

This 2010 Dakar is marked as a stepping stone in the history of Rally Raid world because the highly successful promoter ASO did impose a 450cc limit for the motorcycles. "The fact that Sherco as well as Yamaha and Aprilia vested themselves in Rally is proof that the people against the new rule are in the wrong. It was a really good decision and at the finish of this Dakar, I think many factories will ask themselves serious questions and will regret to have missed on such new opportunity."

"The 450cc Sherco with injection adds a 'green' touch to my program as it is very easy to fine tune the gas mileage. The lightweight bike doesn't require a lot of experience to ride it but an agressive style is required. The total opposite of the large 690cc we were previously used to. In this Dakar, we will still see KTM 690 but restricted in power, a wise choice by the promoters that will allow many 450cc riders to compete on a even field. I twas important to look further than just one Dakar, I am committed for long term and thanx to my sponsors, I already have the next two years of ‘Dakar' and world championships budgeted."

"My Team is composed of three riders, including Mika Pisano who is my designated ‘water carrier' and Ludo Boinnard, additional assistant to our program who will be following us on my old Factory KTM. We will be a total of 12 people, each with a very detailed designated task and I know I will be able to rest entirely on this group of people very tightly knitted by friendship and professionalism."

"I am very excited to be part of the ELF Sherco Massa Rockstar Energy team, explain Ludo Boinnard. We started working on this Team program right after the Tunisia rally, in May. Originally we were going to be on KTMs but when the Factory withdrew its engagement from the Dakar, it left us no choice but work on the future... After many many marketing proposals and testing of various bikes and configurations, David chose to go with a small reactive company that is fueled by passion: Sherco

Personally this is my first Dakar and in spite of my previous 13 races in world championship, I don't really know what to expect beside the usual pain and suffering encountered in world level cross country rallies. David will be followed closely by young talent Mika Pisano and I will be trailing them just in case they need anything.

Last year, all possibilities of winning were destroyed for David as soon as the first day when his water carrier failed to stop and give him his wheel. It was still an amazing feat to see David climb back up the standings from +100th to 4th in spite of this mishap. When you know this story from last year, you understand better why Mika and I consider our positions in the team as great responsibilities and our goal is first to see David finish the race in top positions and then for ourselves to join the whole team in celebration at the finish line podium in Buenos Aires. Due to the time limitations, we couldn't build a third Sherco for me. So I will be entering it on the huge KTM 690 for now. It might be a handful in this year's more technical Dakar, but I‘ll just deal with it. After the Dakar, we will have plenty of time to build another set of Shercos, including one for me and some for customers to use in the world championship.

My mechanic in this Dakar will actually be two people. A teacher, Patrick Ricroch and a 19 yr old student, Alex Giorsetti from IFA. IFA, the equivalent of the American MMI (Motorcycle mechanics Institute), is based on the French Riviera. With David Casteu's involvement, the Institute organized a contest to select from all 700 students and all teachers the would be ‘factory mechanics'. In the history of the Dakar, Alex & Patrick will be the first mechanical student and teacher duo to be included in an official team. This is a huge opportunity for them and they were able to grab it through their reflexion, dedication hard work and skills. I welcome those two talents in what will certainly be a life changing experience for them."

During the Dakar, all competitors wearing a Leatt brace neck protector will be able to get technical support in the form of new replacement parts inventoried a tour truck. The Leatt company will set up booth next to our truck during admin and tech controls in Buenos Aires.

2009/12/08 | 14:20 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Sherco

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