Australian Yamaha dealer Rodney Faggotter will compete in the 2020 Dakar Rally on a WR450F as a privateer. The event kicks off in Saudi Arabia on 5 Jan 2020.The Longreach, QLD dealer from Centretune Motorcycles has a long history with the Rally following his 2012 debut and 2013 event when he placed an impressive 14th outright.
After securing a ride on the Yamaha Factory Rally team, Faggotter placed 16th in 2018 when he was the only member of the team to complete the gruelling two-week event.
As a Factory Rally rider with high levels of mechanical skills, his job was to assist his teammates should they encounter a technical difficulty – of which there are many. But this year Rodney will not be tasked with helping others. Instead he is riding essentially as a privateer – with help from the Drag’On Rally team who will assist with servicing and spare parts.
“This is the first time that I’ll be able to have a red hot go on a bike that is very close to factory spec,” says the 43-year-old Queenslander.
“Last year was pretty heartbreaking to find myself stranded in the middle of the big dunes. I was doing well, within the top 15. This time it will be different as a privateer, but I’ll be on the same bike that I know well,” he says. Currently Rod is practising in Aussie desert conditions on the WR450F rally bike he imported from French rally specialists Drag’On.
“The goal is first of all to finish... but the aim is top ten,” he says. Will this next attempt quell his obsession with the world’s toughest desert race and be his last? “We’ll just have to wait and see,” replies Rod.
YMA in conjunction with YMF and YMI is pleased to be one of Rod’s main sponsors - it costs up to $100,000 to compete in the event – with the time and logistics involved taking a big toll. YMA will be closely following Rod’s progress in 2020. Join us in wishing him the best of luck on the 2020 Dakar Rally.