The 2024 edition of the Dakar – regarded by many veterans as the toughest staging of the ultimate Rally-Raid event since the 2020 move to Saudi Arabia – saw Motul-backed participants achieve notable successes and occupy several of the category podiums.
For Motul, the Dakar is not just a legendary challenge for athletes and vehicles. It also provides the ultimate real-time testbed for their products, and in keeping with their commitment to continuous improvement, the company sponsors and works with teams and athletes across all the Dakar Rally categories.
The Bike GP Category podium belonged entirely to riders using Motul’s innovative 300V lubricant, with new chapters being added to one of the most compelling stories in motorsport. After duelling for almost 8,000km, overall motorcycle winner Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda) won by less than 11 minutes from fellow Motul-sponsored rider, Botswana’s Ross Branch (Hero MotoSports Team Rally), who secured his first Dakar podium on what was his third attempt, with Brabec’s teammate Adrien Van Beveren taking third place.
It was also an extremely close race to the finish in the highly competitive Rally 2 bike category, with India’s Harith Noah (Sherco TVS Rally Factory) finishing less than 5 minutes ahead of the reigning Rally 2 champion. In the process, he became the first rider from India to win a Bike category overall and also gave Sherco their first overall Rally 2 win. This measure of success is a natural extension of Sherco and Motul’s first-fill partnership, with Sherco having chosen Motul as their official lubricant partner for all 39 models in their current range.
The Motul Lab is a world-class oil and lubricant analysis facility that’s available to all Dakar competitors and moves from bivouac to bivouac for each stage, constantly providing insights that can make all the difference in an event where the margin between success and failure can be razor thin.
One of the prime examples of this was eventual Dakar Quad category winner Manuel Andujar (7240 Team / Drag’On Rally Service), who took full advantage of the technical services provided by the Motul Lab on his way to winning his category for the second time. Of the almost 400 analyses conducted during this year’s event, perhaps the most significant was the sample that enabled the Motul technicians to predict what would otherwise have been an unforeseen, catastrophic and potentially race-ending engine failure for Andujar’s Yamaha Raptor 700. Following a late-night meeting between the Motul onsite team, Manuel, and his mechanics, the decision was taken to change the engine – and the rest is now part of Dakar history.
Cristina Gutiérrez became only the second woman ever to win a Dakar title, and the first since 2001. She pulled off a remarkable comeback victory in the Challenger category after the initial category leader, Mitchell Guthrie, was forced to drop out due to mechanical issues on the second to last stage. A Motul-supported athlete, Gutiérrez then sealed her victory over Guthrie on the final day.
Motul’s impact was however most keenly felt in the Original by Motul Class, where competitors relied on their own mechanical skills plus a trunk containing all the Motul products they needed to stay in the race, stage after stage. The riders in this category showed the exceptional determination and resilience that are hallmarks of the Motul brand. Active participation in events like the Dakar generates real-world data and insights that can be used to improve Motul products for all customers.
“Our commitment to the Dakar is matched only by our focus on innovation – and indeed the two go hand-in-hand,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “By constantly testing and enhancing our products, we empower everyone from Dakar competitors to everyday drivers,” she added.