Honda, Monster Energy, Motul, Termignoni, Showa, Michelin, Givi, Alpinestarshttps://rally.hondaracingcorporation.com/
2016: Ab. Stage 11 (1 stage win)
2015: 2nd (1 stage win)
2014: Ab. Stage 5
2011: Ab. Stage 8 (1 stage win)
2010: Ab. Stage 6
2018: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (5th), Merzouga Rally (12th) Atacama Rally (6th), Desafio Ruta 40 (1st), Desafio Inca (1st), Rallye du Maroc (5th)
2017: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (4th), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (2nd), Atacama Rally (3rd), Desafio Ruta 40 (2nd), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (Ab.)
2016: Atacama Rally (4th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (39th)
2015: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (30th), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (3rd), Sardinia Rally (4th), Atacama Rally (5th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (3rd)
2014: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (5th), Sardinia Rally (4th), Dos Sertoes Rally (2nd), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (Ab.)
2013: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (2nd), Sardinia Rally (2nd), Desafio Ruta 40 (4th), Dos Sertoes Rally (1st), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (1st)
Winner, FIM Cross-Country World Championship
2012: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (3rd), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (9th), Sardinia Rally (6th), Egypt Rally (4th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (5th)
2011: Dos Sertoes Rally, OiLibya Rally of Morocco (14th)
2010: OiLibya Rally of Morocco (8th), Estoril-Marrakech (3rd)
2008: Pax Rally Portugal (5th)
The most experienced of the current crop of elite Dakar bike riders, 39-year-old Paulo Gonçalves is gearing up for his 12th tilt at the world's biggest rally. Since his debut in 2006, the Portuguese has endured plenty of ups and downs; 10th in 2009 and 2013, he came as high as second in 2015, but four of his other Dakar participations ended in retirement. He finished 6th in 2017, although he might have been battling for the win if Honda hadn't been slapped with a one-hour penalty after an illegal refuel. Last year, meanwhile, he was forced to pull out at the 11th hour due to knee and shoulder injuries sustained a fortnight before the rally. It was the first time he'd failed to take the starting line since the Dakar switched to South America. “Speedy Gonçalves” has returned with a bang in 2018, picking up solid results in Abu Dhabi and Chile before claiming back-to-back wins at Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina and Desafio Inca in Peru -perfect preparation for the 41st edition of the Dakar. The 39-year-old is confident that the talented Monster Energy Honda line-up has what it takes to finally knock KTM off their perch and claim a first win since 1989, although he acknowledges that it won't be easy mastering the Peruvian dunes.
“Last year was tough for me, because I got an injury two weeks before the race. I flew to South America hoping for a miracle before the start, but ultimately there was no way to go ahead with Dakar. It was a hard moment for me but I know these things can happen. The start of the season was a bit difficult, but in the second part I started to ride really well, especially in the last three races, with wins at Desafio Ruta 40 and Desafio Inca. Now I'm ready for the next big challenge in January. “We have five riders in good shape: Barreda, Benavides, me, Brabec and Nacho. Five riders who work together, who help each other out so we can finally achieve our goal: to win Dakar. It's time to do it! I really hope this edition is our edition. It won't be easy, there are many riders fighting for the title, but we have an amazing crew behind us. Even if it's only 10 days I'm sure it'll be a tough race, with lots of sand. The dunes are tough for the engines, but our mechanics are looking to manage durability conditions. There have been small improvements on the bike, especially suspension, and right now we think we've found what we're looking for."
MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2019
Paulo Gonçalves will not reach the finish of his 12th Dakar. The official Honda rider has suffered a severe fall after 155 km on the special and has been forced to drop out for the fifth time in his career on the Dakar. The Portuguese has suffered a slight head injury and possibly a broken hand.
Paulo Gonçalves has also got his teeth into the day’s special. Still suffering somewhat from a spleen injury, the Portuguese biker is riding through the pain at the beginning of this edition of the Dakar and has not made any mistakes yet, seemingly grinning and bearing it whilst waiting for better days…
The beginning of the Dakar has been difficult for Xavier de Soultrait and Paulo Gonçalves. Far from the front during the first stage, the two men are already more than 7 minutes behind the leader after 150 km. In his defence, the Portuguese rider has been suffering with an injured spleed for the last month.
Paulo Gonçalves is unsurprisingly experiencing a difficult first half of the special. Following an injury one month ago at the Portuguese championships, the Honda rider has not yet totally recovered from a spleen injury and is 4 minutes off the pace after 40 km…
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