(ita) 2m / 100kg


Cinema, cinema, reading about astronomy and philosophy


ISB Sport Bearing, Neri Motori, FSL Foppiani, OSCALITO, CN Meccanica, MODUS 97, TMF Racing, TUTTOGRU

2022: 73rd
2021: DNF
2020: 82°
2016: DNF
2015: DNF
2014: DNF

2023 : Baja Qatar / Hellas Rally / Transanatolia / Italian Motorally Championship
2022 : Touquet / Enduro Championship / Italian Motorally Championship
2021: Rally Legend, Sardegna
2018: Hispania Rally (Cuenca - Spagna - Campionato Europeo); Rally di Sicilia (Campionato Europeo)
2017: Transanatolia, 1st (Turkey)
2016: GS Trophy (Thailandia)
2016/2017/2018/2019: Merzouga Rally
2013/2014/2015/2017: Transanatolia (Turkey)
2012/2013/2014/2018/2019: Hella’s Rally (Greece)
2013: Baja Aragon (Spain)
1999/2008/2011: Pharaons Rally (Egypt)
2007/2008/2009: Erzberg Rodeo (Austria)
2001/2017: Sardegna Rally Rac
Dal 2006 al 2015: Italian Motorally (Campione Italiano 2010 Classe 1000cc)
2006: Carpat Rally (Romania)
2000 : Rally Dubai (UAE)


“The head, bike and body must work at their best”

Francesco Catanese can be described as the Italian “giant” of rally racing: 2 meters tall, he’s one of the riders to have contested the greatest number of amateur rallies and raids. Pharaons, Merzouga, Hellas, Transanatolia, Sardegna, Baja Aragon, Baja Qatar, Touquet… are just some of the highlights on his impressive resume. He’s a civil engineer in everyday life, a motorcyclist by passion and a journalist by pleasure (he contributes to Motociclismo), an experienced rider and an open, communicative person. He doesn’t like to show off on social networks, but he never misses a chance to talk about motorcycling and adventure. He already has six Dakar under his belt, and his journey has not been an easy one. His first three participations ended before the finish line, for the three main reasons for failure that any rider faces: insufficient physical preparation in Argentina in 2014; fractured wrist in 2015; and technical failure in 2016, when the fuel pump on his bike broke down on stage 9. These three attempts convinced him to put his heart at rest and give up his dream of crossing the finish line on the Dakar, but in 2019, a business friend convinced him to let his heart prevail over reason, and he lined up at the start of the 2020 edition. On his fourth attempt, Francesco achieved his goal of finishing the race, in the first edition held in Saudi Arabia. In his 50th birthday year, he decided to treat himself to a fifth Dakar, self-sponsoring the 2021 edition, which, however, led to his retirement due to technical failure. He set off again for a new adventure in 2022 aboard a Honda CRF450 Rally, with which he finished 73rd. After missing out on the 2023 edition due to a collarbone injury, the Italian is about to take part in his seventh Dakar with the determination to do better and above all, to enjoy!

FC: “My last Dakar was in 2022, it went very well, I finished 73rd without any problems and I also had fun, which is rare in the Dakar. I was actually also signed up for the 2023 edition, but I broke my collarbone while I was training for the Six Days of Enduro and needed surgery. I wasn’t at the top and so I gave up. For the Dakar you have to be at 100% and it’s already hard. For 2024, I prepared myself by trying to do several races. I raced at the Baja Qatar, the Hellas Rally, the Transanatolia, the Italian Motorally Championship. I also try to go to the gym in the evenings 2-3 times a week and at the weekend I like to do motocross. In the summer I also go cycling a lot. My goal is always the same, to try to get to the end. However, for two weeks, a terrible day might happen, when everything goes wrong. It is therefore essential to have a bit of luck. It’s a race in which the head, bike and body must work at their best, if one of the three gives up you won’t finish. The most important thing of all, however, is the mind. The Dakar is a chess game with yourself. In the race you have to face your worst demons who are all trying to make you give up. Many times, we ask ourselves: why am I here? I’m hungry, cold, tired, I’m not well and I also paid a lot of money. Your head is against you and wants to find an excuse not to let you continue. You must be strong to resist.”




  • CRF 450 RALLY
  • Team Pedrega
  • Team Pedrega
  • Rally 2

Ranking 2024

Follow us

Get exclusive information