(prt) 1.72m / 76kg


trial biking


TVS, Sherco, Boticas

2021: first appearance

2020: Andaluicia Rally (21st)
17 year career in Motocross + ISDE
2009: MX2 WCH (2nd)


“Technique is good, experience is key!”

He might have a long and fantastic career in Motocross (2nd of the MX2 World Championships in 2009), Rui Goncalves shows up on the Dakar as humbly as can be. After 17 years competing on circuits around the world, he decided to take on a new challenge when the Sherco TVS Factory team offered a place on its team. It was supposed to be a long learning process of well over a year, but an elbow injury and the Covid crisis prevented him from gaining experience before the big one, the Dakar. At 35 years of age, he’ll only have the Andalucia Rally (finished in 21st position) under his belt. While he certainly has the technique and skills, the Portuguese rider knows just to well that he needs a brand new mind set and long hours on the bike. His goal is therefore only to finish the rally before better days.

“I believe the Dakar is in the Portuguese culture. We’ve had many great riders and stage winners in the past like Paulo (Gonçalves) or Helder (Rodrigues), so it’s an event I followed as a kid. Then the opportunity to do it came through Sherco / TVS. It was a new challenge to take on. The Morocco Rally was supposed to be my first off-road rally last year but unfortunately I broke my elbow and couldn’t compete. That would have been my first rally in my learning process. I would have liked to have more experience before taking on the Dakar for the first time but that’s how it is. Compared to motocross it really is completely different. Physically first of all because it’s longer and you need more endurance. Mentally as well: you have to be focused for many hours while a motocross race is two times 30min. And there are so many things you have to think of: the navigation, the speed zones, refuelling. Of course I discussed with former motocross riders like Andy Short and Matthias Walkner. Being a cross-country rider isn’t something that comes immediately. You have to be patient. The preparation and experience is essential. In motocross a training camp and going around the circuit is enough. Add to that the fact that you have to deal with mechanical problems and repair on your own. Every day you have to learn something new. At least I have the riding technique and that might help. It’s fine to go fast but you have to at least go in the right direction… Technique is good but experience is key. I come from scratch so my objective is to finish. I show up with the will to learn and we’ll see as it goes. It’s my first experience so I have no pressure in terms of results. It’s pointless to push the limits.”



  • Modelo : 450 RTR
  • Preparador : Sherco TVS Rally Factory
  • Asistencia : Sherco TVS Rally Factory
  • Clase : G2.1 Superproducción

Clasificación 2021

Scratch Etapa General
0 20 20 20
1 27 27 26
2 21 21 25
3 9 9 22
4 44 44 28
5 34 34 28
6 35 35 28
7 24 23 27
8 40 40 25
9 39 39 22
10 19 19 21
11 14 14 20
12 13 13 19


Recibe información exclusiva del Dakar