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After years of starring on the Portuguese offroad scene, Antonio Maio is finally ready for his first tilt at the world's toughest rally. The 32-year-old recently conquered his fourth national all-terrain (TT) championship title and has claimed no fewer than six victories at Baja Portalegre 500, one of Portugal's most prestigious rallies. While he knows that the Dakar will be a serious step-up in terms of difficulty and navigation, Antonio is relishing the prospect of tackling the Peruvian dunes on his Yamaha as he looks to build up vital experience for future editions.
"I'm very happy to be taking the step up to Dakar, it's a dream that I've had for many years. The time has finally come for me to participate in the biggest cross-country rally in the world. I want to thank everyone who has helped to make this dream a reality: my team, who have allowed me to race in excellent conditions, to win rallies and conquer titles; my sponsors, because entering the Dakar is quite expensive; and everyone who has supported me in good and bad times. I'll do my best, knowing that I go to Peru carrying the strength of everyone who is behind me."
DRAG'ON RALLY TEAM
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