to continue the speculation.
To continue the speculation side.
Cyril and Marc both have enormous value for KTM , both in the Dakar and Rally series and Cyril also in the extreme enduro side. I would guess that Cyril would have a higher marketing value due to exposure in the extreme side and Marc a high value in the "not to under estimate Spanish motorbike minded market".
For next years Dakar, anything less than a win for KTM (with 450's) would be a failure, to ensure the win you need the worlds best riders. So they will want to hold on to them both.
I guess the only companies which can pose a potential threat are :
BMW has a desire to get into other markets than their current adventure riding big bikes. Hence the 450X development and the Husqvarna takeover. With the shelving of the 450X project, the enduro emphasis on Husqvarna a speculative possibilty could be a Husqvarna rally project. Imagine Cyril on a Husky on the extreme enduro's (good PR), a fully backed rally team. It just might bring Husky back into the scene full on. Mind you it would only be worth the investment because of the current small market share which could be grown like KTM.
Sherco ? I am not sure how much coin they can put into the project, still early days I guess.
Husaberg : Part of KTM.
Gas Gas : Not to be under estimated, Spanish backing could be enormous, Repsol, Coma, who nows.
Aprillia : Competetive package, proven, racing background, a bike which has been developed , not a huge success in the enduro scene but huge potential as a rally platform.
I hope I am wrong but I dont see the Japanese getting into the rally scene with factory backing. Yamaha Motor France has a racing division, as does Kawasaki in France. Of the two only Yamaha has put semi serious efforts into the Dakar in recent years, but once again they are not hugely interested in the enduro scene or rally raid FIM series.
Speculation all around, will keep my ears open at this years DC in Abu Dhabi.