I think KTM will once more stand highest on the podium... perhaps not 1 & 2... but they are my favour to win it. Most probable tip (for my money) is Despres to break the pattern and get two in a row... Coma's injury in Marocco was a big blow to the preparation... IF he is 100% fit by january, he has the routine to push for the win... but this is the only question.
Chaleco is on KTM this year... and even though not on the factory squad... with the material at his disposal and the memory of "what could have been" from the Aprilia years... 2013 could be "now or never" for the Chileán champion to be the first latin American name on top of the Podium.
I think this year we will see a motorcycle with the letter "H" take one of the other two steps of the winner dias...
The Speedbrain team have been gaining momentum ever since the BMW program evolved into the Husqvarna program... and now they have four or five solid top 20 calibre riders on the roster, and Barreda has recently shown improved experience and speed of the front runners. The Speedbrain team were the stand out performers at the recent Rallye Maroc.
The other big "H" team will certainly make presence felt this DAKAR. I think that Helder will put HRC up on the leader board amongst the top three positions early in week one, and make a solid bid for the crown. But something tells me (intuition) that something
will go wrong (there are a million things that can) and HONDA will not
be on the podium... but two bikes from them in top ten is not improbable.
My MOTO podium tip is two KTM's (one on top) with a Husky on one of the lower two steps.