Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet)
I think it is interesting to see how many 'local' riders there are in South America these days, according to ASO, over a third of the entries submitted for Moto and Quad in Dakar 2013 were from South American riders...
I'm sure the FIM realise there is a significant number of riders with money there, hence the reinstatement of the Des Sertos as a World Championship round, plus the addition of Argentina - all helping to raise the profile of those competitors prior to Dakar?
I agree it is unlikely we'll see that many Europeans at those events, other than the factory teams contesting the whole championship of course (Marc Coma is going to have a lot of air-miles this year!), but I'm not sure that matters so much to the FIM with such an enthusiastic and seemingly wealthy local field of riders?
What used to be a sport dominated by Europeans is slowly changing....it's not a stretch to think there will be many more FIM sactioned events in SA in the coming years. Terrain and money....SA seems to have both along with a population that is enthusiastic about rally. The media circus of the Dakar certainly doesn't hurt either, nor does deserts that aren't politically "unstable"