While Paulo Gonçalves (Hero) returns to a race in which he was already runner-up (2015), after a year of absence due to injury, the former biker Ruben Faria took over the sportive command of the official Honda team. In cars, the navigator Paulo Fiúza follows the French Stéphane Peterhansel (Mini), who already has 13 wins in the race.
In the SSV, Pedro Bianchi Prata navigates the rally driver Conrad Rautenbach with his eyes on the triumph.
After five years in the official Honda team, Gonçalves, the former national champion of motocross, supercross and endurance, joined the Indian Hero.
"The bike is good, balanced and reliable. The race will have a lot of sand but also tracks in dry rivers, with a lot of navigation. It is about 5,000 kilometres of special, twice as many as last year. Regularity will be a determining factor," he said.
This year, he is a team-mate of his brother-in-law and former rival of the motocross tracks, Joaquim Rodrigues Jr.
Ruben Faria, who in 2019 also integrated the structure of Honda, is the new sports director of the team that will try to interrupt the dominance of KTM, which wins for 18 consecutive years.
In cars, the navigator Paulo Fiúza was chosen to replace the German Andrea Mayer, who should accompany her husband, the Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel.
With 13 victories in the competition, six on motorcycles and seven in cars, Peterhansel is known as 'Mr. Dakar'. Therefore, fighting for victory will be natural, the Portuguese navigator said, who was accompanied, among others, the Portuguese Carlos Sousa and Ricardo Leal dos Santos, and the Argentine Orlando Terranova.