“The most important thing is to have made it through to the end of the year without injury”
Mário Patrão is the most decorated Portuguese offroad rider in history, with no fewer than 25 national titles in offroad and enduro. Seeking a new challenge, he participated in the Dakar for the first time in 2013, where he managed a promising 30th place overall. After mixed results in 2014 and 2015, he claimed his best result to date in 2016, flying to 13th on a far more competitive KTM 450 Rally and even securing victory in the Marathon class. Though the rest of his 2016 season was curtailed by a serious leg fracture, the 41-year-old returned last year to ride for the prestigious KTM Factory Racing Team, and came away with another top 20 finish. Mário will once again be riding for the Austrian giants in 2018 as they look to make it 17 consecutive victories in the motorcycle class, and he is determined to impress after staying injury-free throughout his preparations.
“It was definitely 'mission accomplished' at Dakar 2017. I went there with a goal and I was able to settle into the best team in the world. It was a huge pleasure to work alongside the talented and experienced people who make up KTM Factory Racing. I left with a 20th-place finish, which was the result of a lot of hard work and persistence. We've had some setbacks since then but I'm generally happy with our season. The most important thing is to have made it through to the end of the year without injury, because there is an important test on the horizon! Last year I took part in the Dakar with a lot of physical limitations after my accident, so I want to be in better shape in 2018. We're hoping to give the best possible account of ourselves and get another positive result."