Husqvarna is all set to make a comeback at the Dakar Rally, adding more beef to an already stacked lineup of some of the fiercest rally raid competitors in the world. The company made the announcement, saying that it would be fielding a two-rider lineup at the 2016 staging of the event, namely veteran rally rider Ruben Faria and up-and-coming hotshot Pierre-Alexandre Renet.

Faria, in particular, will bring his Dakar Rally experience to Husky, including a second place finish in 2013 with KTM. In a roundabout kind of way, Faria will still be racing under the KTM umbrella, only this time it will be for one of its new sub-brands. On the opposite end of the experience pipe is Renet, who will be making his first appearance at the Dakar Rally after establishing a career that saw him excel in the enduro racing scene. Both Faria and Renet will be using the Husqvarna 450 Rally where it will line up against a whole plate of competitors, including KTM.

None of that matters at this point because what’s important is that Husqvarna’s returning to the Dakar Rally. Some form of credit must also go to KTM, Husky’s new parent firm, which is doubling down on its participation during the race by essentially having two factory teams in it.

There are also talks about Husqvarna bringing a satellite team with it to the 2016 Dakar Rally. There’s still no confirmation on whether that’s going to happen, but with the team already having a name - HT Husqvarna Rally Team - and a manager - Henk Hellegens - it could only be a matter of time before Husqvarna makes a formal announcement pertaining to this satellite racing team.

Continue reading to read more about Husqvarna’s announced comeback at the 2016 Dakar Rally.

Why it matters

After being absent from the Dakar Rally in the past two years, it’s nice to see Husqvarna return to the most famous off-road endurance race in the world. Now, returning to race and actually winning it are two entirely different things. I think Husqvarna’s going to make some noise in the 2016 staging of the race, but I’d be going off on a limb if I said that the team will win the race entirely.

That would be presumptuous on my part, especially when you consider that Husky’s current parent company, KTM, is the defending champion in the motorcycle category. That said, wouldn’t it be awesome if Husqvarna somehow did the improbable and actually win the race in 2016 after a two-year absence?

I have to admit that I’m not willing to ignore such a scenario, improbable as it may sound. For now, though, I think it’s more important for the team to set up the team that will compete in the race. There’s word that it even plans on fielding a satellite team to compete in the race in addition to the factory outfit that will also be there.

The table is definitely being set for an exciting 2016 Dakar Rally in the motorcycle category. KTM should be there to defend its title. Yamaha and Honda are also expected to be in the thick of things. Add Husqvarna into this mix and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some fireworks come race time.

That’s the beauty of the Dakar Rally. It doesn’t matter if you have the best machine because the elements could have a bigger role in determining who wins and who crashes out. If everything breaks Husqvarna’s way, well then, that would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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