It was a long time coming, but Bruno Santos will race the Dakar Rally in 2024.
His debut would have come two years prior in 2022, but he suffered an injury after crashing at the 2021 Rallye du Maroc that forced him to start over from square one. After spending 2022 recovering, he returned to action at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, his first time racing in the World Rally-Raid Championship, and did not miss a step as he finished fifth among Rally2 riders. He was also second in the Road to Dakar class, the winner of which earns free registration to Dakar; although previously accepted for the 2022 Dakar, him skipping meant he had no prior experience in the race and was therefore eligible.
“This year, I finally managed to recover from the injury that suffered in the Morocco Rally in 2021, and I will now be able to compete in the Dakar Rally, a participation that is the culmination of several years of work,” Santos told MotoJornal. “I am very pleased to be able to make this project that has been on my sporting agenda for so long possible.”
Afterwards, he returned to Portugal to race in the FMP Portuguese Cross-Country Championship (CNTT), which he won in 2018 and 2019. He won two rounds, the Baja Portalegre 500 and Baja TT do Oeste, en route to the TT3 category championship. The Baja TT do Oeste is also part of the FIM Bajas World Cup, which also had the Baja Portalegre 500 through 2022.
Santos will race the #140 Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica for Xraids Experience in the Rally2 class. He revealed his programme last weekend as part of a special event callde the Torres Vedras TT, a motorcycle tour in which over 300 riders rode 300 kilometres from Tagus to the Portuguese coast.