To us at Dream Racer, Nicola Dutto (IT) is already the true hero of the 2019 Dakar Rally — and the race hasn’t begun yet!
During his career, Nicola won many races, with the Italian and European Baja Championship in 2008 and 2009 as major highlights. His life completely changed in March 2010 when he broke his spinal cord in an accident during the Italian Baja, leaving him in a wheel chair.
With racing in his DNA and an incredible determination, in November 2011, nine months after getting out of the hospital bed, Nicola launched a challenge to himself: return to racing.
He surprised everybody as he presented himself at the start of the legendary Baja 1000 on a Polaris Buggy, modified for his needs. After this race he announced a bigger challenge none could expect: to compete on a motorbike again. It looked like an impossible challenge but against all odds and animated by the passion for the off-road and surrounded by the support and the trust of the people around him, starting with his wife Elena -always alongside him- and KTM Italy, in 2012 Nicola competed in the 500km long Baja Aragon becoming the first ever paraplegic motorbike rider.
This was just the beginning of a bigger project: competing in the Dakar Rally. Nicola never stopped dreaming and working hard and developed a kit to enable him to race. Useless to say that he found many obstacles on his path. He faced them one by one as a professional driver, as he is.
Six years later he can finally say that he made it. On the 6th of January 2019 Nicola Dutto will take the start of the Dakar rally, one of the sandiest edition, on his KTM 450.
“I will compete with a KTM equipped with a special roll-bar to protect my legs, that I have developed, and on the handlebar I have the buttons for the rear and front brake, the change gear and to accelerate. I’m actually tied to the bike. I won’t be alone. I will share this adventure with 3 other drivers who will escort me one riding in front, one on each side and one behind me. It’s a team work. We have competed together the Dakar Series as the Merzouga Rally and the Morocco Rally.”
I take the start of the 2019 Dakar Rally motivated to give the maximum. I’m fascinated by the idea to spend many hours on the bike pushing forward my physical and mental limits. Scared? Nothing scares me”.