I never realized how dangerous this race (and this type of racing) is. The day before this Jose-Manuel Perez died from injuries he sustained in a crash during stage 7. Another great, Richard Sainct, died from crash injuries during the Pharaoh Rally in Egypt just four months earlier. In the Dakars 27 year history 22 riders have died.
I'm not getting some perverse thrill out of these stats or trying to defame the sport. I respect rally racing and the Dakar in particular for being one of the most unique and challenging races of all types of motor sports. However, do you have to step back and ask whats wrong where a competitor dies nearly every year of the event?
Are you kidding? The Dakar rally is not by any stretch of the imagination "an obscure race". It's a huge event that people around the world follow. Just because Americans don't know anything about it doesn't mean that it's obscure.
Yeah, I'm pissed off too. Last year the coverage on Speed was very good, for every stage. This year OLN (Outdoor Living Network) was supposed to cover it instead, and they had some pre-Dakar programming about KTM selecting a team of American riders in a reality-TV-style show. Then it turned out that they'll have just a couple hours of coverage AFTER the race is over! Idiots.