What it takes to tackle the world’s longest race 


By the staff of Dirt Wheels

We met up with Pablo at a summer test session in Glamis to ride his Raptor. To our surprise, the quad didn’t feel as big and heavy as it looks. It felt more like a Baja quad and was not underpowered by any stretch.


When we were working on the Dakar feature at the beginning of 2021, we noticed that one ATV competitor had USA listed as his home country. This caught our attention, as this is a first for the Quad class. It turns out, Pablo Copetti is originally from Argentina but had become a U.S. citizen just prior to the January 2021 event.

We met up with the third-place finisher at King of the Hammers in February 2021 to get his thoughts on the race. Later, we hooked up with him this summer as he was prepping for the 2022 race. He was riding at Glamis in the summer, and not many people go there in the summer!

Dakar builds have always been intriguing to us since they have huge fuel tanks, on occasion carrying a spare tire and have the unique roll-chart navigation system hidden behind the windscreen. Here’s some close-ups of Pablo’s Yamaha Raptor wrapped with new Del Amo Motorsports graphics.

Pablo finished on the short step of the podium in 2021 after three stage wins. With better support from new sponsors Del Amo Motorsports and Yamaha, we expect to see him on top in 2022. Follow the race in January 2022 at www.dakar.com.
Pablo uses the same setup from Roll Design that you can put on your Raptor. After each stage, the mechanics check everything. They adjust the A-arms, ball joints, knuckles and the rear axle. Lots of parts were changed after the rocky stages.




The Dakar rules state there must be a guard protecting the rear of the sprocket and brake rotor. He uses a RPM Dominator 2 axle.
The custom nerf bar holds a 3.69-gallon fuel tank with a remote pump to feed fuel back to the main 7.13-gallon main tank. In the Dakar Rally, you must be outfitted with enough fuel to travel 250 kilometers (155 miles).




A roll chart is the only form of navigation racers can use. There is a button on the handlebar to turn the rolls of paper and to reset the trip meter located above. The windscreen is off a Yamaha Super Tenere adventure bike.
Since Dakar left Africa over a decade ago, the terrain is more like the deserts in the southwestern part of this country. Now in Saudi Arabia, more dune days have been thrown into the two-week-long race. His longest day in 2021 was the 813-kilometer Stage 4. Pablo started the road section at 4:30 a.m. and arrived at the finish over 12 hours later at 5 p.m. Photo by A.S.O./ Frederic LeFloch
Both Glamis and Dumont dunes serve as great training grounds for the Rally, especially since the event takes place in Saudi Arabia these days, and sand is a big part of it. We did this photo shoot during a training session in 115-degree heat—now that’s dedication.
For the 2022 event, we connected Pablo (center) with Del Amo Motorsports here in Southern California and the Yamaha headquarters in Georgia for support. We want to see Copetti bring the win to the USA as much as he does.



Machine Yamaha Raptor 700

Title sponsor Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha

Builder/mechanic MX DEVESA/Carlos & Lucas Devasa

Exhaust Akrapovic

Clutch Direct Drive

Throttle Motion Pro

Handlebar ProTaper

Grips ProGrip foam

Kill switch Pro Armor

Oil Motul 300V

Coolant Motul

Main fuel tank Mecasystem 7.1 gal.

Auxiliary tank Rocam 3.69 gal.

Brakes Beringer

Tires Maxxis RAZR 2 23 (f), 22 (r) w/Tire Blocks

Wheels DWT beadlock

Suspension Roll Design/stock

Shocks Reiger Racing

Skid plate Dragoon

Light Rigid

Seat Sargent

Curb Weight 661 lb.

Gearing 14/38

Axle RPM Dominator 2

Chain D.I.D

Top speed 80 mph

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