Paralysed ex-WorldSBK rider Joan Lascorz to tackle 2022 Dakar Rally

Paralysed ex-WorldSBK racer Joan Lascorz will make his bow on the gruelling Dakar Rally in January driving a specially adapted UTV 

Joan Lascorz

Former WorldSBK rider Joan Lascorz is to make his debut on the 2022 Dakar Rally using a specially-adapted UTV designed to meet his needs as a paraplegic.

The Spaniard will attempt the gruelling challenge of the Saudi Arabia desert-based rally raid in the Side-by-Side category (SSV T4) via crowdfunding - which opens on December 10th - to help fund his entry and associated team.

Lascorz was considered one of Superbike racing’s rising stars following a race-winning turn in the WorldSSP Championship with Provec Racing, before joining the Spanish operation in stepping up to the WorldSBK Championship in 2011 alongside Tom Sykes when it took over the factory Kawasaki entry.

However, an accident during testing at Imola left Lascorz with serious injuries, the subsequent fractured vertebra leaving him with no movement in his legs and restricted use of his arms and hands. 

Despite this, Lascorz has remained a frequent figure in the WorldSBK paddock, taking on commentating duties before returning to Provec Racing to take on the role of rider coach for WorldSSP Champion Ana Carrasco in 2021.

Campaigning a vehicle adapted with  assistance from the 17Foundation - which promotes recreational activities for people with spinal cord injuries - Lascorz is eager to get his latest challenge underway.

“We’re really looking forward to starting the Dakar. It’s a challenge I have wanted to face for many years. 

“We already have the material shipped with the Buggy Masters Team and everything packed, so I'm looking forward to the date. 

“I want to thank all those who have trusted in this project and make possible go to the Dakar, sponsors and team, KOA Center for the preparation and all those who join this project via Verkami. We’ll do our best in their honor.”

Lascorz will join 2011 WorldSBK Champion Carlos Checa in making his Dakar Rally debut in January, the Spaniard having signed up to compete in the buggy class, while ex-MotoGP rider will compete in the motorcycle category with KTM.