Dakar Rally bikers must pass exam

The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) has said motorcyclists who want to enter the 2010 Dakar Rally will have to pass a "strict exam" following the death of French rider Pascal Terry this year.

At the launch of the next year's race ASO director Etienne Lavigne called for "a distinction between the drama we knew this year and our worry for the security that has always been something very important for the organisation".

The 2010 competition will return to Argentina and Chile after South African driver Giniel De Villiers and Spaniard Marc Coma won the car and motorbike classes respectively in January.

Investigations into Pascal's death are continuing, but Mr Lavigne stressed that "the Dakar Rally is the safest championship in the world and has the most equipment to guarantee the security of the contenders".

Even so organisers have decided bikers will have to prove their ability by showing they have participated in a championship organised by the International Motorcycling Federation or a Dakar Series event in the last three years.

The 32nd Dakar will get under way on January 2 2010 in Buenos Aires and finish 15 days later in the same city.

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