Looking for someone to cheer for in the 2013 Dakar Rally? Then how about Hugo Payen, a French racer competing on a Yamaha WR450F. Payen is racing in his seventh Dakar Rally, with his best result a 48th place finish in 2011. As of this writing, Payen is 61st overall on Stage 5 of the Rally after starting the day in the 67 spot.
Payen competes in a category called “Malles Moto” or “Motorcycle Trunk”. That means he competes without a support team, relying only on storage trunks of tools and supplies that race organizers transport from stage to stage. But that’s not why Payen has drawn a lot of attention. It’s because he’s sponsored by porn.
Or to be more specific, Payen is sponsored by Marc Dourcel, a French producer of pornography. This is actually the third year Dourcel has sponsored Payen’s Dakar effort. Payen followed up his 48th-place result with a 60th-place result in 2012, both times on a motorcycle dressed in livery promoting Dourcel’s work. Last year, his bike featured an image of Russian-born French porn star Anna Polina.
This year, Payen will again race in Dourcel livery, this time with graphics featuring another adult film star, Claire Castel. Payen says his goal is to finish in the top 30 but we’re thinking his sponsor wouldn’t mind if he finished 69th.
You know, because that’s his race number.