This year, Motul is the main sponsor of the Sertões, the largest, most extreme racing event in the Americas. In just eight days, more than 300 competitors will traverse 5,000 kilometres of tough terrain in cars, bikes and off-road ATVs. As well as this, there’s an official virtual game for PlayStation. Matheus Fiamoncini Marins, marketing manager of Motul Brazil, tells us more.
Matheus, can you tell us about the partnership between Motul and Sertões?
Our partnership with Sertões started a few years ago. We weren’t the main sponsor, but supporting the teams taking part. In 2018, we tried to reinforce the power of the Motul brand and grew the number of teams we were supporting. Last year was our first approach as a sponsor of Sertões. We had our full technical team supporting the teams, and our Motul Racing Lab truck, like we had at Dakar, offering products and technical support to the teams during the stages. For 2020 and 2021, we’re the official lubricant partner of Sertões. All the competitors know us and are aware of the power of the brand and the quality of our products. A lot of the teams come to us for support. As the main sponsor, we have a huge activity at the start-finish line, as well as at the stages with help from our distributors.
And there’s a virtual game, too?
To launch the partnership, we created the Sertões Virtual. Sertões came to us with a proposal to take advantage of the current situation of social isolation. We created a plan to release this and involved PlayStation Brazil because we didn’t have time to create a game from zero. It’s based on GranTurismo. PlayStation was super excited about it. We released the virtual championship for the current competitors: 60 drivers, riders and navigators in all the different categories. For the final round, we broadcast it live on Facebook and YouTube. Now we’re talking about releasing it for everyone who wants to play.
The Sertões isn’t as well known as the likes of Dakar or Baja, but nevertheless it’s a big deal in South America, isn’t it?
It’s now the biggest rally of the Americas. Until last year we had the Dakar here, but now that this has left the area, this is the biggest. It’s more than 5,000kms. This year the rally will start in Sao Paulo, in the south east, and finish in the north east of the country. The rally will pass through eight states in Brazil and will go from 7-15 November. Originally, the rally was due to start in August, but because of the pandemic it was reorganised. Besides the main rally there’s also the Sertões Series. These are rallies that take place in different regions of Brazil. This year we have the Jalapão Rally Sertões Series from 26-29 of August.The Sertões Series Jalapão will be a real warm-up for the Sertões 2020, the 27th edition of the rally.
Is it comparable with the Dakar rally?
We have cars, UTVs, ATVs and motorcycles. But unlike Dakar, we don’t have trucks competing. This year, we’re introducing the Self by Motul, a motorcycle category in which riders compete without any support. It’s like the Dakar’s Original by Motul. For the first year, we are the title sponsor of the category. There will be around 15 riders who’ll compete without any technical support, completely by themselves.
What does this mean for Motul?
For us, our strategy is to say to Brazil that Motul has never been more Brazilian than this year. As a French company, we see this sponsorship as a way to say thank you to Brazil for receiving us for more than 20 years and show how we are investing in the country. We really believe we can do great things here. Sertões is not just the biggest rally in America, it’s the biggest competition we have in Brazil. And the organisers of Sertões support the health and happiness of the communities where the rally passes.