2024 Africa Eco Race with stunning victory on event’s seventh timed special

2024 Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid

Alessandro Botturi Wins Stage Seven of 2024 Africa Eco Race
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team’s Alessandro Botturi has claimed his second stage win of the 2024 Africa Eco Race with a stunning victory on the event’s seventh timed special. As the fastest rider through each waypoint and checkpoint, the Italian delivered a strong ride to reel in the current rally leader by two minutes. For Botturi’s teammate, Pol Tarrés, it was a slightly frustrating day as the stage six winner would ultimately post the fifth fastest time.
Stage seven at the AER was certainly a demanding one. The looping, 453km timed special took place on sand from start to finish with a series of punishing dunes halfway through serving up a physical test for every racer.
Alessandro Botturi entered the stage seven timed special focused on winning it, in order to reel in the provisional overall race leader. As soon as the Italian set off into the stage he set a blistering pace to quickly catch and pass countryman and rally leader, Jacopo Cerutti, before working his way by his Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team teammate Pol Tarrés. Pushing on to the finish, Botturi won the stage by two minutes and now sits just one minute adrift of Cerutti with five stages remaining.
One day on from claiming his first ever rally stage victory, Tarrés endured a couple of small issues on the seventh timed special at the AER and would ultimately be classified as fifth. After encountering a minor technical issue with his Ténéré 700 machine, the Andorran would then frustratingly miss a waypoint and receive a time penalty of 15 minutes. A cruel blow for the stage six winner who will now focus on claiming further stage victories as the race continues.
More sand is on the menu for stage eight. Setting off from the same start point as stage seven, all riders will need to focus on their navigation to find the correct way through the early part of the special. Two demanding dune sections will require full focus from every competitor.
Special Stage 7 Results
Overall Provisional Classification
Alessandro Botturi – P1 (4h35m20s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“I started the stage with a high pace, aiming to make up some time on the leader, Jacopo Cerutti. I overtook him not far into the stage, which was good for me. Before the refuelling I caught up with Pol and we rode together, and at one point we almost had a two-minute advantage. We lost a little bit of time as Pol had a small problem with his bike, but then I kept on pushing to the end. I’m very happy with my performance and I’ll continue to push a lot every day until the very end of the race.”
Pol Tarrés – P5 (5h03m53s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“Stage seven was not so good for me. I felt fast and good, but then I had a small technical problem with the bike. I was able to finish but I lost some time. It’s going to be difficult for me to win the race now so my focus will be to win more stages this week. Things happen and this is part of racing, although I’m still on course for the podium so I can’t be too disappointed.”
Marc Bourgeois
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team – Team Manager
“It’s been another really long stage for the riders today. The terrain was really different to previous days, mostly sand, and it featured some tricky navigation, especially towards the end. Pol started really strong today but lost a little bit of time with a small bike problem, and he also missed a waypoint. So, it’s been a frustrating day for him. For Alessandro, though, he made no mistakes today to win the stage and is now just one minute from the lead, which is really exciting for him and the team.”
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