AFTER HIS VICTORIOUS DÉBUT IN THE OPENING LEG, JACOPO CERUTTI TAKES ANOTHER BRILLIANT WIN ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE AFRICAN RAID
THE APRILIA TUAREG CONFIRMS ITS GREAT POTENTIAL ON A LONG AND TREACHEROUS SECTION, WITH AN INCREDIBLE 383 KM OF SPECIAL TRIALS
CONSISTENT IMPROVEMENT FOR FRANCESCO MONTANARI, EIGHTH
The Africa Eco Race delves ever deeper into the desert, crossing the legendary dunes of Merzouga, and Aprilia Tuareg is once again at the top. After the historic victorious début in the opening leg, Jacopo Cerutti finished ahead of the rest in the second stage as well, held yesterday between Boudnib and Mhamid.
On a long and treacherous leg, with an incredible 383 km of special trials where the riders tackled changing conditions, with rocky and extremely bumpy sections alternating with faster and smoother ones, also crossing over sand dunes, astride his Tuareg, Jacopo Cerutti put in a flawless performance, maintaining a pace that the others were unable to come close to. Behind him, the closest rivals were Pol Tarres, at 7 minutes, and Alessandro Botturi, more than 8 minutes behind, both on Yamaha.
It was also a positive day for Francesco Montanari who, on the second Tuareg competing on African soil, is beginning to size up an adventure which is entirely new for him. Eleventh in the opening stage, the rider from Como finished eighth in yesterday’s leg, despite a navigation mistake. This result moves him up to seventh place in the overall standings.
Today the third leg is one of the longest of the raid, which will take the riders from Mhamid to Assa – a total of 523 km, including 463 of special trials.
“It was a long and demanding leg. Starting first and blazing the trail for the other riders, I thought that they would catch up and overtake me, but instead I managed to maintain a good pace consistently, without making any mistakes, and another great win arrived! The first part was really tricky. It wasn’t simple riding with the cold and the sun low in the sky, especially because there were a lot of stones on the route. Then, we arrived on the dunes – always a beautiful landscape – followed by other truly difficult sections with lots of bumps, but even in these conditions, the bike gave me outstanding sensations. We have an even longer leg ahead of us today, so we’ll continue to give it our all!”
“Today I truly realised what it means to tackle a raid in Africa! More than 380 km of special trials are extremely long – seemingly infinite – but I am satisfied with the way I rode and the feeling with the bike is outstanding. I started off on the right foot and I navigated well for the entire leg. It’s a pity about the one mistake at a certain point that cost me a good deal of time, otherwise it could have gone even better. But that’s okay. Today will be another long and demanding day.”