Pol Tarrés Tops 2024 Africa Eco Race Timesheets for Second Time
Bouncing back in style from a challenging stage seven at the Africa Eco Race, Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team’s Pol Tarrés charged hard to win stage eight after delivering a faultless ride through the 478km special. In doing so, the multi-talented racer clawed back over six minutes on the provisional overall motorcycle class leader while his teammate, Alessandro Botturi, placed third to remain firmly in the race for overall victory.
With the start of stage eight sharing the same location as used on stage seven, all riders had to concentrate on their navigation through the early part of the special to ensure they stayed on the correct course. Shortly after, a demanding series of dunes offered a physical test for all riders with the sandy terrain of the special clearly to the liking of the overall stage winner, Pol Tarrés.
After setting off as the fifth rider into the timed special, Tarrés claimed his second stage win of the event aboard his Ténéré 700 machine. By the first waypoint, located 154 kilometres into the stage, the Andorran was the fastest rider on course, and he would maintain his high pace to build up a winning margin of five minutes and 48 seconds over second place.
Opening a rally stage is never an easy task, even for experienced racers like Alessandro Botturi. However, the two-time winner of the AER did a commendable job until the first set of sand dunes when the tricky nature of the navigation, as well as the challenging terrain, resulted in the Italian dropping some time. Unfazed by being caught by a couple of his competitors, Botturi then rode with them to the finish, maintaining a high pace and minimizing the time lost to the provisional leader.
The ninth stage of the 2024 Africa Eco Race looks set to be a technical test for all competitors due to its varied terrain. Once riders are past a short rocky section, they’ll soon arrive at a punishing set of sizeable sand dunes before they stop for refuelling. From there, undulating, sandy terrain will require full focus in order to secure a competitive time on the 363km special.
Special Stage 8 Results
Overall Provisional Classification
Pol Tarrés – P1 (4h12m50s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“It was nice to win another stage today and I pulled back a lot of time on the leader, so it was a great day overall. My speed was good, I didn’t make any mistakes, and I was able to push to the end so I’m really happy with my performance. It’s another stage win for the team and myself, which is great after what happened yesterday.”
Alessandro Botturi – P3 (4h18m38s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“Today was not so easy and let’s say I rode a little defensively. I opened the stage but in the dunes the navigation was a little complicated, so Jacopo Cerutti and Pol caught me. From there we all rode together to the end and I tried to not lose more time. Like I said in the previous days, the race is becoming harder and I hope to have a better results on the days ahead.”
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team – Team Manager
“It was nice to capture another stage win with Pol yesterday. It shows that’s he’s really progressing as a rally racer and also shows that our bikes are very capable. For Alessandro, he led out on the stage but in the dunes it was really tricky, and he lost a small amount of time. It’s always difficult to open a stage and he did very well to stay calm when the other riders caught him. We are now nearing the end of the race, so it is important for both riders to stay focused and push to the end.”