Pol Tarrés Charges to Dominant Stage Win on Day 11 of Africa Eco Race
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team’s Pol Tarrés has won stage 11 of the Africa Eco Race in convincing fashion to secure his third stage victory of the event. Riding with an incredible pace, the Andorran completed the 247km timed special with a staggering winning margin of just over seven and a half minutes. The penultimate stage at the AER was unfortunately a frustrating one for Alessandro Botturi. Knowing a third victory at the event was on the line, he gave his best effort to make up the time needed to win but a small navigational mistake prevented him from securing a third AER title.
Stage 11 was certainly a testing one for all competitors. Taking riders between sand dunes rather than over them for the majority of the special, accurate navigation was essential in order to secure a strong result.
As the sixth rider to enter today’s special, Tarrés certainly capitalised on his highly favourable starting position to simply dominate the penultimate stage of the 2024 AER. Even though he knew he was unlikely to advance up the leaderboard, that didn’t deter the Andorran from delivering a truly exceptional ride through stage 11.
With the overall victory in his sight, Botturi was focused on delivering a fault-free ride to secure what would have been his third victory at the AER. Frustratingly, a momentary lapse in concentration led to a navigational mistake and he could only recover to post the fourth-fastest time.
With the stage times on the 12th and final special in Dakar not counting towards the overall classification, Botturi and Tarrés have effectively secured a double podium finish for the Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team with the duo placed second and third overall respectively.
Special Stage 11 Results
Overall Provisional Classification
Pol Tarrés – P1 (2h15m05s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“It was an important victory for me today although I was very surprised by my speed and my navigation. I pushed hard like always and I ended up winning the stage by a good margin, so I’m very happy. I’m third overall, which is a great result for me, and it’s amazing for the team. Obviously, I would have liked to have won but we will keep working before the next race and then we can try again.”
Alessandro Botturi – P4 (2h26m37s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“I had a difficult start today because of my navigation. I made a mistake because I saw the helicopter on Jacopo Cerutti and I got confused. From the next waypoint onwards we stayed together and it was almost impossible to make a gap. Happy to finish second. It’s a shame to not win, but I put in all the energy I have, so no regrets. I want to thank the team and Yamaha for this big opportunity, and we will come back stronger next year.”
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team – Team Manager
“All good today. Pol won the stage so it was nice for him to win another one before the race finished. I’m really proud of the team to finish second and third overall and it has a really close competition this year. We won a lot of stages and the team spirit remained high throughout the race, so it has been a really rewarding experience and the whole team has done an incredible job.”