Ténéré World Raid Team Ready for Epic Africa Eco Race
The Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team of Alessandro Botturi and Pol Tarrés, in partnership with Riders for Health, are ready to make history once again as they take on the gruelling Africa Eco Race that follows the original Paris-Dakar route between the 15th-30th of October.
After conquering the extreme Tunisia Desert Challenge (TDC) during their first rally in April, the team now return their Yamaha GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Raid bikes back to their spiritual home in Africa, with the added incentive of aiming to become the first people to complete the Africa Eco Race (AER) on a twin-cylinder production machine. If they do, they will add to Yamaha’s long and storied history of racing on the African continent, which started in 1979 with Cyril Neveu winning the first-ever Paris-Dakar Rally.
The race will also see the continuation of the unique partnership with Yamaha and Riders for Health as they continue to raise awareness of the tremendous work the Charity does in supplying, managing and maintaining motorcycles for health-focused operations in Africa. Plus, it encapsulates Yamaha’s new approach to its Rally program, which focuses on reconnecting with the genuine spirit of adventure, using products that customers can also enjoy.
Italian Dakar legend Botturi stormed to victory at the TDC as he created history as the first person to win a Rally Raid event on a production-based twin-cylinder machine. At the same time, his Spanish teammate Tarrés impressed after finishing in a very respectable 30th position on his Rally Raid debut. It also proved the perfect test for the new Ténéré 700 World Raid bike, as the team took on some of the most extreme conditions in the world and still came out on top against more specialised 450cc single-cylinder machines.
The AER will represent a different challenge altogether, as it re-traces the route of the original Paris-Dakar Rally, starting in Monaco and traversing down the west coast of Africa through Morocco and Mauritania before finishing at the legendary Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal. Botturi heads into the AER full of confidence after winning the last two editions in 2019 and 2020 on a Yamaha WR450F. The 47-year-old Italian will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins after the 2021 rally was cancelled due to the global health pandemic.
29-year-old Tarrés, an accomplished Hard Enduro and Trials rider, will be hoping to benefit from the experience he gained at the TDC and put some of the bad luck he experienced during that race behind him as he takes on one of the most infamous routes in the world in just his second rally.
Consisting of 12 stages over 6000kms, the AER will see the team take on their prototype rivals over some of the harshest terrain on the planet as they continue to showcase just how capable the Ténéré 700 World Raid is. The AER kicks off on the 15th of October, with the official start in Monaco before the bivouac moves to Nador in Morocco for the 94km Stage 1 on the 18th.
If you would like to take on your own adventure, Yamaha Motor Europe has teamed up with Riders for Health, powered by Two Wheels for Life, to give you a chance to win one of the official rally-spec Ténéré 700 World Raid bikes used by the team. To find out more and enter the prize draw, click here.
Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team
“I am very excited to be about to begin the challenge of the Africa Eco Race. After such a good debut for the Ténéré 700 World Raid at the Tunisia Desert Challenge, where we took victory, it is time for us to take the next step in this adventure. This will be a very different challenge for the team, but the lessons we learnt in Tunisia will stand us in good stead. Our main focus for the AER is to ensure we see the finish line beside the Lac Rose in Dakar as we continue this exciting project with Yamaha and Riders for Health. Still, of course, it would also be nice to secure a good result to showcase just how good the Ténéré 700 World Raid is.”
Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team
“I am looking forward to the start of the Africa Eco Race! I have been waiting for this moment since we finished the TDC, where I learnt so much in my first rally. I think the whole team also learnt a lot during that rally, as it was the first time anyone had taken on such a challenge on a production-based twin-cylinder bike. We showed what the Ténéré 700 World Raid was capable of in Tunisia; now, we want to take the next step. I have spent the last few months training extremely hard, and focusing on learning the skills essential for Rally, so I am ready for the adventure. Honestly, I love riding the Ténéré 700 World Raid, every time I get on it, I have a huge smile under my helmet as it is so much fun to ride, and I cannot wait to start the race on this incredible machine.”
Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team – Team Manager
“The whole team is ready for the Africa Eco Race. We have constantly been working since the TDC to ensure we are as prepared as possible, and the main aim is to have fun and make sure we finish the AER. Botturi has won the last two editions of the AER, but it will be a very different challenge on the Ténéré 700 World Raid bike. Still, after his victory in Tunisia, we are confident he can pull off something special. Pol learnt so much during his first rally at the TDC and also suffered more bad luck in one race than most people have in a lifetime, but he never gave up and is determined to show what he can do. We have been working hard non-stop, and the whole team is ready to begin this epic adventure.”