Hellas Rally has proved a steep learning curve for Ténéré World Raid Team in Stage 3

2023 Yamaha Tenere 700

Tarrés Fights Back with Stage 3 Podium at the Hellas Rally
Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team’s Pol Tarrés recovered from a challenging start to the Hellas Rally in Greece to secure a sensational podium during Thursday’s third stage after finishing third in the Moto category, and securing the M6 class victory, to move up to fourth in the general classification.
The Hellas Rally has proved a steep learning curve for the Ténéré World Raid Team as they change from racing across Africa to the mountains and valleys of Greece. Not only is the terrain completely different, but adding to the challenge has been the weather, with rain, strong winds and even hail, creating treacherous conditions for all competitors, so much so that Wednesday’s second stage had to be cancelled.
Tarrés has had to adjust to the slower, more technical terrain, and with waypoints in the roadbook much closer together, he has also had to learn a new style of navigating. Despite this, the 29-year-old Andorran has shown, once again, just how capable he is of adapting to whatever conditions are thrown at him on his GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Raid by bouncing back superbly during the third stage.
Unlike the other specials, which are all loops at the Hellas Rally, the 340km Stage 3 started at the bivouac in Karpenisi before finishing at the campsite beside Lake Plastira and formed the first part of a “Marathon” segment, which sees the riders camping away from the bivouac for the first time with only minimal assistance available from the team.
This brings an extra element of risk to the special, as riders know that they cannot afford to cause any damage to their bike because repairs will not be possible until the end of the fourth stage, so they must find the right balance between pushing to make up time and ensuring they look after their machines.
Beginning the day seventh in the general classification, Tarrés powered through the third stage, battling at the front with his rivals on 450cc single-cylinder bikes throughout, in four hours, six minutes, and 39.13 seconds to end the special third in the Moto category and winning the M6 class (650cc-1300cc multi-cylinder motorbikes).
This result propelled him up to fourth in the Moto category general classification and saw him take the lead of the M6 class with a combined time of 11 hours, four minutes, and 27.96 seconds, just 18 minutes and 29.49 seconds behind the overall leader, and firmly in the podium battle with just three stages left.
The Ténéré World Raid team return to action on Friday for Stage 4, the second part of the “Marathon” part of the Hellas Rally, which is the longest special of the event at 390km, and sees competitors start from Lake Plastira before returning to the Karpenisi bivouac.
Stage 3 Results
General Classification after Stage 3
Pol Tarrés – P3 (4h 6m 39.13s)
Ténéré World Raid Team
“Today, I felt much better on my Ténéré 700 World Raid. I am starting to understand the roadbook better and how to adapt my riding style to this terrain. Several other riders had issues today or made mistakes, so I tried to be as smart as possible and push to the limit when possible. Finishing second overall today, winning the M6 class, and moving up to fourth in the general classification puts us in a very strong position with three more stages left.”
Marc Bourgeois
Ténéré World Raid Team – Team Manager
“Today was the first day of the marathon stage, so it was essential that Pol pushed to make up time but also ensured he looked after his Ténéré 700 World Raid. He had a much better feeling on the bike, plus he is adapting quickly to the different conditions and has learnt a lot since the beginning of the rally. Finishing second overall on the stage and taking the class victory shows how much he has improved, and he is already feeling more confident. Stage 4 is the second part of the marathon segment, so the goal will be to make sure he makes it back to the bivouac while pushing as hard as possible without taking too many risks.”
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