Alessandro Botturi Claims Stage 10 Win at Africa Eco Race Ahead of Penultimate Day of Racing
Returning to his stage-winning ways at this year’s Africa Eco Race, Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team’s Alessandro Botturi picked up his fourth timed special stage victory on day 10 of the event. Able to reel in the provisional leader by just over two minutes as a result of his win, Botturi remains firmly in contention for what would be his third triumph at the AER. For Pol Tarrés, a small technical issue prevented him from riding to his full ability, however he was still able to complete the stage in sixth.
Rolling sand dunes, camel grass, and fast desert tracks ensured the 10th timed special at the AER provided all competitors with a mixed-terrain stage that demanded patience as well as accurate navigation skills. Putting his vast experience to effective use, it was Alessandro Botturi who set the fastest time on the challenging special.
As the fastest rider through two of the three waypoints on stage 10, Botturi was clearly focused on making up for the time he lost due to the unfortunate penalty he received on stage nine. Now, ahead of the penultimate stage, the Italian trails the provisional leader by four minutes and 38 seconds – a sizeable but not impossible deficit to make up, especially in rally racing.
Stage 10 was a frustrating one for Pol Tarrés. After he noticed a minor issue with his bike just minutes before the timed special started, the Andorran quickly adapted to the unfortunate situation and rode conservatively to ensure he finished the stage. Ultimately placing sixth, Pol comfortably maintains his third-place ranking in the overall classification.
The 11th stage at this year’s AER will be another sandy affair with the course running between, rather than over, the dunes for the most part. This means that precise navigation will be essential in order to secure a competitive time.
Special Stage 10 Results
Overall Provisional Classification
Alessandro Botturi – P1 (1h43m45s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“Another good day for me and I won the stage by two minutes and 20 seconds. I was able to pull some time back on the leader, but I still need to find more time. Tomorrow, I will do my best as always and push again like the other days to try and get back as much time as possible.”
Pol Tarrés – P6 (1h56m15s)
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“Today was a little difficult for me. Just before the stage started, I had a small problem with the fuel pump on my bike, but I was able to manage the situation and complete the stage. Things happen in racing and now my full focus is on tomorrow and to try and maybe get another stage win.”
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team – Team Manager
“I’m happy for the team that we picked up another stage win with Alessandro. It’s been a long race and tiredness is beginning to set in for every rider, so it’s easy to make mistakes and lose focus. However, Alessandro did a great job and it was an important stage win. He’s a little closer to the leader now and taking the overall will be difficult, but as we’ve seen this week, anything can happen in racing.”