Ténéré World Raid Team Power Through Stage 5 in Africa Eco Race
The Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team finished the Moroccan section of the Africa Eco Race on Saturday by claiming another strong result. Alessandro Botturi powered through the rally’s longest stage to secure fourth, while his teammate Pol Tarrés continued his impressive progress as he finished in fifth.
Stage 5 from Remz El Quebir to Dakhla saw the riders taking on a 450.82km special followed by a 240.95km liaison, making it the longest day of the rally, as the Africa Eco Race completed its Moroccan leg before heading to Mauritania on Monday after a rest day. The special was a mix of fast and sandy tracks, but the barren landscape and lack of visual markers made navigation challenging for the riders.
Botturi continued to claw back time after a technical issue during Stage 3, and subsequent penalty saw him lose a total of five hours. Having bounced back in Stage 3 with his second podium of the rally, the 47-year-old Italian was once again on the pace. Starting from third, he tracked the leading trio of riders for the majority of the special, intelligently using them as markers, and arrived at the edge of the Pacific Ocean in Dakhla in a time of 4 hours, 35 minutes and seven seconds, just eight minutes and 47 seconds behind the stage winner.
This sees the winner of the previous two Africa Eco Races move up two places in the general classification with an overall time of 27 hours, 43 minutes and 20 seconds against his rivals on their lighter 450cc machines. The Italian is currently 5 hours, 39 minutes and 42 seconds behind the leader with seven stages and well over 3000km still to go and is second in the all-important +700 class.
Tarrés has been the sensation of the Africa Eco Race. The former hard enduro rider is competing in only his second rally event after the Tunisia Desert Challenge in April and yet has been consistently finishing in the top seven. The 29-year-old started from seventh and was making up time during when the stage when he overtook the rider in fifth, and they decided to ride together until the end for safety. The Spaniard finished the special in fifth with a time of four hours, 45 minutes and 32 seconds, just 19 minutes and 12 seconds behind the stage winner.
The 29-year-old’s fourth top-seven finish in the first five stages sees him move up to fifth in the overall standings, with a combined time of 25 hours, 29 minutes and 25 seconds, 3 hours, 25 minutes and 47 seconds off the lead. Tarrés’ consistent performances mean he still leads the +700 class ahead of his teammate, with their closest rival almost two hours further back.
The bivouac now enjoys a rest day on Sunday before crossing the border into Mauritania for Stage 6, which involves a 204.63km special and 429km of liaisons.
Would you like to win the same bike ridden by Botturi and Tarrés in the Africa Eco Race? If so, 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 about the project and enter the prize draw, click here.
Alessandro Botturi – P4 (4:35.07)
Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team
“It was a good but tough stage. I was riding with the leading three for the whole stage, so I could push hard using them as markers, which was important on a stage like today, where navigation was very tough due to the lack of visual markers. It is so impressive that I could keep up with them on their 450cc bikes on a bike you can buy at your local dealer. The Ténéré 700 World Raid is a truly remarkable machine. The stage was physically hard, but to secure fourth to go with my victory in Stage 2 and podium during Thursday’s stage, means we have made up lots of time in the general classification. Now we have a rest day before heading to the tricky dunes of Mauritania, but I cannot wait as I love riding in the deep sand, and I am looking forward to next week.”
Pol Tarrés – P5 (4:45.32)
Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team
“It was a tough stage, as there were no real markers to use for navigation, so one mistake and you could lose a lot of time, plus it was a long day with the liaison as well. I am delighted as I rode hard and made no mistakes. After 200km, I passed another rider and was up to fifth, but we decided to ride together till the end to make it easier, as we knew how difficult the stage was and just in case either of us needed help. Honestly, to finish the stage in fifth, to have moved up to fifth in the overall classification, and to be leading the +700 class, is like a dream. Competing against the 450 bikes like this shows what the Ténéré 700 World Raid is capable of. I am looking forward to the rest day, but I am full of confidence after an amazing week, and I can’t wait to get to the dunes of Mauritania on Monday.”
Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team – Team Manager
“The whole first week has been amazing. Both riders have done an incredible job. Navigation has been hard here due to the barren terrain, but neither has made a single mistake. It has been an excellent rally for us until now, and we need to continue working like this into the next week. Now the riders have a day off to relax and recover, while the team will carry on working hard, and we look forward to starting in Mauritania. We should be in a solid position if we continue going forward with this mindset. Mauritania is going to be tough; the dunes there will be a real test for the bikes and riders. It is amazing to be doing so well in the general classification against the 450cc bikes, but our main focus is on the +700 class, and to have our riders first and second is incredible. They have opened up a big enough of a gap over our rivals in the class to control the race from now on if we are clever, so we can’t wait to get to Mauritania to continue the good work.”