The X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Supported Team is ready for the challenge of the 2021 Dakar Rally, having yesterday completed a successful final shakedown test, in which Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist put the #385 YXZ1000R prototype through its paces alongside the #391 SSV of Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer.
The two X-raid crews head into the Dakar Rally off the back of a successful first outing at the recent Baja Hail event, in which Ekström and Bergkvist raced the YXZ1000R prototype to the win in the T3 National Class on its debut, with Liparoti and Fischer making it a one-two for the X-raid team by finishing a close second.
The 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally gets underway with an 11-kilometre prologue in the sand around Jeddah tomorrow, the results of which will determine the starting order for the first stage the following day.
Stage 1 will bring no surprises for experienced Dakar and Rally Raid SSV competitors Liparoti and Fischer, but it will be a new experience for two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström and former Junior World Rally Champion Emil Bergkvist, both of whom are making their Dakar debut this year.
Camelia Liparoti: #391 Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype
“It was great to be back behind the wheel of the YXZ1000R prototype during yesterday’s shakedown test. We used the time to make the final adjustments to the vehicle and further improve the cooperation in the cockpit. Now we cannot wait for the start! In tomorrow’s prologue, we will push without taking too many risks. I feel very comfortable in both the YXZ1000R and the X-raid team. For me, it’s the first time I’m competing at the Dakar Rally as part of a professional team and both Annett and I want to do our best. We had some bad luck last year, but the lessons learned then will certainly help us this year.”
Mattias Ekström: #385 Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype
“Over the past few days, we have made some last adjustments to our YXZ1000R prototype. Tonight, we will do the final administrative checks, but now I just can’t wait for the Dakar to finally start, as it feels like the preparations have taken forever!”