Following their solid performances at the Atacama Rally in Chile and the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team riders are fired up for success at the Baja Inka rally in Peru. With the 2017 edition of the event taking place in the massive dunes around Paracas, the four-man team of Xavier de Soultrait, Adrien Van Beveren, Franco Caimi and Rodney Faggotter will look to continue improving in all aspects of their riding and navigation ahead of the prestigious 2018 Dakar Rally.
Playing host to the penultimate round of the 2017 Dakar Challenge, the Baja Inka Paracas 1,000 is a four-stage rally event that includes more than 1,000 racing kilometres in the sandy dunes of central Peru.
Enjoying a stellar 2017 international racing season, Xavier de Soultrait will look to continue his strong run of form at the Baja Inka rally. Claiming the victory at the Merzouga Rally in May and a podium result at the Desafio Ruta 40 in August, the Frenchman is among the favourites for the top step of the podium in Peru.
Working hard to get back to full competitive fitness following his early season injury, Adrien Van Beveren showed some impressive speed at the team’s last event in Argentina in August. At the Baja Inka the Dakar Rally sensation will look to use his familiarity to sand racing to his advantage.
For Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rookie Franco Caimi, the Argentinean is ready to show more of his potential this coming weekend in Peru. Getting a top three result in his very first outing aboard the WR450F Rally machine at the Merzouga Rally Franco proved he is a force to be reckoned with.
Joining the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team for the first time since last January, Australian Rodney Faggotter is looking forward to putting in some racing miles aboard the latest version of the WR450F Rally machine. A highly experienced racer himself, Rodney will be a strong asset for the team in the upcoming Dakar Rally.
The Baja Inka kicks off with a 119km opening stage south of Paracas on Thursday, September 14, 2017.
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
“I’m really happy with my performance this season and I want wrap it up with a solid result here in Peru. Getting the win at the Merzouga Rally I was involved in the battle for the final podium at the Atacama Rally and then earned myself a top three result at the Desafio Ruta 40. It felt good catching up with the team again. The atmosphere is great and we all fight together as a family. If everything goes according to plan I know that a win here in Peru is well within my grasp. In saying that, the main goal is a good performance in the upcoming Dakar, so I want to stay focused on getting as much experience as possible ahead of the big annual event.”
Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Team rider
“Wrapping up our last event in Argentina with two top three results in the last two stages, I’m more than looking forward to continuing making progress here in Peru. I’m really happy with how things are moving forward at the moment. I took my time in August to gradually get back my race pace and now I feel very confident to push for good stage results. We still have a few months to go before the next Dakar and there is work that needs to be done. In saying that, it is great that we have one more opportunity to test ourselves in real racing conditions. I’m looking forward to four good days of rally racing in the dunes of Peru.”
Franco Caimi – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
“Following my small injury in Argentina, I took some time to let my body heal up and returned to my training schedule two weeks ago. The feeling was great as soon as I got back on my bike, so that gave me some extra motivation to come here in Peru and fight for some good results. Now I feel that I’m in perfect condition and ready to take on this new challenge. Together with some good stage results, my goal from this rally is to get more familiar to the dunes and the terrain here in Peru. With the first stages of the upcoming Dakar taking place in this same area, it’ll be a big advantage to feel more confident with the particular terrain of Peru.”
Rodney Faggotter – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
“It felt great catching up with my team again. My main goal for the Baja Inka is to test and gel with the WR450F Rally again for the first time since the last Dakar. The team have been working hard and there’s some new settings and fresh parts that I can’t wait to test. I feel that I’m in a great shape right now. I have been training and racing several events back home in Australia so physically I feel great. Here in Peru I want to settle and gel with everything. The goal for the team is to fine tune everything for the next Dakar. I want to ride well and also test my off-piste navigation in the dunes. Hopefully we can get a good result from this event and then I can return to Australia with some added motivation to keep working hard for the coming Dakar.”
José Leloir – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team manager
“We want our riders to be 100% ready for the Dakar and that is exactly why we decided to race the Baja Inka. With the first five stages of the upcoming Dakar set to take place in Peru, the Baja Inka will give our riders the chance to familiarise themselves with the sandy terrain in this part of South America. The team arrived in Peru in the beginning of the week and we were glad to meet Rodney for the first time after the last Dakar. Giving our riders some time to prepare themselves, we had our mechanics work hard to set-up our WR450F Rally machines. The development never stops for us and we want to collect as much data as possible ahead of the next Dakar. We would like to thank Yamaha Peru for all their great help. Our major goal is to collect experience, but we also believe our riders have what it takes to battle for the final podium on Sunday.”
Race Schedule – Baja Inka Rally 2017
Stage 1 | Sept 14 | Paracas | SS: 55km | Total: 119km
Stage 2 | Sept 15 | Paracas | SS: 325km | Total: 389km
Stage 3 | Sept 16 | Paracas | SS: 322km | Total: 386km
Stage 4 | Sept 17 | Paracas | SS: 93km | Total: 135km