Afriquia Merzouga Rally: Yamaha wins the stage with Franco Caimi and leads the overall with De Soultrait
The Race was stopped at CP2 for bikes|quads due to a stand storm, while the SidebySides continued till the end.
(FRA)/Copyright: A.S.O./Photo credit:@World
- Yamaha new entry Fanco Caimi wins his first stage and is 3rd in the overall
- Simon Vitse wins today’s stage standing in front of Maksimov Aleksandr and Nicolas Cagliasso.
- Due to the sand storm the race was stopped at Km 183 for bikes and quads, while the SxSs continued their race
- Marathon stage: the first 15 bikes, first 5 quads and first 10 SxSs went to the parc fermé. No assistance team allowed for all the competitors
Stage 4 Erfoud – Marathon stage Liaison 83 191 km SS Liaison 0
Sand, sand and more sand. The 4th stage featured a spectacular crossing of the dunes Erg Rissani that were not on the route since the 2014 edition. Due to the weather forecast of a sand storm expected around 12:00, the competitors took the start at km 84. The race for bikes and quads was then stopped at CP2 (Km 183) for the sand storm
at 12:00. At that time, more than 40 competitors had finished the whole stage, while the remaining bikes/quads reached the marathon bivoauc in liaison. It was a different story for the SidebySides, that continued the stage till the end.
The Yamaha news entry Franco Caimi won his first stage in blue, with 1’57 advantage on his teammate De Soultrait and 3’23 on Gerard Farres (Himoinsa). Pedrero (Sherco), still suffering for a crash he had while training before coming to Merzouga, and Rodrigues (Hero), completed the provisional top 5. De Soultrait maintains the leadership of the overall classification with 6’07 on Gerard Farres and 18’11 on Caimi.
In the Quad, Simon Vitse wins the provisional stage standing in front of Maksimov Aleksandr and Nicolas Cagliasso. With todays result, the French also leads the overall.
The Yamaha news entry Franco Caimi won his first stage in blue, with 1’57 advantage on his teammate De Soultrait and 3’23 on Gerard Farres (Himoinsa). Pedrero (Sherco), still suffering for a crash he had while training before coming to Merzouga, and Rodrigues (Hero), completed the provisional top 5. De Soultrait maintains the leadership of the overall
classification with 6’07 on Gerard Farres and 18’11 on Caimi.
First day of the marathon stage, once reached the bivouac in the middle of the desert, the first 15 bikes, first 5 quads and first 10 SxSs went to the parc fermé, while the other competitors could work on the machines but without the assistance team.
Tips of the coach
“Intelligence, endurance and strategy are the key to success on this challenging stage. The rally enters now in the second part. The competitors are more tired and it’s easier to relax and make more mistakes. The advice is to be even more careful than at the beginning!”. .
SS4 PROVISIONAL STANDING:
Quote of the day:
.#78 Maikel Smits (NL Bas Dakar Team): “This is my third rally, but the first time in the dunes, the first time I ride on the CAP and this first time on a Rally bike. I learned more in these 4 days of race that in the past 4 years”.
Road to Dakar
.#20 The 30 year old 2 times Portuguese Baja champion Antonio Maio is competing his first ever rally with road book. “I’m here to learn and to enjoy. I’m doing a good race and my target is to finish the rally without making big mistakes. Marc Coma and Cyril Despres have always been my reference and
to be at the rally and benefit from the advices from Marc Coma is a dream come true”.
Statistics of the day
* 83 riders enrolled in the Dakar Challenge
* 48 competitors have at least 1 Dakar under their bell
* 43 riders have already competed in the Afriquia Merzouga Rally at least once
Curiosity: The work of the coaches on the Afriquia Merzouga Rally
New this year, the presence of Giovanni Sala and Jean Brucy to support the new comers who aim at gaining experience in the discipline. On day1 they observed the riders crossing the dunes to understand their level of riding. The following days Brucy and Sala were at the start and gave advices to the competitors on how to save
the energy. Along the stage, they were on the difficult dunes crossings, showing the riders the best lines, the body positions on the bike, or to make them rest when they were over the limit. “The questions at the bivouac are mainly on the road book modifications and trip settings” says Jean Brucy, “on the stages is more about riding technique”. “My advice? Slow down and focus on the road book instead of open the gas following the traces” says Gio’ Sala.
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