Afriquia Merzouga Rally celebrates its winners
The bikes arrived all very close to the finish line with De Soultrait winning the stage by 3 seconds on Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) and 6 seconds on Ivan Cervantes (Himoinsa).
Xavier De Soultrait (#5) gave Yamaha the victory of the 8th edition of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally with him on the podium Gerard Farres (Himoinsa),
2nd at +13’07 and Franco Caimi (Yamaha) at +22’31. Pedrero (Sherco TVS) and Botturi (Boars Rally Team) complete the Top5.
“I have worked so hard and this victory is a great reward. I’d like to thank Yamaha for their trust. I will keep on working with the target Dakar 2018”, said an emotional De Soultrait at the arrival at the Jasmina lake in Merzouga.
Afriquia Merzouga Rally: Yamaha wins the stage with Franco Caimi and leads the overall with De Soultrait
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.
Afriquia Merzouga Rally: Farres wins the 3rd stage with De Soultrait still leading the overall for Yamaha
The competitors took the start of the 188 km long special stage at the Jasmina lake in Merzouga for a big loop in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. It was Xavier De Soultrait who opened the track, passing first at the CP1 and CP2. From km 100 he rode with his team mate Franco Caimi till he got a bit lost in the final part characterized by river bed crossings and barely visible tracks.
STAGE 2 Liaison 44 km SS2 188 km Liaison 9 km
for a big loop in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. It was Xavier De Soultrait who opened the track, passing first at the CP1 and CP2. From km 100 he rode with his team mate Franco Caimi till he got a bit lost in the final part characterized by river bed crossings and barely visible tracks.
The French secured the victory of the second stage, followed by the Himoinsa rider Gerard Farres, the Italian Alessandro Botturi (Yamaha), Juan Pedrero (Sherco TVS) and Ivan Cervantes (KTM) respectively 3rd, 4th and 5th of the provisional classification.
Under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Edition 8 of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally
From May 7 – 12, 2017
For the first time, the Afriquia Merzouga Rally will receive the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. “It is a great joy and a great honour”, said A.S.O. President Jean-Etienne Amaury when receiving the mail from the Royal Cabinet, which gives new scope to this constantly evolving event. In 2016, the Moroccan event received the Dakar Series label for the first time and a title sponsor, Afriquia, the Moroccan leader in the distribution of hydrocarbons and lubricants. Afriquia is once again lending its name to the event with renewed confidence for the 2017 edition. In addition to the exclusive supply to all participants by Afriquia, the partnership between the Merzouga Rally and Afriquia also includes logistical support with quality products (fuels & lubricants).
Afriquia Merzouga Rally “MasterRider”: Giovanni Sala and Jean Brucy alongside Marc Coma as special coaches
What makes this rally unique is not only the magnificence of the desert, the dedication made in the design of the route and the road book or the familiar atmosphere of the bivouac. At the Afriquia Merzouga Rally, the amateurs can really learn directly from the Dakar legends and the Pro can ask for tips to further improve their skills.Last year the first edition of Marc Coma’s workshops were a success. This year the commitment is triple.
Afriquia Merzouga Rally Ready to Rock
Everything is ready for the Afriquia Merzouga Rally that will take place from May 7-12 in the southern region of Morocco. For the first time the Rally receives the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, reinforcing the very good relationship between the Rally Organization and the territory that hosts the event since 2010.
At the start of the 7th edition of the rally six riders who finished in the top 10 of the 2016 Dakar. But if the level of the Pro is high, there is a lot of expectations also for the young talents of the New Dakar Generation.
The turn of the ambitious
The Afriquia Merzouga Rally will be held from 21-27 May. 122 professionals and amateurs will battle in this Dakar
Series event that will take place between the Merzouga Dunes. Runner-up in this year’s Dakar, Stevan Sivtko as
well as the two revelations of 2016, Kevin Benavides and Adrien van Beveren, (4th and 5th) are among the
favourites for this 7th edition.
The “Heroes” have landed in Morocco
[divider]Indian rider “CS” Santosh and Portugal’s Joaquim Rodrigues are the first representatives of Hero motorcycles, which is making its rally-raid debut on the Afriquia Merzouga Rally.
Afriquia Merzouga Rally: a new step forward
The arrival of a title sponsor accompanies the evolution of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally. The start of the next edition, the first as part of the Dakar Series will take place on 21 May.
The Merzouga, for your viewing pleasure!
The Dakar’s little brother is quickly growing up: in its first edition under the Dakar Series, the Merzouga Rally will enjoy media exposure in 190 countries this year.
Alessandro Botturi: “back on track at Merzouga Rally”
The Dakar Rally 2016 seems an old memory but not for Alessandro Botturi, the official Yamaha rider who is still recovering from the crash he had in the second stage of the Dakar where he broke the ligaments and some small bones of his right wrist. Despite the pain, the Italian continued his race till he was obliged to withdraw due to a problem of his Yamaha in the dunes of Fiambala.
Merzouga Rally: custom fit
On the first six editions, the Merzouga Rally has been a venue for the top riders in the world to battle. Now part of the Dakar Series in 2016, it has also been a springboard for the next generation of riders. Back from two weeks of reconnaissance, the creator of the event, Edoardo Mossi, took great care in the writing of the road-book for the six-day rally. Rider seminars were also prepared by Sporting Director, Marc Coma.
Dakar Challenge: youth to take center-stage
Before knowing what the route of the 2017 Dakar will be, two dates are already confirmed on the Dakar Challenge calendar. On the Sonora Rally in Mexico, then on the Merzouga Rally in Morocco, the most promising riders in rally-raid will compete to win their entry for next year’s edition of the Dakar. In South Africa, the victor of the Dakar Challenge in the Amageza Rally will win entry for the 2018 Dakar.
Adrien van Beveren: “Returning to Merzouga, is a no-brainer”
After finishing sixth on the Dakar in his first participation, followed by a third consecutive triumph onthe Touquet Enduropale, Adrien van Beveren is now among the most prominent riders in rally-raid.
Merzouga Rally: The first African Dakar Series
For the 2016 season, the Dakar Series will see the bike, quad and SSV competitors head to Morocco for the 7th running of the Merzouga Rally from 21-27 May. This will be an ideal opportunity for the European competitors to prepare for the Dakar and it should become an event for detecting and rally-raid training the “new Dakar generation”.