Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Gear Up For 2018 Dakar Rally
The Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team of Australian Rodney Faggotter, Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait and Franco Caimi are all-set for the most demanding challenge on the annual rally calendar – the 2018 Dakar Rally held this year in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
In what’s expected to be the toughest Dakar in recent years, the Yamaha Racing quartet will be proudly carrying a special Ténéré 700 World Raid livery on their WR450F Rally machines.
Under the guidance of team director Alexandre Kowalski, team manager José Leloir and highly-experienced sport manager Jordi Arcarons, the Yamaha riders head to South America looking to improve on last year’s highly positive performances. Their ultimate goal is to challenge for the podium and successfully complete the hugely demanding event.
The Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team features Rodney Faggoter, who is entering his second Dakar Rally aboard WR450F Rally machinery, the Australian looking to make the most of his experience and mechanical aptitude to assist the team and get as close to the top five as possible.
Rodney Faggotter – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team
“I can’t wait for the 2018 Dakar to begin. Following my wrist injury at the Baja Inka, I gave my body some time to properly recover. The last couple of months everything has been coming together and I’ve been focusing all my efforts into my training and preparation for South America. It’s been quite warm in Australia and I think this will be an advantage for me in the dune stages of Peru. I’m expecting the first week to be really tough physically, and in terms of navigation. The quicker you get through the tough moments the better it will be. Navigation will be paramount throughout the event, I believe. I want to have a good clean run and do my race. If it all goes well I am confident of a top 10 overall result and I know I could even do battle for the top five. I want to be there for my teammates when and if they need me and also make sure that I do my own race.”
Following fourth place in 2017, Adrien Van Beveren is looking to finish even higher in 2018. Building his speed following injury early on during the 2017 season, the Frenchman is now at the top of his game and ready to do battle in South America.
Making a strong statement throughout 2017 following his Merzouga Rally victory and top three result at the Desafio Ruta 40, Xavier de Soultrait has also demonstrated he has what it takes to battle on equal terms with the rally elite.
Demonstrating impressive speed in his first event aboard the WR450F Rally, team rookie Franco Caimi wrapped up the 2017 Merzouga Rally with an impressive third place overall result. Winning stages and continuing to improve during the season, the young Argentinean will be pushing for stage victories at the 2018 Dakar Rally while gaining further rally racing experience.
Alexandre Kowalski – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team
“Going into the 2018 Dakar, I am proud to say that we have the strongest Yamaha team of recent years. Following our fourth-place result in 2017, we’ve made some vital changes and those have worked to our advantage. We are all highly motivated to succeed and we will do our best to make it happen. We’ve also made some big improvements with our race machines. The new bike is lighter, faster in a straight line and also more consistent in changing conditions. 2018 will also be a special year for us as we bring back the spirit of Ténéré. Racing has always been the base for Yamaha to develop their machines and that’s exactly our goal with the Dakar. Taking advantage of our experience after endless racing miles, we want to bring back the true spirit of adventure in the next generation of Yamaha production motorcycles.”
Honouring the imminent return of one of the most successful motorcycles ever, the team’s four WR450F Rally machines will be proudly wearing the Ténéré 700 World Raid name and graphics throughout the 2018 Dakar Rally.
Including seven 100 per cent off-piste stages and five stages at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, this 40th edition of the Dakar Rally is expected to be one of the most demanding in recent history.
Kicking off in Lima, Peru on January 6, 2018, competitors will have to contest 4,500km of timed special plus another 4,500km of liaison sections on their way towards the finish line. The big finish of the 2018 Dakar Rally will take place in Córdoba, Argentina on January 20.
Race Schedule – Dakar Rally 2018
- Stage 1 | Jan 6 | Lima to Pisco | SS: 31km | Total: 272km
- Stage 2 | Jan 7 | Pisco to Pisco | SS: 267km | Total: 278km
- Stage 3 | Jan 8 | Pisco to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 295km | Total: 501km
- Stage 5 | Jan 9 | San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 330km | Total: 444km
- Stage 5 | Jan 10 | San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa | SS: 264km | Total: 770km
- Stage 6 | Jan 11 | Arequipa to La Paz | SS: 313km | Total: 758km
- Rest Day | Jan 12 |
- Stage 7 | Jan 13 | La Paz to Uyuni | SS: 425km | Total: 726km
- Stage 8 | Jan 14 | Uyuni to Tupiza | SS: 498km | Total: 584km
- Stage 9 | Jan 15 | Tupiza to Salta | SS: 242km | Total: 754km
- Stage 10 | Jan 16 | Salta to Belén| SS: 372km | Total: 795km
- Stage 11 | Jan 17 | Belén to Fiambalá | SS: 280km | Total: 484km
- Stage 12 | Jan 18 | Fiambalá to San Juan | SS: 375km | Total: 722km
- Stage 13 | Jan 19 | San Juan to Córdoba | SS: 423km | Total: 904km
- Stage 14 | Jan 20 | Córdoba to Córdoba | SS: 119km | Total: 284km