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Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Enjoy Productive Rest Day

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Enjoy Productive Rest Day

With six gruelling days of 2020 Dakar competition now complete, and with another six to go before Franco Caimi and Jamie McCanney reach the end of the 12th and final stage in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia, the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team enjoyed a day of calm today, making the most of the event’s official mid-race rest day.

With all competitors appreciating some much-needed rest and relaxation in the city of Riyadh, for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team staff it was largely a day of preparation – fine-tuning bodies and minds while also ensuring everything is ready for the 4,142 kilometres of riding and racing that lies ahead. 

With the opening week of competition at the 42nd running of the Dakar Rally having been tough for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, the squad enters the second half of the event boosted by strong performances from both Franco and Jamie during recent stages. At the midway point of the event the duo respectively sit 10th and 22nd overall in the provisional standings.

After a well-earned rest day, competitors will tomorrow leave Riyadh for the final week of racing. Stage seven incorporates the longest special of the 2020 Dakar Rally, sure to be a hugely challenging return to competition. Heading south-west, racers will need to rely on their navigational skills to tackle the scattered dunes.

Looping back to Wadi Al-Dawasir, stage eight takes place in the south of Saudi Arabia. Unique to this stage is a 40-kilometre straight line, which will be a huge contrast to the mountain ranges Franco and Jamie will encounter on the same day. 

With the end of the event drawing ever nearer, stage nine will be the longest of the 2020 Dakar Rally. Totalling 886 kilometres, riders will venture north-east to Haradh where they’ll be faced with hard and rough terrain. Cautious riding will be the name of the game in order to reach the finish ahead of day 10 and the event’s second marathon stage.

The second marathon begins with riders encountering 30 kilometres of rolling sand dunes, testing their endurance and ability to navigate. Adjoining with stage 11, competitors will need to conserve their bikes as no mechanical assistance is permitted at the end of the stage. 

Saudi Arabia’s finest dunes welcome competitors during the initial 80 kilometres of the 744-kilometre stage 11. Riders will also be mindful of reaching the end of this penultimate leg of the event safely and successfully completing the second part of the marathon. 

Friday, January 17 marks the end of the 2020 Dakar Rally, with a 447-kilometre stage from Haradh to Qiddiya

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager

It’s been great to charge the batteries a little today. The riders have been able to enjoy some much-needed time off their bikes while the rest of the team have been busy preparing for the second half of the rally. The first week has been really, really tough. Everything is new here, which makes everything just that little bit harder. We’re in a new country with new organisation, a new course and new road books. The first week of this Dakar has been like no other. Franco told me that the desert on stage six was a special one, which reminded him of South America. After a tough start the last few days have gone well for Franco, showing very good speed and consistency. Jamie is learning quickly and making much fewer mistakes, so we are confident for the second week of racing. Again, it will be tough with the longest stage on Sunday and another marathon stage later in the week. Of course, we are all still super disappointed that Adrien and Xavier are out of the event, but we know they will be back racing with us soon.

Dakar Rally 2020
Dakar Rally 2020

Race Schedule

Stage 1 | Jan 5 | Jeddah to Al Wajh | Total: 752 km | SS: 319 km 
Stage 2 | Jan 6 | Al Wajh to Neom | Total: 393 km | SS: 367km
Stage 3 | Jan 7 | Neom to Neom | Total: 504km | SS: 427 km
Stage 4 | Jan 8 | Neom to Al Ula | Total: 672 km | SS: 453km
Stage 5 | Jan 9 | Al Ula to Ha’il | Total: 564 km | SS: 353km
Stage 6 | Jan 10 | Ha’il to Riyadh | Total: 830 km | SS: 477km
Rest Day | Jan 11 | Riyadh
Stage 7 | Jan 12 | Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir | Total: 741 km | SS: 546 km
Stage 8 | Jan 13 | Wadi Al Dawasir to Wadi Al Dawasir | Total: 716 km | SS: 477 km
Stage 9 | Jan 14 | Wadi Al Dawasir to Haradh | Total: 886 km | SS: 410 km
Stage 10 | Jan 15 | Haradh to Shubaytah | Total: 608 km | SS: 534 km
Stage 11 | Jan 16 | Shubaytah to Haradh | Total: 744 km | SS: 379 km
Stage 12 | Jan 17 | Haradh to Qiddiya | Total: 447 km | SS: 374 km

Dakar Rally 2020