Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team Take On The Rally Du Maroc 2019
Taking to the start of the final round of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team riders Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait and Franco Caimi are set to take on the Rally du Maroc. Well established as the final major rally event of the year, and with competitors from all major teams taking part, the event will feature a short prologue followed by five tough days of racing , which present a final opportunity for the team's WR450F Rally machines to be put through their paces ahead of next January's Dakar Rally.
In previous years the Rally du Maroc has proven to be the perfect testing ground for both the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team and their WR450F Rally bikes. With a number of upgrades and improvements to test, the three-man team is looking forward to measuring themselves and the performance of their machines against their competitors at the Moroccan event.
Following his win at the Merzouga Rally and third-place finish at the ultra-tough Silk Way Rally, Adrien Van Beveren comes into the 2019 Rally du Maroc at full fitness and eager to maintain his strong run of form. The Frenchman has spent the majority of September testing and developing the Yamaha WR450F Rally and believes the latest edition to be the most competitive yet. Excited for the race in Morocco, AVB still has his eyes set firmly on the ultimate goal of victory at the Dakar Rally in January.
Xavier de Soultrait endured a tough Silk Way Rally - his final result did not reflect his excellent pace at the 10-day event where a crash early on cost the Frenchman a considerable amount of time. Never one to give up, he battled through to the finish making use of his saddle-time to further develop his machine. Also putting in a lot of testing and training on the run up to the Rally du Maroc, Xavier is confident of a strong result in the sands of the Sahara.
A crash at the 2018 edition of the Rally du Maroc unfortunately resulted in a significant leg injury for Franco Caimi. Making his return to competition at this year's Silk Way Rally in July, the 31-year-old Argentinian used the event to reacquaint himself with the team and to build confidence in both the speed and navigation required in cross-country rallying. Keen to make amends for last year, and with several months of productive training under his belt, Caimi will undoubtedly be aiming for a strong result in Morocco.
Celebrating its 20th edition, the Rally du Maroc marks the final competitive test for all teams in 2019. Starting in the city of Fes, the event comprises a short Prologue stage on Friday October 4, before five demanding days of racing in the area close to the Saharan town of Erfoud. The fifth and final stage will see riders return to the finish at Fes on October 9. Including the 1,868 kilometres of timed specials raced against the clock, the distance covered including liaisons totals an exhausting 2,596 kilometres. With riders also facing a challenging marathon stage, the event looks to truly test all competitors in terms of both endurance and speed.
Adrien Van Beveren
Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team
"Personally, I feel really good right now. I've been doing a lot of training, working on my fitness, and I feel perfect on the bike now with no worries from previous injuries. We've been doing a lot of testing throughout September and then followed that with more training on the run up to this race. I'm super happy with the job the team is doing and the work they have done on the bike. The new evolution is really amazing - we have made a huge step in terms of performance and I feel super motivated about that. As this race is so close to the Dakar it's good to be able to compare yourself with the other riders but at the same time you have to be careful as any mistake here can be a problem for Dakar. Preparation for Dakar started one month ago and will continue right up to the event and this race is very good training for next January. I'm really excited to start racing in Morocco, especially as the bike is performing so good now and of course I will try my best. But as a professional I have to keep in mind the main goal is the Dakar Rally."
Xavier de Soultrait
Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team
"Since the Silk Way Rally I have ridden a lot on my motocross bike, also I went to the south of France to train in the sand. It's now been several weeks since I'm here in Morocco training on the rally bike. We've put on a lot of new parts and we've got a really good bike now. I been riding up to 400km per day in training and the feeling with the bike is really good. It has been a long time since I had a feeling this good, so I'm really happy. Now it's almost time for the start of our final race of this year, and I think everyone in the team is really looking forward to it. This is an important final race before the Dakar Rally."
Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team
"We've been riding and testing in France and Morocco and ahead of this race we have great expectations. I'm really looking forward to testing the new engine in a race like this. I'm very happy with the job the team has done. I've been training hard at home in Argentina, to be ready for this race and but mostly for Dakar. This is the last race we're doing before the Dakar Rally so I'm really trying to get a good feeling with the bike, and hopefully a great result."
Off-road Racing Manager Marketing and Motorsport Division
"The Morocco rally is a very important one for us, primarily because it is the last event before the Dakar. We will have the full team there, which is very important because we have been working hard on the bike and have made a number of changes that we will test in Morocco, which we hope will further improve our performance. We have some new members in the team and this event will give them an idea of what it is like to work under pressure and hopefully get them ready for the big one in January. Adrien has had a great season so far - he won the Merzouga Rally and finished third at the Silk Way, so it will be good for him to race the Rally du Maroc, to gauge his pace to the other competitors. He's feeling very strong mentally and physically right now, so it will be good to see what he can do. Xavier is also ready, but he has not had so much race experience this year due to having surgery in April. This event will be an important one for Franco following his injury last year, he hasn't raced since the Silk Way but is keen to do well. Although we will carry out a lot of testing in Morocco, we also plan to take the event very seriously in terms of our performance, both of the bikes and the riders. I'm confident the whole team will give their best on the track."
Rally du Maroc 2019 – Race Schedule
Prologue | Oct 4 | Fes to Fes | SS: 7.3km
Stage 1 | Oct 5 | Fes to Erfoud | SS: 436km | Total: 487km
Stage 2 | Oct 6 | Erfoud to Erfoud | SS: 370km | Total: 540km
Stage 3 | Oct 7 | Erfoud to Erfoud | SS: 440km | Total: 533km
Stage 4 | Oct 8 | Erfoud to Erfoud | SS: 412km | Total: 456km
Stage 5 | Oct 9 | Erfoud to Fes | SS1: 210km | Total: 494km
Total | SS: 1,868km | Total: 2,506km