With support from Yamaha Motor Europe, X-raid will field two of the YXZ1000R prototype machines under the X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Supported Team banner at the Dakar. One machine will be driven by Yamaha’s experienced Rally Raid competitor Camelia Liparoti who, together with co-driver Annett Fischer, has twice finished the gruelling event in a standard YXZ1000R.
The second prototype will be raced by two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekstrom, with fellow Swede Emil Bergkvist alongside him in the co-driver's seat.
X-raid Expands Yamaha's Four-Wheeled Presence
The YXZ1000R prototype adventure will start on the biggest stage in Side-by-Side racing, but it's also the first step in the goal shared by both X-raid and Yamaha to bring SxS motorsport to previously untouched regions around the globe. For Yamaha, this is highlighted by the YXZ Cup, which has continued to grow within Europe.
The Prototype: Development Through Racing
Currently, the YXZ1000R prototype – based on the already strong, pure sport-focused design of the standard YXZ1000R – is in the early phase of development, with X-raid set to complete initial shakedown tests by racing in December's Baja Hail 2 in Saudi Arabia. This development through racing, an integral part of both X-raid and Yamaha's DNA, will continue in January when the X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Supported Team take on the challenge of the 2021 Dakar Rally.
The X-raid developed YXZ1000R prototype is wider than the original, with a longer wheelbase, while the centre of gravity has been lowered. Together these dimensions provide better grip and stability. The new tubular chassis gives greater strength and is designed to meet FIA regulations while maintaining the instantly recognisable YXZ1000R body design, partly recreated from lightweight materials such as aluminium and carbon fibre.
The driveline and 998cc DOHC inline three-cylinder engine remains largely unchanged, with the exception of various GYTR (Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing) parts to further improve performance and a reinforced rear driveshaft to withstand the most extreme environments. Ease of engine and gearbox serviceability has been improved by the use of various sub-frames, critical in self-supported long-distance rallies.
To deal with the rough terrain, X-raid has extended and reinforced the front and rear suspension arms, allowing the shock absorbers to be moved outwards, creating more stability. The uprated braking system further improves the YXZ1000R prototype's performance.
Established in 2002 and boasting five Dakar Rally wins, as well as numerous other victories in various cross-country rallies across the world, X-raid is a driving force in Rally Raid. The 11-time FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies champions are also multiple Baja winners and will be running a shakedown at the second Baja Hail event in Saudi Arabia (14-15 December) for the YXZ1000R prototype.
A six-time Ladies Quad World Champion and 10 times a Dakar finisher in both Quad and SxS classes, Camelia Liparoti will be joined once again by co-driver Annett Fischer to shakedown and compete with the YXZ1000R prototype in the Baja Hail race. The pair will return to Saudi Arabia in January to race the 2021 Dakar Rally, where they will be the only all-female team for the second year in succession.
2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekstrom will also be an integral part of the YXZ1000R prototype development program, with the Swedish driver, together with co-driver Emil Bergkvist, set to contest both the Baja Hail and Dakar Rallies with the X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Supported Team.
The covers will come off the YXZ1000R prototype ahead of Baja Hail 2 in Saudi Arabia on the 14-15 December.