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X-raid Develop YXZ1000R Prototype for the Dakar Rally

X-raid Develop YXZ1000R Prototype for the Dakar Rally

One of the most successful Rally Raid teams in recent history, X-raid will contest the Lightweight Vehicles Prototype T3 class at the 2021 Dakar, with an in house developed prototype based on Yamaha's race proven YXZ1000R Side-by-Side machine.

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.

The Team

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. 

Sven Quandt

Founder and CEO of X-raid

I have been following the development of the SxS market for some years, been involved in creating the regulations and we have evaluated a number of different scenarios to see how X-raid could enter this very interesting segment. For us, the new partnership with Yamaha is a professional approach from which not only both companies can benefit but also a lot of racers. We believe that this class will play an important role in the future of cross-country racing, for newcomers and those with Dakar experience, as well as professional drivers.

Eric de Seynes

President and CEO of Yamaha Motor Europe

I have had many opportunities to race with the YXZ1000R since 2017, and I have always been convinced about its qualities. At the same time, we can see how much the SSV class is attracting a new generation of racers, supporting the future of the cross-country rally discipline and motorsports in general. In addition to that we, Yamaha Motor Europe, always consider and respect our responsibility to encourage and support amateurs and beginners as they experience racing for the first time, with the correct material and with the best support from the manufacturer. Considering all of these elements, we have been extremely motivated to support this common project of YXZ1000R prototype development with the X-raid team. We’ll learn a lot from the Baja Hail and Dakar rally experiences, and it will inspire the future evolution of our machine for the total benefit of our passionate customers.