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X-raid Yamaha YXZ1000R Prototype Victorious on Debut at Baja Hail

X-raid Yamaha YXZ1000R Prototype Victorious on Debut at Baja Hail

Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist took victory in the National T3 class at Baja Hail 2, to conclude a successful first shakedown test for the X-raid developed Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype. The Swedish duo's teammates, Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer, made it an X-raid Yamaha one-two by finishing in second place on their first outing in the YXZ1000R prototype.

The two X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally crews were competing at Baja Hail to familiarise themselves with both the YXZ1000R prototype and the terrain, which is similar to what they will encounter when they return to Saudi Arabia in January to contest the Dakar Rally. For Ekström, Baja Hail was also an opportunity to experience racing a Rally Raid event for the very first time. 

Work will continue on the YXZ1000R prototype, with the data collected and lessons learned during the two-day Baja Hail event integrated into the ongoing development process ahead of the X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Team's next outing at the 2021 Dakar Rally, which gets underway in the port city of Jeddah on 3rd January.


Mattias Ekström

X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Team

The first day was really exciting for me, and the special stage was a challenge from start to finish. I was very positively surprised by how much fun it was. We did not have any technical issues, and everything went well with regard to the navigation. The route was totally different on the second day much faster with a lot of straight sections, and navigation was more difficult. All in all, it is an awful lot of fun but also difficult, particularly the navigation and roadbook. Furthermore, I still have to get used to the Yamaha YXZ1000R, which is totally different to drive compared to the race cars I have driven previously. However, getting the car home without any technical issues and in one piece is cause for celebration.

Camelia Liparoti

X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Team

Driving the Baja with the new Yamaha was great fun. I am pleased that we were able to take part in the Baja before the Dakar, as the car is brand-new and every kilometre is important. We also had to make a few modifications. The routes for the past two days were very varied: yesterday was very technical, today there were a lot of fast sections. That was really beneficial, as we were able to test the car in different situations. The X-raid Yamaha was very good and had no issues. I am very happy with the result. We may only have been competing in the National class, but this is only for locals who know the region like the back of their hand.