With Adrien Van Beveren competing as the team's sole representative and winning the Merzouga Rally in Morocco in early April, the Silk Way Rally will bring together three members of the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team as they take on an FIM Cross-Country rallies event for the first time in 2019.
Looking forward to returning to competition, Adrien Van Beveren heads into the Silk Way Rally having spent many weeks training and testing aboard his WR450F Rally with the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team. With several months having passed since his winning ride at the Merzouga Rally, as well as being eager to return to racing, theFrenchman is keen to experience the challenges that the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese stages of the rally will present. With the competition expected to equal January's Dakar Rally in terms of difficulty and length, AVB is both confident of a positive result yet aware of the size of the challenge that lies ahead.
One of two Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team riders to make their first post-Dakar outing of 2019, the Silk Way Rally is a race that Xavier de Soultrait has long been looking forward to. Following his sixth-place result at the Dakar Rally in January, Xavier returns to competition rested, fully fit and like all riders intrigued to discover what the multi-day event has in store.
For the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team's third member, the start of the Silk Way Rally is a long-awaited and important moment for Franco Caimi. Agonisingly forced to abort his participation in the 2019 Dakar Rally having worked incredibly hard to return to competition following a fractured right Femur sustained in the Morocco Rally at the end of 2018, Franco is now ready to compete once again. Working tirelessly to make a full recovery from his injury, the Argentinian is hugely motivated to get back behind the bars of his WR450F Rally.
Celebrating its 9th running this year, the 2019 Silk Way Rally features a motorcycle class for the first time. Starting in Irkutsk with a start ceremony on July 6 the event will get under way on July 7 with a short 50km special stage.
With overall stage and special stage lengths increasing as the rally moves through Russia and Mongolia, special stage four - a circular stage starting and finishing in Ulaanbaatar - will be the longest at 470km. Competitors will enter China on July 13 (stage 7) with stage eight the longest of the event at 785km total distance. The final competitive and closing stage will see competitors arrive into Dunhuang on July 16.