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Botturi & Tarrés Reunited to Take on TransAnatolia

Botturi & Tarrés Reunited to Take on TransAnatolia

The Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team, in partnership with Riders for Health, has its full-strength lineup of Pol Tarrés and Alessandro Botturi back together to tackle the 13th edition of the TransAnatolia in Turkey from the 2nd-9th of September.

Initially formed in 2022 to compete in rallies onboard the Ténéré 700 World Raid, the team got off to the perfect start by winning their debut event as Botturi secured the overall victory at the Tunisia Desert Challenge (TDC). This was the first win for a production-based bike against its prototype rivals in a rally raid, and since then, they have won their class at every event they have entered.

They followed up their TDC victory with a record-breaking performance at the 2022 Africa Eco Race (AER), where Tarrés became the first rider to complete the entire rally on a twin-cylinder adventure bike, and Botturi made it a 1-2 in class after an incredible fightback.

Botturi then had to miss the Moroccan Desert Challenge in April due to a scheduling conflict with the Italian Motorally Championship, in which he is fighting for the title. Still, Tarrés claimed his maiden rally raid podium with third overall while securing another 1-2 in class alongside his fill-in teammate Rodney Faggotter.

Tarrés then took another class win at the Hellas Rally in May after finishing fourth overall, where he competed as a lone rider, but now the team is back to full strength for the first time since the AER and ready for a completely different kind of race.

Kicking off with a ceremonial start in the famous city of Samsun by the Black Sea on the north-east coast of Turkey, the rally traverses the entire width of the country. It passes through 17 provinces and covers over 2,300km during seven stages before ending in Izmir by the Aegean Sea on the west coast.

While it is a new event for Tarrés, Botturi has competed in the rally before, securing three consecutive podium finishes between 2013 and 2015, including storming to a sensational victory in 2014, and his experience will prove vital as the TransAnatolia represents a different rally from anything the team have taken on before.

Contradictory to the AER, the route crosses several mountain ranges with an average altitude of 1506m. Rocky paths and gravel trails are the order of the day in Turkey, providing a complete contrast to the dunes of the desert for the team and their GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Rally bikes.

Despite making his TransAnatolia debut, Tarrés is confident he can adapt quickly to the different conditions, just as he did at the Hellas Rally in Greece. However, he is still not quite fully fit after recovering from a leg injury he sustained while competing in the Red Bull Romaniacs just over a month ago.

At the TransAnatolia, Tarrés and Botturi will also face some stiff competition as more and more follow the Ténéré World Raid Team’s example and look to compete on production-based adventure bikes, with the B2 class at the TransAnatolia open to any machine with a capacity of between 451cc and 700cc.

During the rally, the team will be joined by three Ténéré Spirit Experience (TSE) customers. The TSE is a new project for Yamaha in 2023, which allows Ténéré owners to live and breathe the rally raid lifestyle alongside the official team.

Taking part in the Raid category, they will ride sections of each stage while following a route parallel to the Rally class but without the stress of racing against the clock. This gives them the chance to experience the adventure of a lifetime with the full support of the Ténéré World Raid Team but without any pressure, allowing them to fuel their desire to enter a competitive rally in the future. To find out more information on the TSE, click here.

The TransAnatolia officially gets underway on Saturday, the 2nd of September, with the official start in Samsun before the action kicks off properly on Sunday with Stage 1.

Pol Tarrés

Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team

“We are ready to begin this new adventure here in Turkey. I am so happy to be able to race after my injury, and while I am not 100%, I feel fit and ready to ride, but the real test will come during the rally. I am so happy to have Alessandro back as my teammate. He is like a big brother to me, and it is great for us to be back together as a team. I learnt a lot riding at the Hellas Rally, especially about taking on different terrain and conditions, so I feel confident I can be fast here, too. Every rally, I learn more and gain more experience, so I am excited to start the TransAnatolia and see what we can do.”

Alessandro Botturi

Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team

“We are here in Turkey and ready for the amazing challenge that is the TransAnatolia. I have competed here before, and I know we have a tough and intense seven days ahead. The mountain passes and tracks are about as different as you can get from racing in the desert, plus we have seen a big growth in the number of competitors in our class for this event, so the competition level will be very high. It is great to be back with the team, and I can’t wait to get started again. I am looking forward to racing with Pol once more, and the rally should prove a great testing ground for us as we prepare for the Africa Eco Race.”  

Marc Bourgeois

Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team – Team Manager

“After the summer break, having the whole team back together is great. This is the third rally for the team this year, and although the terrain is very different, it will give us a great chance to prepare for the AER. It will prove to be a good test for both bikes and riders and will also give us a chance to try some new setups with the bike. It is the first time here for everyone in the team except Alessandro, so we are looking forward to the challenge, and we will benefit from his experience. Since Yamaha started this project in 2022, we have seen the interest grow in racing twin-cylinder adventure bikes in rally raid events, and here in Turkey, we have a lot of very strong competition, so it is an excellent opportunity to gauge our level. We also have three TSE customers with us on this rally, and I think they are in for an adventure of a lifetime. We can’t wait to get started.”

The Great Adventure

The TransAnatolia sees Botturi and Tarrés race together for the first time since they re-wrote the history books at the 2022 AER. An exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary about their extraordinary exploits in Africa, “The Great Adventure”, is out now on Amazon Prime Video for subscribers in Italy and coming soon to other regions. The hour-long film, produced by Yamaha Motor Europe and directed by Francesco Teo, has also been nominated for an award at the prestigious International Motor Film Awards, and you can watch it here.

Join Botturi and Tarrés at the 2023 Africa Eco Race

After such monumental exploits in 2022, Yamaha Motor Europe and Riders for Health, powered by Two Wheels for Life, are giving two people the chance to join the Ténéré World Raid Team on the 2023 AER. The team works in partnership with the charity to raise awareness of their tremendous work in supplying, managing, and maintaining motorcycles for health-focused operations in Africa.

The incredible prize on offer includes return flights to Dakar, Senegal for two people, two nights bed and breakfast at the 5-star King Fahed hotel in Dakar, plus the chance to meet and greet the Ténéré World Raid Team during the podium ceremony at Lac Rose. To find out more and to enter the prize draw, click here.