Stage 4 of the Africa Eco Race saw the riders cross a mountain range and traverse dry lakes during the 455km special that ran from Assa to Remz El Quebir, with temperatures rising to over 45 degrees Celsius, adding to the difficulty of an already challenging route.
After winning the second stage, a technical issue saw Botturi lose two hours and cross the line in ninth during Stage 3, dropping him down to sixth overall. To confound matters for the Italian, he was later given a three-hour penalty for leaving the special stage area while trying to solve the problem, which saw him demoted to 20th in the general classification. Determined to make up the time, the seven-time Dakar finisher displayed the fortitude and skill that has seen him emerge victorious in the last two Africa Eco Races.
When the stage got underway, starting from ninth, the 47-year-old set an incredible pace on his Ténéré 700 World Raid and was focused on making up as much time as possible as he closed the gap to the riders in front of him, passing them one by one.
After 350km, he was riding alongside his teammate Tarrés, and they continued together to the finish line with Botturi recording his second podium of the rally as he ended the stage in five hours, 24 minutes and 49 seconds to finish third, 20 minutes and 56 seconds behind the winner. This result meant that “Bottu” gained 11 places in the overall standings and is now ninth, with a combined time of 23 hours, 8 minutes and 13 seconds, and second in the +700 class.