The TransAnatolia sees Tarrés and Botturi traversing from the east to the west coast of Turkey, covering over 2,300km in just seven days, with the pairing competing in the B2 class on their twin-cylinder Ténéré World Rally adventure bikes, as well as racing against the 450cc prototype machines.
After Saturday evening’s ceremonial start in Samsun on the Black Sea coast, the action kicked off in earnest on Sunday. At the TransAnatolia, each day of the rally involves the riders racing two special stages, but due to torrential rain on Sunday morning, the first special was cancelled.
This meant Tarrés & Botturi had a longer liaison to Strabon before taking on a 122.34km special that ended in Tokat. The rain made the terrain even trickier, with flash floods, mud and slippery rocks all playing a part. Undeterred by all of this, and even though he is still recovering from a leg injury, Tarrés immediately showcased his pace.
The Andorran got the hammer down after opening the stage, finishing the day in second overall, and taking the B2 class victory with a time of one hour, 54 minutes and 10 seconds. In doing so, he finished the special just 22 seconds behind the winner, an impressive feat on his production-based GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Rally.
Botturi also enjoyed a great start, with the Italian participating in his first international rally since the 2022 Africa Eco Race. The 48-year-old showed no signs of rustiness as he powered to fourth overall and second in class, with a time of one hour, 56 minutes, and 37 seconds.
Monday saw the duo leave the bivouac in Tokat, with the weather still wet and foggy, for a 27km liaison to the start of the third special, which was 141.91km long. They then had a short 3km liaison to the 75.51km fourth stage before a 90.49km liaison to Sivas, for a total of 338.21km in one day.
Tarrés again led off the stage and showed impressive speed, securing another podium and finishing the first special of the day in second place with a time of two hours, 29 minutes, and 57 seconds. After the refuelling stop, the 29-year-old kept up his rhythm to complete Stage 4 in one hour, 15 minutes, and 14 seconds and maintain his 100% stage podium record as he finished in second and took the B2 victory once more. Tarrés ended the day in second overall and first in class, just three minutes and two seconds behind the winner.
His teammate Botturi also enjoyed an excellent Monday, as he powered to third overall on Special Stage 3 with a time of two hours, 31 minutes, and 35 seconds. The winner of the 2014 TransAnatolia then matched this result with a third-placed finish on the final special of the day to record his second stage podium after setting a time of one hour, 16 minutes, and 38 seconds, which saw him just three minutes and two seconds behind his teammate's time for Monday.
These results from the first three special stages mean Tarrés currently sits second overall and leads the B2 class in the general classification, with a combined time of five hours, 39 minutes and 21 seconds, just one minute and three seconds off first place.
Botturi’s double podium on Monday means the Italian has a total time of five hours, 44 minutes and 50 seconds, which moves him up to third overall and second in class after the first two days.
Day three of the TransAnatolia involves a 59.82km liaison from Sivas to Çayralan before a 145.29km special to Felahiye. They then have another 22.04km liaison to the start of the 72.91km Special Stage 6, plus a further 59.16km liaison to the bivouac in Göreme, with a total of 359.22km to cover in the day.