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Tarrés Powers into Overall Lead on Day 3 at TransAnatolia

Tarrés Powers into Overall Lead on Day 3 at TransAnatolia

The Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team’s Pol Tarrés enjoyed a superb third day at the TransAnatolia rally in Turkey, with two more stage podiums propelling him into the overall lead, while his teammate Alessandro Botturi made it a 1-2 in the general classification.

A strong start to the rally meant that after two days of action, Tarrés was second overall and Botturi third, with the duo securing five stage podiums between them. Day three, the second longest of the TransAnatolia in terms of distance, saw the team leave the bivouac in Sivas for a 59.82km liaison to the start of the 145.29km Special Stage 5 in Çayrilan.

They then faced a short 22.04km liaison to the next special stage in Felahiye, which covered 72.91km before another liaison, this time 59.16km, to the bivouac in Göreme, for a total distance of 359.22km.

Tuesday began with Special Stage 5 and, for the first time in the rally, Tarrés did not lead the way and instead started from second, although it did not take long for him to make his way to the front and once again showcase just how good his navigational skills have become. The Andorran pushed hard on his GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Rally and maintained his 100% stage podium record by ending the first special of the day in third with a time of two hours, 30 minutes, and 59 seconds.

The second stage of the day saw Tarrés lead off the special once more, and despite this, he managed to go one better and finish in second to secure his fifth podium of the event after setting a time of 51 minutes and 49 seconds.

This meant that for the first time in his burgeoning rally raid career, the 29-year-old took the overall lead in the general classification with a combined time of nine hours, two minutes, and nine seconds. A fact made even more remarkable when you consider Tarrés is racing a twin-cylinder production-based adventure bike in the competitive B2 class against a number of more experienced riders on 450cc prototype machines in the B1 category.

For Botturi, the TransAnatolia is his first international rally since the 2022 Africa Eco Race, yet the winner of the 2014 edition of the Turkish event has hit the ground running and put in another strong performance on Tuesday. The Italian made a small navigational mistake during the opening stage of the day but recovered superbly to finish the special in fourth with a time of two hours, 32 minutes, and 53 seconds.

Botturi then showed excellent rhythm during Special Stage 6 to claim his third podium of the rally after setting a time of 52 minutes and one second, which saw him secure third. These results moved the 49-year-old up to second overall in the general classification to make it a 1-2 for the team with a combined time of nine hours, nine minutes, and 44 seconds, just seven minutes and 35 seconds behind Tarrés, with an advantage of four minutes and 34 seconds over the rider in third.

Day four of seven at the TransAnatolia is the longest of the rally, and it kicks off with a 61.43km liaison from the bivouac in Göreme to the start of the 28.01km Special Stage 7 in Bellsirma. The duo will then have another 71.68km liaison to the beginning of the eighth stage in Tuz Gölü, which covers 166.52km, before a final 84.17km liaison to the bivouac in Haymana.

Special Stage 5 Results

Special Stage 6 Results

General Classification After Day 3

Pol Tarrés - P1 (9h02m09s)

Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team

“I started second on the first special today, but after a while, I was leading the way again, which is always more pressure as you can never relax, and it’s easier to make mistakes. I also led off the second stage, so I was pleased with my navigation skills. I finished third on the first special and second on the day's final stage, and I am now in the overall lead. It is the first time I have ever led a rally raid, and I can’t quite believe it. We still have four more days to go, so my goal is to stay calm, ride intelligently, and secure the best possible result.”

Alessandro Botturi – P2 (9h09m44s)

Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team

“Today was another good day, especially when you look at the general classification. I made a slight navigational mistake on the first stage, which cost me about four minutes, but then I found my rhythm, and the bike was superb, allowing me to make up for lost time. I pushed hard throughout the day and finishing fourth and third on the stages means I am now up to second overall. Our strategy has been perfect as a team, and I am so happy for Pol to lead his first rally. We now just need to stay focused. We both have a great feeling with the bike, and I cannot wait to get back into action on day four.”

Marc Bourgeois

Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team – Team Manager

“The stages were very fast today compared to the second day, yet both riders did an incredible job. To have Pol and Alessandro first and second in the general classification, racing against the 450cc prototypes, is amazing. Pol had to lead the stages again for most of the day, which meant he was under a lot of pressure, but he did not make a single mistake. Alessandro recovered brilliantly from a little navigational error to finish very strongly, and both riders showed their class. There is a long way still to go in this rally, but Pol and Alessandro feel great on the bike, so we are looking forward to the next stage.”

The Great Adventure

Botturi and Tarrés are racing together at the TransAnatolia 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.