The Hellas Rally has provided the perfect test for the Ténéré World Raid Team, with the conditions and terrain utterly different from what they have raced previously in Africa. The stages in Greece featured much more technical, slower, and rockier routes than you would find in the desert, conditions that don’t usually play to the strengths of the GYTR-kitted twin-cylinder Ténéré 700 World Raid.
The bad weather played its part, too, with heavy rain and strong winds bringing an extra element to the mix; plus, Tarrés had to adapt his navigation style on the fly due to the waypoints being much closer together.
Incredibly, the team and Tarrés overcame these challenges and produced a stunning effort all week, rounded out by Tarrés efforts on Stage 6. Starting the day third in the general classification, with just 13 minutes separating the top four riders after 1330km of riding, everything was still to play for.
Stage 6 was a short 120km loop beginning and returning to the bivouac in Karpenisi via Gardiki. Heavy rain overnight and in the morning made the muddy conditions even worse and handed the advantage to Tarrés’ rivals on their lighter, more agile 450cc machines.
Undeterred, the 29-year-old, despite being physically exhausted from his exerts on previous days, summoned the strength to push right to the line and finish the stage in sixth in the Moto-Quad category, with a time of one hour, 55 minutes, and 33.54 seconds. This saw Tarrés win his fourth consecutive M6 class (650cc-1300cc multi-cylinder motorbikes) stage and secure the overall class victory.
Agonisingly, Tarrés only just missed out on the overall podium by one minute and 30.04 seconds, ending the rally fourth in the final Moto-Quad Category standings, with a combined time of 21 hours, 45 minutes and 8.22 seconds; in the process, he also won the FIM European 6 class and secured third in the FIM European overall classification.
During the race, nine Ténéré Spirit Experience (TSE) customers took part in the adventure of a lifetime alongside Tarres, living the rally lifestyle in the bivouac with the official team and riding routes developed especially for their skill levels.
Most of the TSE riders took part in the “Raid” category and did not have the pressure of racing against the clock, while some competed in the "Rally 2" category, but the experienced Loic Minaudier decided to enter the main Rally category. The Frenchman produced a sensational performance all week and ensured a Yamaha Ténéré World Raid one-two in the M6 class by finishing in second, just over 40 minutes behind Tarrés.
Up next for the Ténéré World Raid Team is another entirely different challenge as they prepare for the 2023 TransAnatolia in Turkey from the 2nd-9th of September, which starts at the Black Sea port of Samsun on the East coast before traversing across the entire country to Izmir on the West coast, and the Aegean Sea.