Yamaha Spain was the protagonist of the start of the Spanish Off-Road Rally Championship 2022 at the demanding Baja TT Extremadura this weekend. The Yamaha vehicles decorated the surroundings of Badajoz blue with the victory of Agustín González and Rubén Ruiz in the SSV general classification, another three YXZ1000R among the top 10, and the premiere of their GYTR T4 project on the third step of the podium of the FIA European Cup for Cross Country Bajas.
The first event of the National off-road rally season, the Baja TT Extremadura, was held from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, with Badajoz as the epicentre. In addition, points scored at the event also counted towards the FIA European Cup for Cross Country Bajas for the first time. The Spanish division of Yamaha took the opportunity to launch its sixth consecutive edition of the YXZ1000R Cup.
The action began on Friday morning with a fast and technical initial shakedown of 4.6km, which fine-tuned the machines, drivers and co-drivers. In the afternoon, the 5.9km Prologue kicked off the action in anger, and the champions of the 2021 edition, the Caamaño brothers, were the fastest among the YXZ1000Rs. Miquel Prat and Sergio Lafuente were the fastest in the T4 category with the new GYTR prototype that Yamaha Spain is developing this year together with the team of the Dakar co-driver Àlex Haro, Haro Racing.
The second day started on Saturday around 10:00 in the morning. During the first 178km stage, rookies Agustín González and Rubén Ruiz prevailed on demanding terrain, with abundant wind and dust clouds making visibility very difficult. The Yamaha YXZ1000R #706 of the Caamaño brothers completed the stage four minutes behind, with Guillaume Meura and Carles Barangé ending nine minutes off the winners. The day wrapped up with another 114km timed session, in which González and Ruiz climbed into the top 3 overall of the SSVs and ended the day nearly 14 minutes ahead of the closest of their Yamaha Cup pursuers.
The 130km Sunday Stage was made up of high-speed tracks and demanded focus from all the teams. González and Ruiz consolidated their excellent work and made their debut in style by taking victory in the Japanese manufacturer's single-make Cup, also winning the overall standings in the CERTT SSV category ahead of much more experienced riders. The pair proved that the Yamaha YXZ1000R is not only an affordable option for racing but also for winning. The Caamaño brothers finished third overall and second in the Yamaha Cup, while Meura and Barange closed the podium positions, in sixth overall position among the SSVs.
The debut of the Yamaha Spain GYTR T4 project in collaboration with Haro Racing was more than satisfactory. Miquel Prat and his Dakar co-driver, Sergio Lafuente, were the fastest in their category on Friday. Despite a minor incident with the brakes on Saturday, they managed to fight for victory seal a superb third position in the FIA European Cup for Cross Country Bajas. In addition, the Italian team of Amerigo Ventura and Mirko Brun finished second in another YXZ1000R T4, capping off a simply brilliant opening weekend of racing.
Once again, the reliability and competitiveness of the Yamaha-prepared prototypes were highlighted after four YXZ1000Rs finished in the top 10. The next round of the 2022 YXZ1000R Cup will be held on May 21/22 in the surrounding areas of the Murcian city of Lorca, at the eighth Baja Lorca Ciudad del Sol.
Agustín González/Rubén Ruiz 6h28’42’’
Edesio Caamaño/Juan José Caamaño +10'44 "
Guillaume Meura/Carles Barangé +28’32”
Fernando Mesa/Ivan Cano +3h36’51’’
Luis Sainero/Gonzalo Martinez - Retired
Oriol Cañellas/Carmelo Moline - Abandoned
Agustin Gonzalez/Ruben Ruiz - 50 points
Edesio Caamaño/Juan José Caamaño - 42 points
Guillaume Meura/Carles Barangé - 36 points
Fernando Mesa/Ivan Cano - 16 points
Luis Sainero/Gonzalo Martinez - 0 points
Oriol Cañellas/Carmelo Moline - 0 points