Afriquia Merzouga Rally 2016: pronti a partire
Il percorso non è stato ancora svelato ma qualche cosa intanto gli uffici di ASO fanno filtrare per questa nuova competizione che si è spostata di data, ma che molte cose ha cambiato anche nella sua costituzione e svolgimento. 122 gli iscritti in totale per l'unica gara valida per le Dakar Series 2016 che servirà anche a Marc Coma per decidere chi portare alla Dakar 2017. Le moto iscritte sono 80, a cui si aggiungono 23 quad e 16 SSV, da noi chiamati Side by Side. 24 le nazionalità presenti con una larga maggioranza di francesi, e 5 donne presenti al via. Quanto sia importante questa gara per la definizione poi della lista degli iscritti della Dakar - a proposito, le iscrizioni si sono aperte ieri, 15 maggio - lo prova il numero dei presenti che mai prima d'ora ha corso la Dakar: ben 53 che significa il 43 %. 37 piloti invece che significa il 30 % hanno già corso la Dakar, ma non sono mai andati al Merzouga Rally.
English Version (by Aso)
The Afriquia Merzouga Rally will be held from 21-27 May. 122 professionals and amateurs will battle in this Dakar Series event that will take place between the Merzouga Dunes. Runner-up in this year’s Dakar, Stevan Svitko as well as the two revelations of 2016, Kevin Benavides and Adrien van Beveren, (4th and 5th) are among the favourites for this 7th edition.
Ideally situated at the start of the season, the Afriquia Merzouga Rally is now, thanks to its position change on the racing calendar, a significant test in the professional riders’ 2016 campaign. A large contingent of the sport’s best are entered to gauge and affirm their objectives. Besides the Svitko-Benavides-Van Beveren trio, Gerard Farrés, Helder Rodrigues and Rubén Farria also have high hopes. But in the perspective of next year’s Dakar the youngsters and rookie riders threaten to create a shift in the hierarchy or at least add some excitement. In their sights: gain experience on the major rallies and aim as quickly as possible at a participation in the Dakar. The battle between the established riders and the next wave of New Dakar Generation riders will be thrilling, with the Dakar Challenge (saving his registration for the Dakar 2017) prize going to the winner as well as the best finishing junior competitor. What better way to motivate the aspirants.In line with the six previous editions, the rally remains true to its philosophy of being a friendly event where proper amateur riders can experience a human and sporting challenge at their own pace. To hang out with the top pro riders, to get useful advice from the old hands and compete on suitable routes was what Sporting Director Marc Coma wanted to create for the Afriquia Merzouga Rally. The rally has also managed to become an important training rally, another quality of the event. These are strong arguments for each enthusiast to get a real sense of rally atmosphere as well as set off on his own challenge.
122 competitors entered
- 80 motorcycles in the Pro category
- 23 quads in the Pro category
- 3 motorcycles in the expert category (75% of route distance)
- 16 SSV
- 24 Nationalities (top 5 nationalities France 32 % – Spain 12 % – Portugal 9 % – Italy 9%)
- 5 women: 2 female teams in SSV + 1 female co-driver
- The youngest co-driver in SSV is 18 years old (mother & daughter team)
- The youngest in the Moto-Pro category is 21 years old
- 53 competitors have never participated in the Dakar (43%)
- 37 have already competed in the Dakar but are participating in the Merzouga for the first time. (30%)
- 32 competitors have already competed in the Merzouga Rally (26%)