Pal Anders Ullevaalseter comes in first, and Rosa Romero and Antonio Gimeno 11th and 12th, respectively.
This is as good as it gets folks. The final pre-Dakar races are now over. Riders and drivers have had their last chance to test the final touches made to their motorcycles and to gauge their feelings before the main event, the Dakar, where there is no margin for error. The latest was the 1180 km Merzouga Rally, comprising a prologue and five stages, one of which was a marathon stage. Riders Rosa Romero and Antonio Gimeno finished their last individual races with 11th and 12th place finishes, respectively, in the Pro category in a rally marked by the excellent atmosphere at all times in the common areas of the Xaluca hotel in Erfoud, Morocco.
Rosa Romero: “I’m extremely delighted with the Rally. And not just the result, which was excellent, but the overall performance. When you pursue an individual goal, everything is easier and it’s all up to you. When you are part of a team, you have to learn things, get to know people, be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and adapt to each situation. I think we made progress each day in this respect and we gained a lot of confidence. And this is crucial for the Dakar. The bike responded perfectly and the race helped us check where we can make a few minor improvements, but nothing major. We just need to tweak the base, which is perfect. Mechanically, the bike is simple. It is light and very easy to drive.”
Antonio Gimeno: “The 5th edition of the Merzouga Rally was awesome. A huge success. It is a tough race in terms of driving and navigating, not to mention physical endurance. The stages were long and you ride a lot off-road, in camel grass, in areas of fesh fesh, sand and dunes… lots of dunes!! The motorcycle behaved perfectly. It is light, high performance, and we adapted smoothly. The first test for both motorcycle and the rider was perfect. A 10! We shared six stages racing, improving every day, learning each other’s weaknesses and skills. I think we made a lot of progress and have the confidence necessary to take on Dakar 2015. I think that the final result can be seen in the classification. By not making mistakes, navigating correctly and at a safe rhythm, we were able to 11th and 12th overall”.
Fuente y fotografía: Merzouga Rally