Well, Yamaha’s managed to make history once again.
In an absolutely smashing turn of events, Yamaha’s brand new Ténéré 700 World Raid has taken first place at this season’s iteration of the Tunisia Rally, or the Tunisia Desert Challenge (TDC) – a linear route with 8 challenging desert stages, almost 2500 timed kilometres and nearly no liaisons.
It’s in the extreme rally category for a reason; with this year seeing some of the most hardcore conditions yet (highs of 95F/35C and winds up to 80 km/h), riders were pushed to the absolute max in the drive to finish.
The aim of using the 700 in the Rally, according to ADVPulse, was ‘to develop the bike further ahead of more adventures,’ with the win secured by none other than Ténéré World Raid Team’s Alessandro Botturi.
“We came here to test, have fun and get the bikes to the finish, so for Alessandro to achieve something historical like this, as the first production adventure bike to win a Rally Raid against the 450cc Enduro machines, is unbelievable,” enthuses Ténéré World Raid Team manager, Manuel Luccchese.
Despite being a production bike, Yamaha made sure to do some modifications courtesy of Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing (GYTR) – a larger fuel tank and KYB suspension – to outfit the bike for the scalding sands of Africa.
“The bike has been incredible, but obviously, we will continue to develop it so that customers can buy a GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Raid and not only take part in a Rally Raid but be competitive,” adds Luccchese.
The competition was met with severe sandstorms and a lack of visibility that canceled Stage 6 and called off Stage 7. Despite this, Botturi stayed within the top five at every stage and started the final stage with a clear 14-minute lead.
300km later, and the 46-year old had secured a time of 4h 15’ 57’’, a clear margin of 11 minutes and 21 seconds with a combined time of 24h 22’ 43’’.
“After an incredible and emotional Tunisia Desert Challenge, the Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team now turn their focus to the Africa Eco Race, which follows the route of the original Dakar Rally and covers over 6,500kms, starting in Monaco and finishing at the legendary Lac Rose in Senegal between the 15th-30th of October,” continues the report.
“It should be one not to miss!”
Here are the results of the top 5 riders of TDC:
First Place: Alessandro Botturi (101), Yamaha – 24h 22’ 43’’
Second Place: Mathieu Doveze (103), KTM – 24h 34’ 04’’
Third Place: Neels THERIC (122), KTM – 25h 17’ 39’’
Fourth Place: Bertrand Gavard (110),KTM – 25h 31’ 27’
Fifth Place: Duong Nguyen Khoa (102, KTM – 25h 50’ 32’’
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