Aprilia Tuareg at the start of the Africa Eco Race

Objavljeno: 31.12.2023

Noale, 30 December 2023 - For Aprilia, it’s finally “Back to Africa”: the project announced less than a year ago to take the Aprilia brand back to the big African raids now comes to fruition with the participation of two Aprilia Tuareg machines in the 2024 edition of the Africa Eco Race, which will start officially today, 30 December, from Monaco.

For the entire Aprilia Racing department, which developed the competition version of the Tuareg in close collaboration with GCorse of the Guareschi brothers, this is a return to the first love, those off-road disciplines which were the Italian brand’s début in the world of competitions.
In addition, by taking part in the Africa Eco Race, Aprilia will once again be travelling through legendary places and routes, those of the historic African Dakar, thereby bringing to mind the successful experience of Aprilia’s last participation (the last Italian bike to win at the Dakar) in the most famous rally raid in the world, in the period from 2010 to 2012.

In the able hands of factory riders Jacopo Cerutti and Francesco Montanari, the Aprilia Tuareg developed for rally raids is built on the excellent technical base of the bike which, closely derived from the factory model, triumphed in its début in the Italian Motorally G-1000 class championship, with Jacopo Cerutti skilfully dominating in six of the eight trials held and taking a brilliant absolute victory against the lighter, specialised enduro single-cylinders in the Rally of Sardinia. An overwhelming year where Francesco Montanari also ended up on the final podium of the Italian championship, ranking third in the general standings.

Thanks to the experience gained in the Italian Motorally and the participation in September in the first international race, the Transanatolia Rally, with Cerutti winning one leg and finishing third overall, the development of the Aprilia Tuareg for the Africa Eco Race progressed quickly - proof of the outstanding off-road capabilities of the standard factory Tuareg.
In an initial stage, the focus was on the chassis architecture and then on finding the best possible engine performance in the prohibitive racing conditions anticipated. Last, but not least, the adoption of a supplementary fuel tank increased range, necessary for covering the long rally raid distances.
The Aprilia Tuareg competition version is fitted with Öhlins by Andreani suspension, a complete SC Project exhaust in titanium, and a specific Sprint Filter air filter.

After the official start in Monaco, bikes and equipment will ship out to Morocco where they’ll get down to business on 2 January, with the first of the 12 legs scheduled. The goal is to reach the legendary finish at Lac Rose, in Dakar, on 14 January.

For updates on all the news, follow the web page

“For me, it is fantastic to be able to bring a brand like Aprilia back to the desert. The Africa Eco Race will be a great adventure and a huge challenge for everyone. This will be true for me, as a rider, but also for the entire Aprilia Racing department and for the GCorse team. Over the past few months, we have all done an insane amount of work developing the bike, which is already extremely good in its base configuration. We feel like we are ready. We demonstrated a good pace in the tests we did in the desert, so we will certainly be able to hold our own. The first part of the race, in Morocco on harder terrain, could prove to be a bit more complicated, but I’m optimistic for the second week in the sand. I won’t hide the fact that I’d like to win some legs and stay ahead of some of our more favoured rivals, but beyond that, such a long race is so unpredictable that it’s hard to make any predictions in terms of the general standings. We will certainly be giving it our all!”

“Even though I am trying to stay calm, I’m sure that once I'm on the starting grid of the first trial, I’ll be overcome by a special emotion. This will be my first experience in such a long and demanding race and I wish to thank Aprilia for the huge opportunity they are giving me, as well as the Guareschi brothers for their continuous support. These have been extremely intense months, full of testing, races, and training to prepare for this event. As I said, this is my first time in such a long rally, so my absolute top priority is to finish the race, trying to ride my best but without overdoing it. It won’t be simple, because I’ll be trying giving to give it my all constantly in the race, but it will be important to ration my strength and not make any mistakes. I want to arrive at the finish line in Dakar at all costs and then, once there, we’ll take stock of how it went.”