After the well-deserved day of rest, the Africa Eco Race resumed yesterday with the sixth leg, from Dakhla, Morocco, to Chami, Mauritania. Both the Aprilia Tuaregs, entrusted to Jacopo Cerutti and a Francesco Montanari, were once again great protagonists, with Cerutti second and still leading the overall standings, and rookie Montanari putting in an outstanding performance, fifth with his best result since the start of the rally.
In the 204 km of today’s special trials, Cerutti once again battled with his direct rivals in the standings, Alessandro Botturi and Pol Tarres. The rider from Como reached the destination in second place, just 1’07” behind the Spaniard and 45” ahead of Botturi. In the overall standings, the three-way battle gets more thrilling by the moment, with Cerutti’s Tuareg maintaining the lead at 1’58” over Tarres and 3 minutes ahead of Botturi, both on Yamahas.
For Aprilia, it was another picture perfect day, with both Tuaregs at the top thanks to Francesco Montanari’s fifth place, just 3’58” behind the winner. The rider from Como, in his very first raid of such an extraordinarily demanding calibre, thereby took his best result since the start of the race, also moving up to sixth place in the overall standings.
The seventh leg is scheduled for today, where the route will follow a ring-shaped path that starts and ends in Chami, for a total of 475 km, including 454 special trials.
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“It was a strange leg. A large part of the route was straight but it was hard to identify the track and that made navigation complicated. In these conditions, I preferred managing the race without taking too many risks, so second place is fine; I didn’t lose much ground on my adversaries. We are already looking forward to today’s leg!”
“The route wasn’t one of the most thrilling ones, with lots of straight lines at high speed, but navigation was not at all simple, especially at the end, so I can consider myself satisfied. I didn’t make many mistakes and I navigated well, consistently maintaining a good pace.”