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- THE ALL-ITALIAN COMBINATION, JACOPO CERUTTI AND APRILIA TUAREG, TRIUMPHS AT ITS DEBUT IN THE DESERT, IN THE AFRICA ECO RACE 2024
- ALWAYS AT THE TOP OF THE RANKING FROM FIRST TO LAST FOR OVER 6000 KILOMETERS, THE ITALIAN OFFROAD PROVES TO BE A WINNING PROJECT
- FRANCESCO MONTANARI, ABSOLUTE ROOKIE, BRINGS HIS TUAREG TO DAKAR, IS TWICE ON THE PODIUM OF THE SPECIALS AND CLOSES HIS FIRST AFRICAN EXPERIENCE WITH A GREAT TOP TEN
- MASSIMO RIVOLA: “DOMINATE AT THE DEBUT, A CHALLENGE NO ONE HAS NEVER SUCCEEDED”
The all-Italian duo remained in the lead from the first to the last of over six thousand kilometres, on roads, beaten tracks, sand and breathtaking dunes. From Monaco to the magical pink lake of Dakar, Jacopo Cerutti and his Aprilia Tuareg chose the most exhilarating way to win the 2024 edition of the Africa Eco Race, dominating and writing one of the most epic pages in the recent history of the great African raids.
The Italian couple started as rookies, facing very strong and, above all, extremely expert opponents of the legendary route that leads from Europe to Dakar via Morocco and Mauritania.
The Aprilia Tuareg, developed from the series product by Aprilia Racing with the technical collaboration of the Guareschi brothers' GCorse, faced African tracks and the desert for the first time. Of course, during 2023 the bike had given great proof of itself by winning, again on its debut, the Italian title in the Motorally and achieving an amazing podium in the Transanatolia rally in Turkey, in its first taste of a big raid. But tackling the African desert for the first time, on a route that has made off-road history, promised to be much more difficult.
The Aprilia riders, Jacopo Cerutti and Francesco Montanari, approached the race with confidence right from the start, armed with a bike that proved to be a formidable weapon thanks to the quality of the original project.
The victory in the special tests of the first two days allowed Cerutti to accumulate and then manage the advantage against very strong opponents such as Botturi and Tarres, both on Yamaha, who constantly attacked, looking for a comeback.
Speed, perfect strategy and reliability of the Tuareg are the values that led Aprilia and Cerutti to the triumph in Dakar.
For Francesco Montanari, an absolute rookie, the finish line in Dakar was the best result. To this he added two stage podiums, a constant presence in the upper areas of the special classifications and a great eighth place finish.
Massimo Rivola - CEO Aprilia Racing : “What Jacopo did, winning in Dakar, is unprecedented. It is a true, enormous sporting undertaking that celebrates a great champion, an exceptional Italian motorcycle, designed, developed and produced here in Noale and an incredible job done by Aprilia Racing and the Guareschis, to whom I extend my special thanks. Having led one of the most difficult races in the world from day one, in the face of very strong opponents, is an extraordinary sign of strength that went beyond all our expectations."
Vittoriano Guareschi - GCorse : "Fantastic! Jacopo was exceptional throughout the race, always dictating the pace. The second stage was the key, with that gap in the rankings which then allowed him to manage like a great champion. Francesco was also great, who on his debut led the bike in Dakar, taking more than one satisfaction in the special stages. What the whole team did is incredible, it was our first experience against very strong opponents, like the Yamaha team, who have great experience, especially on the part of the desert in Mauritania.
The bike was perfect, never a problem, with this triumph the Tuareg project showed all its basic qualities: weight balance, suspension travel, engine character, quality of materials. The production bike is already a point of reference."
Jacopo Cerutti: “It's all beautiful, for me it was an honor to be able to collaborate on the development of the bike with Aprilia Racing and GCorse. In a short time we have achieved incredible goals and honestly I didn't think we would be able to arrive so ready for this appointment. However, I knew that the standard Tuareg already provided us with an excellent starting point, then the rest was done by the great work done by the whole team in recent months. I certainly didn't expect to win, perhaps starting without the pressure of being the favorites was a good thing and we were also helped by a bit of luck, which never hurts, because in an African raid the unexpected is always around the corner and instead everything always went smoothly. A fantastic experience and emotion, now we can enjoy the celebrations."
Francesco Montanari: “I am very happy to have arrived in Dakar and to have managed to improve stage after stage, managing to place in the top positions on several occasions. All this was possible because I was put in the ideal conditions to express my potential: the bike is fantastic to ride and the whole team did an exceptional job, both in preparing for the race and in these two weeks in Africa. I would therefore like to thank Aprilia for this opportunity and all the members of the GCorse team for their continued support. I am obviously also happy for Jacopo's beautiful victory, he was very good and deserves it. I hope that this can be a starting point for me, I want to continue to improve because I think I have shown that I can compete with the best."
Automatic translation of the Italian version
Source: Aprilia Racing's official press release
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