The Directorate of the International Project Silk Way Rally has developed a system of discounts for the 2022 rally competitors.
The discount system is as follows:
- If the driver took part in the 2021 rally, then in 2022 his crew will be given a 15% discount*
- If the driver has participated in two or more Silk Way Rally events (for example, 2019 + 2021), his crew will be given a 20% discount*
- Crews using alternative fuels will receive a 50% discount*
- Crews under the age of 30, as well as all female crews will be able to take part in the rally without paying entry fees.
* discounts are not cumulative
These discounts are available throughout the entire application period: both during the minor rates (from February 15 to April 15) and during the standard rates (from April 16 to June 1).
In addition, the rally Directorate has prepared a special campaign: visa support for G-MOTO CHALLENGE category riders is provided free of charge.
The amount of accreditation fees for media representatives planning to work on the entire route of the rally will also be revised. Detailed information will be published later.
The organizers are waiting for everyone at the Ceremonial Start in Astrakhan on July 7, 2022!
Source Silk Way Rally
The route of the Silk Way Rally 2022 is announced
The online presentation of the route of the 12th edition of the Silk Way Rally took place on November 10th, revealing to fans and competitors the main details of the upcoming event, previously kept in strict secrecy.
The largest cross-country rally in Eurasia will take place from July 6 to 16, starting in Astrakhan (administrative inspections and scrutineering are also planned there) and finishing in Moscow’s Red Square.
The North Caucasus and Grozny – the capital of the Chechen Republic, Elista, Volgograd, Voronezh – connecting these points on the map, you can understand how interesting and diverse will be the geography of the 2022 event.
The total length of this unique route will be 4,380 kilometers, including 2,800 kilometers of special stages.
The Silk Way Rally Sports Directorate is always ready to meet the competitors needs and that is why the fees for participation in the 2022 Silk Way Rally will remain the same as in 2021.
The organizers also keep another good tradition: crews under the age of 30, as well as 100% female crews will be able to take part in the rally without paying entry fees.
Competitors in all types of vehicles will be allowed to participate in the competition: motorcycles, quads, buggies (SSV), cars and trucks.
Opening of Entries is scheduled to start on February 15, 2022.
Vladimir Chagin, Head of the International Project Silk Way Rally:
“What makes the Silk Way Rally special? The fact that every year the competitors of the event overcome a completely new route, which is never repeated. The 2022 race will not be an exception – its distance will open up a lot of new things for each racer. Let me warn you right away: it's going to be interesting, but extremely difficult. Although these are the challenges that attract competitors from all over the world.
Our country is proud of its centuries-old history. Coincidentally, next year marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of the person who opened a “window to Europe” for Russia, namely Peter the First. He is called “The Great”, as well as the Silk Way Rally. And our next year event will go through many cities that are connected with the name of this Russian emperor”.
Luc Alphand, Silk Way Rally Sporting Director:
“One of the features of the cross-country rally, besides the sports component, is the opportunity to discover new landscapes. And now we are in the Chechen Republic, in the magnificent mountains. Cross-country rallies have never been held in this part of the country before. For us, as well as for the competitors, it is very important to be here and have the opportunity to discover new, previously undiscovered routs of an unprecedented scale and range.
The local authorities and population gave us the warmest welcome, demonstrating openness and sincere interest in the development of tourism and motorsport in the region. I especially would like to emphasize the high security of this region. Currently, this part of Russia is highly peaceful and stable, local people would like to show the whole world that the visit will be as safe and comfortable as possible”.
Viktor Sokolov, First Deputy Head of the International Project Silk Way Rally:
“The International Silk Way Rally is not just a way from point A to point B. It is an adventure. Our task is to increase interest in the race and rise the number of competitors every year. Our goal is to take into account literally every wish, without forgetting about the balance between the sports component, logistics, and the impressions that the new route will give to the competitors”.
Oleg Matytsin, Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation:
“This unique project is ones again ready to unite like-minded people – professionals and enthusiasts – of motor sports from Russia and many other countries. The new route of the competition will pass through the territory of the North Caucasus for the first time in the Silk Way Rally history – this is an absolutely new region for the cross-country rallies. I am sure that the unique beauty of nature, unique and diverse landscapes, the huge historical and cultural heritage of Russia will leave unforgettable impressions in the hearts of competitors and fans.
The implementation of such bright and at the same time solid and serious sports projects, such as the Silk Way Rally, creates a positive reputation and confirms the great opportunities of the regions along the route in organizing global sports events, creates the basis for the development of sports connections and attracts young people to sports events.
I would like to wish all racers success and a truly victorious mood, and all fans and viewers – the brightest impressions!”
GAZPROM and CAMF, principal partners of the Silk Way Rally
The Silk Way Rally is a large scale international project that has emerged and is developing thanks to a unique cohesive team and reliable support of partners. In 2022, Gazprom PJSC and the Automobile and Motorcycle Sports Federation of China will be the general partners, providing comprehensive support to the competition.
The 2022 edition of the International Project Silk Way Rally is a challenge for everyone who is ready to test their strength and speed by opening new routes.
15 February 2022: - Opening of Entries
1 June 2022: - Closure of Entries
6-7 July 2022: - Administrative checks and scrutineering in Astrakhan, Russia
7 July 2022: - Ceremonial start, Astrakhan
16 July 2022: - Ceremonial finish, Moscow
Source Silk Way Rally
Contestants will remember this edition of the Silk Way Rally for long. The race turned out unusual in every sense: start in Siberia, the battle continuation in Altai, two stages at the border of Russia and Mongolia and return to Siberian forests in order to define winners; thereat the distance significantly shortened due to Mongolian stages cancellation and the total length of five special sections was 650 kilometers.
The final special section of the Silk Way Rally repeated the track of the second racing day. The advantage of Dmitry Sotnikov over the Belarusian Siarhei Viazovich in 6 minutes allowed the Russian crew not to risk at the key point of the race and keep a comfortable speed for himself.
The new truck of K5 family with index КАМАZ-435091 is the first on the Silk Way Rally and Sotnikov added one more trophy to his victory on the Dakar in January this year. For Dmitry this success became the third in his career, for his co-driver – the second and for his mechanic – the third. Also in Top 3 appeared Anton Shibalov.
Dmitry Sotnikov, driver of crew No 501: “We managed to justify efforts of our team. During several months everyone worked very hard day and night. Therefore, our prize is for all our team, for all fans, for everyone who helped to build a truck. The new racing truck of K5 generation is a leap forward for our team. I want to applause to all our team. There were no technical issues during the race”.
Source Kamaz Master
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Skyler Howes has claimed second overall at the 2021 Silk Way Rally, thanks in part to a strong performance on the fifth and final stage. The result moves the American up to second in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship standings. Luciano Benavides completed stage five in eighth place, taking seventh in the overall rally standings.
Coming into the final day of racing at the Silk Way Rally in second overall, Skyler Howes held a narrow 49-second advantage over the third-placed rider. With the timed special being a repeat of day two, and navigation therefore being less of a challenge, times across the leading riders were extremely close with the top five split by less than three minutes.
Aiming to defend his position, yet not wanting to make a costly mistake on the fast tracks of the special, Howes chose the perfect pace over the 110km timed section to ultimately finish fourth on the stage and claim second overall in the final rally standings.
Despite having a technical issue on the previous round of the series that knocked him down the order, his second-place result from the Silk Way Rally elevates Skyler to second overall in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. With the team contesting two further races in the series – Morocco and Abu Dhabi – the American star is still very much in the running for the championship title.
Bringing his FR 450 Rally home safely in eighth place on today’s stage five, Luciano Benavides secured seventh overall in the rally standings. Continuing to find his pace and rhythm after the crash that forced him to withdraw from this year’s Dakar Rally, the young Argentinian can take several positives from the Silk Way Rally, having ridden to five consistently fast stage results, well inside the top 10. Now, with a three-month break until the team contest the Rallye du Maroc, Luciano hopes to further improve his feeling on the bike, and work on his navigation skills on the run up to the final two rounds of the world championship.
Skyler Howes: “To get second place and my first podium at a world championship round is amazing. I was hoping for a slightly longer race, and maybe another step higher on the podium, but I can’t tell you how stoked I am to finish as runner-up. Things went well over the whole race and in the end, it came down to just seconds on the final stage. Thankfully, I had a really good ride and was able to defend my position in the standings. The result here moves me up to second in the championship standings, which after my issues in the first round feels amazing. We’ve got a bit of a break now until the next race, but to be in the fight for the championship only gives me more motivation. I definitely can’t wait to get racing again.”
Luciano Benavides: “I’m happy to finish the final stage and complete another rally. Today’s special was really fast with virtually no navigation at all – you didn’t really have to check the road book. I aimed for another solid result today to guarantee a safe finish to the race. I know my pace and result isn’t quite where I want it to be, but this rally has been great for building my confidence up and to get another finish is really important. I know what I need to work on now, so hopefully I can come back stronger at the next round.”
Pela Renet – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team Manager: “I’m really happy for Skyler claiming second place. He had some bad luck in Rally Kazakhstan and because of that he had to open the first day here at Silk Way. It wouldn’t have been too bad if the rally had run to the full 10 days, but after it was cut, he did a really good job to take back the time lost. Second in the race and second in the championship is really exciting, especially as Skyler has become comfortable very quickly on the new bike and that puts us in a really good situation for the rest of the championship. Luciano has secured another rally finish, which is hugely important for him after several crashes, including the one at Dakar. His pace is improving, as is his confidence, so I believe with some more work he can return to the form he expects at the next round of the championship.”
2021 Silk Way Rally – Stage 5Provisional Classification
1. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 1:04:05
2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 1:05:21
3. Franco Caimi (Hero) 1:06:11
4. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 1:06:54
5. Sebastian Buhler (Hero) 1:06:54
6. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) 1:07:08
8. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 1:07:32
2021 Silk Way Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 5)
1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 6:19:18
2. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 6:25:38
3. Franco Caimi (Hero) 6:25:44
4. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 6:26:37
5. Sebastian Buhler (Hero) 6:29:36
6. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 6:36:57
7. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 6:38:08
2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – Provisional Standings (after round 2)
1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 57.5 points
2. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 36 pts
3. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 32.5 pts
4. Franco Caimi (Hero) 32 pts
5. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 31 pts
6. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 23.5 pts
Source Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner has tasted Silk Way Rally victory for the first time while Dmitry Sotnikov and Team Kamaz Master triumphed on home soil. Here is all you need to know:
- The 11th edition of the off-road adventure started in the Siberian city of Omsk and was due to finish in Mongolia after 10 stages of racing. However, due to the pandemic situation, race organisers decided the rally would not leave Russia. A contingency plan was implemented that saw the rally conclude after five stages in Russia.
- Leading the charge for Team Kamaz Master was 2021 Dakar Rally winner Sotnikov. The Russian was racing in Kamaz’s new look K5 Cab and he gave the redesigned truck the perfect debut as he followed up stage one’s victory with another win on stage two. A further stage win was added on stage four and he crossed the finish line the next day to claim his third Silk Way Rally overall victory.
- Sotnikov, who was supported the whole way by his fellow Kamaz drivers Anton Shibalov, Eduard Nikolaev and Ayrat Mardeev. said:
“This win is for our entire team, for all fans, for everyone who helped build the truck. Not a single technical problem arose during the race.”
- With teammate and 2019 Silk Way winner Sam Sunderland missing through injury, Walkner was flying the flag for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
- The Austrian started steadily before making his move on stage three, setting the day’s fastest time and taking the lead of the general classification. For the remaining two days of racing Walkner used all his experience and race craft to protect his lead. Victory in Russia moves Walkner to top spot in the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
- Walkner said: “It’s a shame the rally had to be shortened, but the organisers did a great job of giving us a full event to race. To win the famous tiger trophy here at the Silk Way feels amazing, and with my win here I’m now also leading the championship. I couldn’t have asked for a better result really.”
- Also tasting success in the bike race was GasGas Factory rider Daniel Sanders. The Aussie scored his maiden World Championship stage win on the second day of racing in Russia. Sanders followed up his victory by setting the fastest times on stages four and five as well. It was results like this that helped Sanders to a fourth place finish overall, less than a minute away from a podium result.
- Sanders said - “I learned a lot this week, I felt great on the bike, and I know I have the speed so it’s all positive. When we get home from here my main focus will be on improving my navigation as this is where I feel I’m lacking a little bit. But overall, a pretty decent week for me and the team.”
- Next up in the six-round 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship is the Rally dos Sertões, running August 13-22.
2021 Silk Way Rally – Truck race Top 5
1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS), KAMAZ 6:59:53
2. Siarhei Viazovich (BLR), MAZ 7:04:29 +4:36
3. Anton Shibalov (RUS), KAMAZ 7:05:30 +5:37
4. Eduard Nikolaev (RUS), KAMAZ 7:17:35 +17:42
5. Ayrat Mardeev (RUS), KAMAZ 7:28:19 +28:26
2021 Silk Way Rally – Bike race Top 5
1. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 6:19:18
2. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 6:25:38 +6:20
3. Franco Caimi (ARG), Hero, 6:25:44 +6:26
4. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 6:26:37 +7:19
5. Sebastian Buhler (GER), Hero, 6:29:36 +10:18
Source Red Bull Content Pool
Kin Marcin / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner has won the Silk Way Rally. Placing second on the fifth and final stage, Walkner extended his lead at the top of the timesheets to claim the race victory and finish over six minutes ahead of his nearest rival.
Round two of the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship was unfortunately cut short midway through the event due to the pandemic situation in Mongolia. Reduced to five stages, with riders repeating previously contested specials on the final two days, the race still delivered a sizeable challenge due to the mixed terrain encountered.
Tuesday’s stage five was a re-run of the second day of the event. Although the special totaled 132km, times were taken from the 110km mark, presenting riders with an effective sprint finish to the event. First into the stage and enjoying a near five-minute advantage over the second-placed rider, Matthias Walkner (https://www.ktm.com/en-int/racing/our-heroes/matthias-walkner.html) still pushed hard through the tight forest tracks. With navigation less of a factor on the timed special, the experienced Austrian was able to maintain a fast, but safe pace over the demanding terrain. In doing so he finished the day as runner-up and increased his lead in the final event standings to six minutes and 20 seconds.
Combined with his second-place finish at round one of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – Rally Kazakhstan – Walkner moves into the lead of the series standings with a 21.5-point advantage over the second-placed rider.
Matthias Walkner: “The final stage here was really nice to ride. It was the same as day two, but instead of making it rougher, it seems the cars and trucks prepared it quite well for us today. I really tried to push at the beginning, because I know the first part of the stage is good for me over the fast pistes. In the forest I thought I might have to ease off a little, but it rode better today, and I was able to push for the whole stage. It’s a shame the rally had to be shortened, but the organizers did a great job of giving us a full event to race. To win the famous tiger trophy here at the Silk Way feels amazing, and with my win here I’m now also leading the championship. I couldn’t have asked for a better result really.”
Jordi Viladoms – KTM Rally Team Manager: “I’m really happy to return to the top step of a rally podium. It’s a great reward to Matthias and the whole team who have worked really hard for this. The bike has been perfect and performed really well on all the different terrain we saw here at the Silk Way Rally. Matthias is leading the championship now with a good advantage at the top, so we’ll try to keep this winning momentum going for the remaining rounds of the series.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will next be in action at the Rallye du Maroc, in Morocco, from October 8-13.
2021 Silk Way Rally – Provisional Results, Stage Five
1. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 1:04:05
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 1:05:21 +1:16
3. Franco Caimi (ARG), Hero, 1:06:11 +2:06
4. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 1:06:54 +2:49
5. Sebastian Buhler (GER), Hero, 1:06:54 +2:49
2021 Silk Way Rally – Provisional Rally Standings (after stage five)
1. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 6:19:18
2. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 6:25:38 +6:20
3. Franco Caimi (ARG), Hero, 6:25:44 +6:26
4. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 6:26:37 +7:19
5. Sebastian Buhler (GER), Hero, 6:29:36 +10:18
2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – Provisional Rankings (after round two)
1. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 57.5 points
2. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 36 pts
3. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 32.5 pts
4. Franco Caimi (ARG), Hero, 32 pts
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 31 pts
Source Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
©Rally Zone - KTM Media Library
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team riders Adrien Van Beveren and Andrew Short have successfully completed the 2021 Silk Way Rally. Encountering a heavily revised racing schedule together with varied terrain, both riders overcame minor mistakes to enjoy the challenges of the Russian event on their Yamaha WR450F Rally machines. Following five days of action, Adrien claimed sixth overall with Andrew close behind in eighth.
The fifth and final day of racing at the Silk Way Rally was a re-run of the second stage that featured a mild revision to shorten the overall length to 110km. The special included the same mixture of terrain with hardpack dirt roads, sand, mud, and a forest section that required razor sharp focus in order to remain on track and in contention for a strong stage finish.
Bringing his time at the Silk Way Rally to a positive end, Adrien Van Beveren finished stage five as the seventh fastest rider through the shortened special. Completing the stage just over one minute adrift of the third-place rider, it was a strong performance from Adrien despite the terrain not quite being to the Frenchman’s liking. Overall, Van Beveren placed sixth in the final classification.
For Andrew Short, he also completed stage five in the top-10 with a ninth-place finish. Enjoying the enduro-style nature of the stage, just as he did on day two, Andrew rode confidently throughout the special to end the rally with a strong result. With the American losing a lot of time earlier in the week following a mistake while crossing a river, Andrew ended the rally in eighth overall.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team will next be in action at the Rallye du Maroc in a few months’ time. The five-day event takes place in October with the team entering the race as part of its final preparations ahead of the 2022 Dakar Rally.
Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
“I enjoyed today’s stage, both with the terrain and also my riding. There wasn’t so much navigation today and it was something different to be riding fast through the woods. It was fun and I felt relaxed on the bike, which is something that I’ve been searching for this week. It’s been good to end with a positive ride. Because of the change to the schedule we didn’t go to Mongolia which is unfortunate, however, for me it was good to challenge myself on terrain that I’m not so comfortable on. This will make me a better rally rider so even if the result was not my best, I learned a lot this week with my riding and also the bike. Overall, it has been a positive experience for me at the Silk Way, it was great to be racing again, and I’m happy to have completed this rally.”
Andrew Short – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
“Today’s stage was the same as stage two so it was familiar, but the organisers had been around with a bulldozer to smooth it out, which was good as the trucks create some gnarly ruts that aren’t so much fun on a rally bike. It was little bit like a motocross track in places, which really suited me and then some enduro-style sections too, so it was cool to ride something a bit different during this rally. It was a shame that the race was shortened, and we didn’t get to ride in the desert in Mongolia, but I think the organisers did a great job to keep us racing and it was a good test for me and the bike. I have a few small things to work on now before we race again in Morocco and I’m really looking forward to that one. It’ll be in the desert and great preparation for the Dakar next January.”
Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
“Overall, it was good for the team to race the Silk Way Rally. Obviously, it was disappointing for everyone that the event schedule was revised as the stages in Mongolia looked to be true rally with dunes and the need for strong navigation. But we fully understand the situation and it was great that the event could still happen. For the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, it was good for everyone to be involved in a race so soon after Rally Kazakhstan. There is no substitute for competing and even though the race was shortened, it was good for bike set-up and for the team to be working together. It was unfortunate that Ross’ race ended when it did on day three as he was on the pace and riding really well. For Adrien and Andrew, I know both riders were looking forward to the stages in Mongolia and even though the race took place on terrain not really suited to them, finishing the race was important and the time on the bike was really valuable. We will now focus on the Rallye duMaroc later this year and by then we will have developed the bike further in preparation for the 2022 Dakar Rally.”
Source Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
The Silk Way Rally ended on Tuesday. Started in the historical center of Omsk on Sobornaya Square on July 1, the competitors of the multi-day event overcame more than three and a half thousand kilometers across the territory of Russia and finished in the Republic of Altai – in Gorno-Altaysk. On July 6 during the Podium Ceremony the winners and prize-winners received their awards.
The eleventh edition of the Silk Way Rally became the first rally-marathon after a two-year break. But in the course of the race completely unforeseen factors intervened in the perfectly made plan. After the start in Omsk, the event competitors went to Novosibirsk, and then to Gorno-Altaysk – the last bivouac in Russia was supposed to be located here. But in parallel with the course of the struggle on the track, the organizers of the Silk Way Rally promptly resolved the emerged force majeure situation.
The Rally Directorate received a letter from Denis Protsenko, Head of the Headquarters for the maintenance and control of the COVID-19 Mitigation Plan in which he demanded to change the route of the competition as soon as possible and consider the possibility of holding the event only on the territory of the Russian Federation within the regions of the originally approved route. For the race organizers the safety issues of its competitors, members of the organizing team, as well as spectators, are of primary importance. Therefore the Directorate decided not to cross the Russia-Mongolia border, but to use special stages on the territory of the Russian Federation to continue the rally.
The organizers managed to gracefully avoid stopping or canceling the Silk Way Rally. New legs of the event allowed the racers to continue the fight – the struggle turned out to be extremely interesting in all categories. But the most important thing is that the riders and drivers received points both in the standings of the round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship and in the standings of the round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
Vladimir Chagin, Head of the Project, “I am glad that this edition of the Silk Way Rally attracted a lot of attention from the competitors and spectators. The racers were able to demonstrate their skills in the challenging conditions of the Siberian off-road and mountainous regions of Altai. Unfortunately, the situation with a pandemic interfered with the race, and in force majeure conditions we canceled the Mongolian part of the route. In the shortest possible time, the Rally Directorate was able to solve a difficult task and continue the competition across the territory of our country. I am sure that all competitors will take the warmest impressions of the beauty of our nature and uncompromising sports fight on the Silk Way routes with them.
КТМ is unbeatable
As in 2019, almost all the leaders of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship came to the Silk Way Rally. The battle for the one-and-a-half coefficient in the standings of the series, the round of which is the competition in Russia, unfolded between the riders of the leading factory teams.
Argentinian Franco Caimi (Hero Motosports Team Rally) set a high pace, becoming the best at the first leg. The World Championship leader and Silk Way Rally debut Ross Branch (Monster Yamaha Rally Official Team) took the lead in the general classification the very next day, but the marathon leg stopped a rider from Botswana: an engine breakdown led to a retirement.
Matthias Walkner of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing took advantage of a competitor’s failure. The Austrian, for whom this Silk Way Rally was the first, only had to win the marathon leg to rise to the first line and confidently win the competition. The team from Austria showed a 100% result - two titles in two editions of the event.
Australian Daniel Sanders (Gasgas Factory Racing) excelled at three stages out of five, but in the overall standings he stopped just one step away from the first place. Caimi rounded out the top three, he attacked the American Skyler Howes (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) on the last day, but lost only six seconds in 650 competitive kilometers.
But the debutants of the Silk Way Rally Oleg Pavlenko from Magnitogorsk and the Belarusian Anastasia Lianiova did not care about the time. The only woman in the motorcycle category declared at the finish line that she got great pleasure from the performance and is ready to celebrate her birthday at the race again.
The Portuguese Joaquim Rodrigues received a special prize from the general partner Gazprom PJSC at the awards ceremony in Gorno-Altaysk. The award “For the Will to Win” was given to the participant who showed the maximum courage, perseverance and dedication in achieving the main goal of the entire Silk Way Rally – the finish of this most difficult marathon! Rodrigues managed to continue to ride to the finish line in Gorno-Altaysk after his motorcycle was flooded with water while crossing the river. He had to disassemble the engine, pour out the water and reassemble it. After that he managed to enter the top ten according to the event results.
Maksimov did his best
It seemed that it was impossible to repeat the unique achievement of the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah of 2019 (the bronze medalist of the London Olympic Games in a skeet shooting won all the special stages of the rally in a car). But Alexander Maksimov managed to do it this summer. In a beautiful fight with the Pole Rafal Sonik, the racer convincingly won his prize.
Invasion from Russia
The Russian racer Sergei Kariakin has built a completely new ATV for the Silk Way Rally, changing the Open category (victory in 2019) to T4 (serial SSVs modified for cross-country rallies). The driver from Ekaterinburg managed to enter the right category only on the second day of scrutineering, when all the shortcomings were corrected. Both the audience and the crew were the winners: competent and mistake-free driving helped Kariakin to win his second Silk Way Rally. And bright comments at the finish of the special stages have long become the hallmark of the driver.
T3 category also generated high audience interest. A large number of riders from Russia (both men and women) initially gave hope for their fight for the podium. And two crews managed to do it. Pavel Lebedev was the second in the final protocol, Pavel Silnov in a similar car climbed to the third step of the podium. The Frenchman Jean-Luc Pisson-Ceccaldi won the event.
Anastasia Nifontova (co-driver Ekaterina Zhadanova) was the best among all female crews, ahead of another Russian crew led by Maria Oparina (co-driver Lyudmila Petenko). Tatyana Sycheva with co-driver Alexander Alekseev also reached the finish line.
In 2021 the Silk Way Rally attracted a large number of racers for whom this adventure was the first in their sports career. There was a dramatic struggle in the Car category. In the absence of Nasser Al-Attiyah, the winner of the 2019 race, several crews including two from Russia were the favorites. Both Denis Krotov and Vladimir Vasilyev joined the battle for the White Tiger from the first meters of the distance. They also won the first three special stages.
Vasilyev, the current winner of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, has the right to lament his fate: after the third leg he was ahead of the famous Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit by 23 seconds, but the the wheels punctured by sharp stones became a stumbling block – there were no more spares for the second part of the marathon in their car. It was so offensive retirement. And Chicherit took the lead before the last day of the rally. Getting the job done was a matter of technique. Denis Krotov secured the second position, and another Frenchman Jerome Pelichet was the third, like two years ago. The Russian crew of Alexei Ignatov from the GAZ Raid Sport team followed the venerable racers in the table.
Sotnikov’s unique achievement
Dmitry Sotnikov, the driver of the Russian KAMAZ-master Team started the rally in a completely new truck with a K5 type cab. The car was prepared in Naberezhnye Chelny literally the last day before leaving for Omsk for the event start. Crew number 501 left no chance for their competitors in the Truck classification (Open Т5): three victories at legs and first place in the general classification. Sotnikov’s result became unique: the 36-year-old driver became the only three-time winner in the Silk Way Rally history.
There was a keen struggle for the podium between several crews of the KAMAZ-master Team and the Belarusian MAZ-SPORTAUTO team. At the finish of the special stages sports trucks were separated seconds and minutes, and rearrangements in the top three took place on a daily basis – five crews alternately visited the virtual podium. On the fourth day of the rally Siarhei Viazovich in MAZ broke into the second line and secured it at the final leg. This result is the highest achievement of the Belarusian team at the Silk Way Rally. Anton Shibalov, another representative of the “Blue Armada” rounded out the top three.
The Silk Way Rally marathon is also a demonstration of advanced technologies. Sergey Kupriyanov, driving a unique gas-engine sports truck KAMAZ that is a joint project of the KAMAZ-master Team and Gazprom PJSC, was among the ten strongest racers, taking the seventh place in the overall standings.
The partners of the Silk Way Rally gave invaluable support to the race.
The general partner of the Silk Way Rally is the Gazprom PJSC. It is a global energy company that sees its mission in the reliable, efficient and balanced supply of natural gas, other types of energy resources and their processing products to consumers.
The official partners of the Silk Way Rally are the Gazpromneft filling station chain that fills the rally vehicles with reliable OPTI fuel, as well as the Soglasie insurance company, which has been operating in the insurance market for 27 years.
Source Silk Way Rally
While the 2021 Silk Way Rally was on its way to Mongolia, the threat of Covid-19 prevented the second round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship crossing the border and the event was confined entirely to Siberia.
But, stunning scenery and a sterling effort by rally organisers to cover over 3,000km, eased riders’ frustration. Austrian Matthias Walkner (KTM) was able to claim the victory from Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) and Franco Caimi (Hero). Murum Purevdorj (KTM) secured the win in Rally2 and Aleksandr Maksimov topped the quad category.
On July 3, following a letter from Dr. Denis Protsenko (the doctor in charge of Covid-19 for the Silk Way Rally), the news that the rally would not be able to cross the border into Mongolia and would run entirely in the beautiful Altai region of Siberia fell like a hammer blow at the bivouac in Gorno-Altaisk.
The health situation in Mongolia was giving serious cause for concern and the organisers did not want to risk the health of officials and competitors. There was obvious disappointment for all participants, who had been eager to discover the Mongolian landscapes and meet its welcoming people.
Nevertheless, rally organisers worked with the co-operation of competitors to arrange a decent route and the minimum distance required for the event to be eligible for FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship points and maintain a coefficient of 1.5.
Motorcycle riders enjoyed varied tracks through this region of Siberia with its flourishing nature, forests, desert plateaux, fords and fast roads.
Walkner (KTM) came out on top after the five days of racing.
“It was a somewhat strange rally because it was much shorter than expected, but in the end it was a very beautiful rally with extraordinary landscapes,” said the winner. “Today, the special was almost the most beautiful I have ever ridden. The loop in the forest was incredible. And I’m great, super happy to have won because I don’t know which trophy is the most beautiful, that of the Dakar or that of the Silk Way Rally with the tiger!”
In the Team Yamaha, n the back of his victory in Kazakhstan, Ross Branch led the rally for the first two days, but was then forced to retire due to a mechanical problem. Andrew Short was also unlucky and fell in a ford on stage three and lost a lot of time, before finishing eighth and Adrien van Beveren reached the finish in sixth position.
While Daniel Sanders (GasGas) claimed three stage victories and Howes climbed on to the second step of the podium.
“I would have liked this rally to last longer but it’s a great race,” said Howes. “I’m really happy for the team and for Matthias and my second place on the podium in the World Championship. I worked so hard for that. It’s a beautiful country and it’s hard to find the words to describe it, the emotions I feel to have the chance to ride a motorcycle in this region!”
His Team Husqvarna colleague Luciano Benavides finished seventh.
The third step of the podium went to Argentina’s Caimi (Hero).
“Today, the track had been bulldozed and was therefore in much better condition than expected, because it was the second time that we would run this loop,” said Caimi. “I had fun on the Hero and I feel more comfortable on the bike. It’s a great place for Team Hero, who worked hard and deserved a podium.”
Sebastian Bühler finished fifth and Joachim Rodrigues overcame daily setbacks to reach the end in ninth.
In the quad category, victory fell to Aleksandr Maksimov (Yamaha), who was happy to race in his own country and have the support of the public. Rafal Sonik finished second after losing time in a river, although he completed his 47th FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship event!
Mongolian rider Murum Puredorj (KTM) won Rally2 from Carlo Cabini (Honda) and Aleksandr Maksimov (Yamaha).
Photo Silk Way Rally
S.5 GORNO-ALTAISK - GORNO-ALTAISK (SS: 132,74km - Total: 587km)
Back to the plains for this 5th and last stage of the SILK WAY RALLY 2021. Before mounting the final podium, at the bivouac of Gorno-Altaisk, at the foot of the Altai Mountains, the competitors had to cover the last 587 kilometres of this 11th edition, which was finally run entirely in Siberia and reduced to 5 stages due to the health emergency in Mongolia.
At the end of the 3.108 kilometres covered, the event awarded its famous 'White Tiger' trophies to the winners of the different categories. Matthias WALKNER (RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING) succeeded his team-mate Sam SUNDERLAND, who was absent due to injury, by winning the bike category. The Austrian, winner of the 2018 Dakar, adds another major event to his tally of achievements and takes the lead in the provisional FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship standings.
After six years away from rally-raids, Guerlain CHICHERIT (CENTURY CR6 SRT) and co-driver Alex WINOCQ, made a winning comeback with a magnificent victory at the end of a breath-taking five-act battle with the Russian MINIs of KROTOV and VASILYEV.
The dream of Corsican Jean-Luc PISSON CECCALDI (ZEPHYR PH SPORT) and Jean BRUCY became reality: the French duo signed a fine victory in the T3 category, reserved for lightweight prototypes. As for the Russians Sergey KARIAKIN and Anton VLASIUK (BRP CAN-AM MAVERICK), they won the SSV class (T4) at the end of this third round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Championship.
Finally, in the heavyweight category, Dmitry SOTNIKOV, Ruslan AKHMADEEV and Ilgiz AKHMEZIANOV (KAMAZ-MASTER) gave the KAMAZ MASTER team a resounding debut for their new K5 model. As a bonus SOTNIKOV makes history by becoming the first driver in any category to win this SILK WAY RALLY for the third time.
S.5 – THE RACE
BIKES: MATTHIAS WALKNER TAKES VICTORY
Although this last special was a short one there was still plenty to race for in the bike class. While yesterday’s overall leader Matthias WALKNER (RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING) was in a reasonably comfortable position, second and third places on the podium were both up for grabs. A situation that encouraged Franco CAIMI (HERO MOTORSPORTS) and Daniel SANDERS (GAS GAS FACTORY RACING) to charge hard over the last 109 kms of this SILK WAY RALLY 2021.
At the finish it was Sanders who won the special, his third of the rally, though this remarkable achievement wasn’t enough to grant him a place on the podium. Franco Caimi was even less rewarded for his efforts, missing out on second place by just 6 seconds! In the end it was experience that paid off, with ex-Dakar winner Walkner taking the overall +6:20 ahead of another impressive rally raid newcomer Skyler Howes. Commented the victor,
“I really enjoy a lot. The stage was quite short but so much fun to ride – thanks to Russia.”
In the quads victory went to Aleksandr MAKSIMOV (YAMAHA RAPTOR 700) ahead of the Polish veteran Rafal SONIK also racing a Yamaha Raptor.
CARS: CHICHERIT, BACK TO THE FUTURE!
Smiling broadly at the finish line of this last selective sector, Guerlain CHICHERIT and Alex WINOCQ (CENTURY CR6 SRT) savoured their victory while waiting for the arrival of their closest rival, the Russian Denis KROTOV (MINI JCW RALLY MSK RALLY TEAM).
"I've been waiting for this for more than four years," explained the French driver. "I have always dreamed of winning this magnificent rally. We made some mistakes, many mistakes in fact, and it's a pity we couldn't go to Mongolia, but I thank the organisers for giving us these three extra days of racing. It was really wonderful and I can't wait to come and defend this title next year".
And if the final victory of the former winner of the FIA World Cup of Cross Country Rallies was decided during the two marathon stages in the mountains, Denis KROTOV and Konstantin ZHILTSOV can be proud of having won their MINI duel with Vladimir VASILYEV. The Russians are ahead of Jérôme PÉLICHET and Pascal LARROQUE (OPTIMUS RAID LYNX) who finished third on the podium, just as they did in the previous edition in 2019.
PISSON-CECCALDI AND BRUCY VICTORIOUS IN T3!
When Jean-Luc PISSON CECCALDI entered his ZEPHYR PH SPORT in this SILK WAY RALLY 2021 a few weeks ago, he probably didn't imagine it would lead him to the top step of the podium in the coveted Light Prototype category (T3). Guided by the experienced Jean BRUCY, the Corsican driver succeeded in getting the better of the BRP CAN-AM MAVERICKs of the Russians LEBEDEV and SILNOV who complete the final podium.
Victory in the SSV category (T4) went to the Russians Sergey KARIAKIN and Anton VLASIUK (BRP CAN-AM MAVERICK), despite spirited resistance and victory in the last special stage of French duo Mathieu MARGAILLAN and Axelle ROUX (CAN-AM).
TRUCKS: SOTNIKOV MAKES HISTORY
If there were five KAMAZ drivers at the start of this SILK WAY RALLY 2021 who had won the event at least once, there were only two of them who had already won the event twice. Both Dmitry SOTNIKOV and Airat MARDEEV were dreaming of adding a third gold medal to their trophy cabinet but in the end it was SOTNIKOV, driving the new K5 generation truck who took the honours. A success snatched from under the prominent nose of the 'Kapotnik' of the Belarusian Siarrhei VIAZOVICH (MAZ), author of his only stage victory today. Commented the Russian,
"it's great that our new truck has made such a brilliant debut with a victory in its first race.”
Source Silk Way Rally
BUHLER AND CAIMI FINISH IN TOP 5
Hero MotoSports Team Rally completed the marathon stage of the Silk Way Rally today with all three riders arriving at the bivouac at Gorno-Altaysk inside the top 10 rankings.
The riders enjoyed the stage today, needing to focus less on navigation as they had ridden the same stage yesterday. Sebastian Buhler finished the stage in fourth place. Franco Caimi got stuck in a river a couple of times but was able to complete the stage without any further complications. He finished the stage in the fifth position, but the lost time meant he lost a position in the overall rankings and dropped to third overall.
Joaquim Rodrigues, whose engine had flooded yesterday, also had a much better day today. He rode carefully to prevent any further damage to the engine. The bike also held up well, allowing him to finish the stage in the eighth position.
Today was a repeat of yesterday’s stage, with an added 31kms, bringing the length of the special section to 164kms. It consisted of the same rocky climb, fast stretches and water crossings that the riders experienced yesterday. The added challenge today was how the terrain had deteriorated after the trucks ran on the same tracks in yesterday’s stage. The marathon stage was wrapped up with a mammoth 470kms liaison back to Gorno-Altaysk, reuniting the riders with their assistance crews.
Tomorrow’s stage will be a loop around Gorno-Altaysk, following the same route that was covered in the second stage of the rally. On the arrival of the riders in the bivouac, the event will conclude with the Podium ceremonies, crowning the winner of the 2021 edition of the Silk Way Rally.
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “Today was much better than yesterday. I was a little worried about the engine after it had flooded yesterday, but the bike held up really well and allowed me to complete the stage without any problems. We have just one day to go, and as always, we will give our best.”
Franco Caimi, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “I am happy to be back in the bivouac after the marathon stage. I had a tough day today, getting stuck in a river twice and losing a lot of time. Other than that, I enjoyed the stage, even though the routes were destroyed after having the trucks run here yesterday. Tomorrow is the last day in the rally, and I'm looking forward to a good stage.”
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “Today’s stage had less navigation since we had already done the stage once yesterday. In spite of a few stones and dangers, it was a fun stage to ride. We have completed the marathon stage, and we only have one more day to go, so I am excited for tomorrow.”
Provisional Stage 4 Standings
1 Daniel Sanders GasGas Factory Racing 01h 23m 05s
2 Skyler Howes Rockstar Energy Husqvarna + 01m 06s
3 Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing + 01m 28s
4 Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 02m 01s
5 Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 04m 41s
8 Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 07m 26s
Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 4
1 Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 05h 13m 57s
2 Skyler Howes Rockstar Energy Husqvarna + 04m 47s
3 Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 05m 36s
4 Daniel Sanders GasGas Factory Racing + 08m 35s
5 Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 08m 45s
9 Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 1h 19m 05s
Source Hero MotoSports Team Rally
Sanders rips to another rally world championship stage win
Daniel’s GASGAS RC 450F running strong following marathon stage
One day of racing now remains ahead of the Silk Way Rally finish line
GASGAS Factory Racing’s Daniel Sanders has claimed another impressive stage win at the Silk Way Rally following a cool and calculated ride on day four of the event. With the penultimate stage, and the punishing marathon stages, now successfully completed, Sanders has advanced to fourth in the overall provisional classification with just one day of racing to go
Daniel Sanders: “With today’s stage being the same as yesterday there was definitely less focus on navigation, but the same dangers remained so that was the main thing to concentrate on today. Some of the river crossings seemed to be a little deeper today so it wasn’t plain sailing. Again, I felt good on the bike, it’s worked great since the start so it’s good to know we have a good set-up and I can just focus on my riding. The scenery was pretty epic on this stage, so I really enjoyed that part of it and with one day to go, we’re in good shape. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
With today’s stage a repeat of stage three, Daniel was able to push his pace with a little less focus on navigation while keeping in mind the many dangers that were littered throughout the stage. Riding with confidence aboard his GASGAS RC 450F, after taking his second stage win of the event Daniel will now lead out on the final stage with the aim of completing the rally on a positive note.
The final day of racing at the revised Silk Way Rally takes place tomorrow. The fifth special of the event will be a re-run of stage two where Daniel claimed his maiden FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship stage win just a few days ago.
Results (provisional): Silk Way Rally 2021, stage 4
1. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 1:23:05
2. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 1:24:11
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 1:24:33
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 4)
1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 5:13:57
2. Franco Caimi (Hero) 5:18:44
3. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 5:19:33
4. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 5:22:32
Source GasGas Factory Racing Team
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Strong runner-up result for Howes on Silk Way Rally stage four
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Sanders, Chicherit and Sotnikov, kings of the mountain
- Silk Way Rally 2021: The marathoners of the Altai Mountains
- Silk Way Rally 2021: South Racing pulls its five-car team out of the Silk Way Rally
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Overdrive Racing withdraws Al-Rajhi from Silk Way Rally
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Third for Skyler Howes on Silk Way Rally stage two
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Mud baths - Sotnikov's crew has won the second stage of the Silk Way Rally
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Elbow to elbow on the foothills of the Altai Mountains
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Silk Way Rally Route modified
- Silk Way Rally 2021: Denis Protsenko - "It is impossible to go to Mongolia to continue the race"