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Alessandro Botturi Wins Second Successive Africa Eco Race Aboard Yamaha Ténéré Inspired WR450F Rally | News

Yamaha’s Alessandro Botturi has claimed victory at the 11th edition of the Africa Eco Race.

After taking the lead of the 2020 race at the close of day three, the Italian was never headed over the remaining stages and rode on to claim a deserved victory.

Despite a small set back in September 2019 due to injury, the Italian veteran wasn’t deterred and arrived in Africa focused on challenging for the event win. Alessandro duly raced his WR450F Rally into a top-three position on five stages, including two wins. Over the 15-day event, and a race-long battle with his closest rival Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Botturi eventually claimed victory with a winning margin of three minutes and 59 seconds.

Botturi won the 2020 edition of the Africa Eco Race, which covered 6500km and crossed the territories of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal, aboard a WR450F Rally featuring a livery inspired by the legendary Ténéré Dakar racers from the mid-eighties.

Alessandro Botturi: “After my crash at the Panafrica Rally in September, I took some time to recover. When I began riding again, I was more thoughtful and patient on the bike. It’s been a fantastic event, with some amazing stages, terrain and battles. I’d like to thank my Yamaha team who have supported me – winning the Africa Eco Race is just fantastic. I would also like to dedicate the victory to my friend and former teammate, Paulo Goncalves, who was tragically lost during the 2020 Dakar Rally.”

A handful of Australian riders made the journey to Africa to compete in the demanding event. Matt Sunderland riding for the Lyndon Poskitt Racing team finished seventh overall. The KTM rider even won Stage 6 on his way to the top-10 finish.

“Very grateful to have crossed the finish line in Dakar,” Sunderland said on Facebook. “This race has so much history and to be able to not only compete but finish the race and claim overall 7th position is very humbling.

“It was a huge learning curve and a very technical and tough race with thousands of kilometres of technical riding and navigation.” I can’t thank @lyndonposkitt enough for getting me on board and doing such a great job at organizing everything and building us awesome KTM rally bikes. The whole Races 2 Places team were incredible and the group dynamics could not have been better. I’m not sure I can ride a bike that isn’t @motorex_powersports green ever again.

“This is just the beginning for me so I look forward to taking on more races in the future. For now, its time to reflect on what we have all accomplished as a team and to let our bruised bodies heal.”

Matt Sunderland finished seventh overall.

Andrew Houlihan finished 21st, his best result was 13th in Stage 7. On Instagram Andrew reflect on his race; “Africa Eco Race 2020 is done!

“2 weeks in racing through Morocco, Mauritania and Finishing today in Senegal at Dakar. I came with no expectations other than to finish safely. I had a couple of bad days and a few really good days. Towards the end of the race I started to cramp badly in the right hand for 3 days and could hardly hang onto the bike. We had a mix of all terrains but mostly rocks, sand, deep sand more sand and lots of sand dunes.

“Very little sleep for 12 days and just enough food to keep going each day. We saw the best and the worst on Northern Africa and it was an emotional and physical roller coaster. Every day at some stage I would ask myself, why the F#*k am I doing this. There were some serious accidents, riders stuck in the dunes for 24hours, bikes and cars breaking down, crazy African desert dwellers to contend with and many new friendships made.

“They call the Africa Eco Race, “The Real Race To Dakar” for a reason. Happy to finish in 21st position overall despite a couple of really bad days. Time to get home to Katie and the kids, add some more titanium pins and screws to my body, recover and get ready for the next race!”

Andrew Houlihan finished 21st

Peter Cadwell racing for the Desert Rose Race Team finished 36th overall, despite a somewhat serious crash (see video below). His best result was 11th in Stage 2 and Stage 5.

See the full results HERE.

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Swipe for video! ➡️ An absolute corker of a shot from @disodbediente of one of our riders, @peter_caldwell79 #136, yesterday. Doubled up with a media crew, watch out on @africaecorace clip of the day for this one. Luckily neither rider or bike suffered any serious damage, perhaps sore this morning after a night in a tent! #frontflip #faceplant . . #aer2020 #rallyraid #rallybike #dunecrash #desertrally #desertrallycrash #woopsie #desertrose #dirtbike #dirtbikecrash #sand #sanddune #ktm

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