ADV Pulse

NEWSLETTER
Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Newsletter

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow On Facebook:

ADV NewsYamaha Grabs Historic Win At Tunisia Rally On Tenere 700 World Raid

Yamaha Grabs Historic Win At Tunisia Rally On Tenere 700 World Raid

The new adventure bike takes the top step against a field of 450cc machines.

Published on 05.02.2022
Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

When Yamaha said they were ready to put the new Ténéré 700 World Raid to the test, they meant it. Ténéré World Raid Team’s Alessandro Botturi has made history as he secured an impressive victory at the Tunisia Desert Challenge, a first for a production adventure bike against rivals on specialized 450cc machines. 

With the new Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid, the team aimed to use the rally as a test to develop the bike further ahead of more adventures, and what a trial it proved to be. “We came here to test, have fun and get the bikes to the finish, so for Alessandro to achieve something historical like this, as the first production adventure bike to win a Rally Raid against the 450cc Enduro machines, is unbelievable,” said Tenere World Raid Team manager, Manuel Luccchese. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

The Ténéré 700 World Raid model was modified with Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing (GYTR) parts, such as a larger fuel tank and KYB suspension, to better withstand the extreme demands of a competitive Rally Raid. “The bike has been incredible, but obviously, we will continue to develop it so that customers can buy a GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Raid and not only take part in a Rally Raid but be competitive,” added Luccchese. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge
Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

ADVERTISEMENT

Searing heat, treacherous sandstorms, two canceled stages and some of the most demanding terrain ever seen in Africa showcased why the TDC is known as an “extreme” Rally Raid event. Even the experienced Botturi, who has raced in seven Dakar’s and has victories at the Merzouga Rally, Transanatolia Rally and Africa Eco Race to his name, admitted that demanding terrain and severe conditions, with temperatures rising to over 95F (35C) in the Tunisian Desert and winds up to 80 km/h, were some of the toughest he has ever come across. The vast dunes, soft sand, physical rocky sections, mirage-inducing salt lakes, and fast, dusty trails would have proved a challenge for anyone, let alone a team and machine making their debut in a Rally Raid event with a production bike.

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge
Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

Incredibly, Botturi and his Ténéré never missed a beat despite all of this. The dangerous sandstorms meant that Stage 6 was canceled, and the seventh stage was called off by the first waypoint due to a lack of visibility which meant the Safety Helicopter could not take off, but not before several bikes and riders were forced to retire as ten punishing conditions took their toll. Therefore Botturi, ever-present in the top five in all the previous stages, headed into the final stage with an almost 14-minute lead over his nearest rival, with 300km of fast desert roads and dunes to navigate to secure an incredible victory.

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

Despite the mental and physical fatigue you would expect after such a tough rally, the 46-year-old pushed hard during Stage 8, racing alongside his closest rival for the majority of 300km, showcasing just how capable the Ténéré is to bring his bike home in fifth with a time of 4h 15’ 57’’, three minutes and 12 seconds behind the winner. More importantly, he was just two minutes and two seconds behind the man pushing him for victory, securing an epic win for the Italian, the team, and Yamaha by a margin of 11 minutes and 21 seconds, with a combined time of 24h 22’ 43’’.

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge
Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

For Botturi’s team mate, Pol Tarres, the 2022 TDC has been a true test of his character in the successful Trials and Enduro rider’s first Rally Raid. Faced with some of the harshest conditions and environments in the world, while cursed with some terrible luck during the early stages that saw him taken out by a quad bike on Stage 3 and suffer a technical issue on Stage 4, the 28-year-old never took a backward step despite facing such an incredibly steep learning curve. His pace and riding skill was evident to all as he battled at the front for the majority of several stages and when luck was on his side, the sight of him “dancing” through the dunes on his Ténéré left many of his fellow riders in awe. Still, it was his determination and courage that stood out. Not even having to carry out repairs during sandstorms, spending 8 hours stuck in a dune under the scorching sun, or experiencing a big crash when another competitor hit him, could dampen his passion and enthusiasm. As the saying goes, “This is Rally Raid.”

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

Sadly, it was a case of what might have been. Due to not being able to complete Stage 4, the Spaniard was allowed to continue but received a 40-hour penalty which effectively ruled him out of the overall classification. Forced to sit out Stage 5 while the team repaired his bike and receiving another 60-hour penalty, he was left frustrated by the cancellation of the two stages, as it would have given him a chance to bounce back, and he was in P2 for the majority of the seventh stage before it was curtailed. Stage 8 gave him a chance to show what he could do, and he didn’t disappoint, hitting the final checkpoint at the finish in ninth with a time of 4h 32’ 23’’, nineteen minutes behind the leading rider. His overall classification after the penalties of thirtieth (132h 00’ 29’’) was not reflective of his pace or the effort he put in, but the future looks very bright for Tarres, and he is already looking forward to the next adventure.

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid wins Tunisia Desert Challenge

After an incredible and emotional Tunisia Desert Challenge, the Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team now turn their focus to the Africa Eco Race, which follows the route of the original Dakar rally and covers over 6,500kms, starting in Monaco and finishing at the legendary Lac Rose in Senegal between the 15th-30th of October. It should be one not to miss!

Top 10 Finishers

Position#MembersVehicleTimePenalty
1101Alessandro BotturiYAMAHA24h 22’ 43’’
2103Mathieu DovezeKTM24h 34’ 04’’00h 08’ 00’’
3122Neels THERICKTM25h 17’ 39’’00h 08’ 00’’
4110Bertrand GavardKTM25h 31’ 27’’00h 10’ 00’’
5102Duong Nguyen KhoaKTM25h 50’ 32’’00h 03’ 00’’
6144Nick JanssensHUSQVARNA28h 39’ 54’’00h 24’ 00’’
7109Dasse PhilippeKTM29h 40’ 09’’
8123Mikolaj KrysikE-ATV30h 27’ 46’’00h 15’ 00’’
9148Pieter Van MechgelenHUSQVARNA30h 35’ 19’’00h 26’ 00’’
10120Gadi NachmaniKTM30h 58’ 19’’00h 41’ 00’’

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
ADVERTISEMENT

Related Stories

Related Stories

Comments
 6

Leave a Reply

6 thoughts on “Yamaha Grabs Historic Win At Tunisia Rally On Tenere 700 World Raid

  1. Would love to see some video footage of this.

    Just completed a 1,500 mile ride from Marrakesh to Smara in Western Sahara & back in 7 days via some of the Dakar pistes on a KTM890 but wished I was on my T7 as it would have been much more fun.

    • And why would it be more fun ? The 790/ 890 stock to stock bike is a better off-roader then the Tenere , that’s proven time and time again. I ride both and have other bikes like the 690 and the a 500 and the 790 R is a much better bike off road , I prefer the Yamaha as s commuter but when I hit the mountains I pull out the 790r each snd every time

  2. Pingback: Yamaha’s Ténéré Just Smashed the Competition at the Tunisia Rally | Motorcycle News

  3. Pingback: Pol Tarres Breaks Altitude World Record On Yamaha Tenere 700 – Alex Walia

ADVERTISEMENT

Sam Sunderland: From Humble Beginnings To 2-Time Dakar Champ

With an incredible off-road career including the amazing feat of snatching tw...

9 Extraordinary Places To Explore On Patagonia’s Carretera Austral

Patagonia!  For most, the word conjures visions of expensive down j...

Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire Review

In recent years, the number of dual sport tire options has continued to expand ...