Enjoying the best possible end to his week-long adventure in the dunes of Morocco, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider Xavier de Soultrait has won the final stage of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally to claim an emphatic overall victory.
With the sixth and final stage of the rally involving a massive motocross-styled start and 50km of dune riding, it didn’t take long for Xavier de Soultrait to take the lead. Staying fast despite navigation becoming more difficult as the stage went on, the WR450F Rally mounted rider reached the finish first to ensure a winning end to his week in Morocco.
Claiming the overall victory at the Merzouga Rally 2017, Xavier becomes the third Yamaha rider to claim top honours in the eight-year-long history of the event. With it being Xavier’s first major victory on African soil, it was also the perfect way for the Frenchman to end his debut event as part of the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team.
Reaching the finish line of the stage less than a minute behind his Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team partner, Franco Caimi secured a strong third place in the rally’s overall standings. The second WR450F Rally mounted rider to earn a podium result in this year’s event, Franco demonstrated impressive speed during the six days of racing in Morocco.
For former Merzouga Rally winner Alessandro Botturi, this year’s event ended with the Yamaha Italy supported rider earning a fifth place result in the overall standings. Taking advantage of his rally racing experience the Italian rode a solid race to become the third Yamaha mounted rider to claim a spot inside the event’s top five.