Published on January 16th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Yamaha X-raid Rally Team Takes 2nd Place In Dakar 2021
Successful Dakar Debut for the X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Supported Team
Covid-19 or not, the 2021 Dakar Rally went ahead and it was well received. This 2021 Dakar Rally was held in Saudi Arabia and it was the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally. The event was held for 14 days, starting from 3 January and ended 15 January 2021. It was the second time Saudi Arabia had hosted the event, with support from the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation. With a brand-new route, which starts and finishes in Jeddah, there was 4,800 grueling kilometers split across 12 timed special stages awaits riders in the Middle East.
Press Release: The X-raid Yamaha Racing Rally Supported Team enjoyed a successful conclusion to the 2021 Dakar Rally, where they debuted the all-new Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype. The all-female duo of Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer claimed a sensational second place in the T3.1 class for lightweight prototypes, while the Swedish crew of Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist impressed with strong stage results.
Liparoti and Fischer showed great consistency and patience at this year’s Dakar. This allowed them to steer clear of major problems, as they focussed on getting the X-raid Yamaha YXS1000R to the finish in one piece. Like many others, they struggled with difficult navigation and stony sections, which really tested the tyres. However, as the opposition lost a lot of time due to some major problems, they worked their way up the class standings and into second place. Liparoti and Fischer also won the women’s competition.
Not only was the car new to Ekström and Bergkvist, but also the Dakar as a whole. However, they soon found their feet and achieved some impressive stage results. Unfortunately, they suffered engine damage on stage seven and were forced to retire from the leg. They re-joined the rally on day nine within the “Dakar Experience”.
Quote from Sven Quandt, X-raid Yamaha Team Manager
We are delighted with this great result. The Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype was basically taken out of the box and sent out to race and performed superbly. We knew our concept was not bad, but we hadn’t reckoned with a result like this. Camelia and Annett mastered the challenge superbly.
Development Through Racing
The X-raid developed YXZ1000R prototype is wider than the original, with a longer wheelbase, while the centre of gravity has been lowered. Together these dimensions provide better grip and stability. The new tubular chassis gives greater strength and is designed to meet FIA regulations while maintaining the instantly recognisable YXZ1000R body design, partly recreated from lightweight materials such as aluminium and carbon fibre.
The driveline and 998cc DOHC inline three-cylinder engine remains largely unchanged, with the exception of various GYTR (Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing) parts to further improve performance and a reinforced rear driveshaft to withstand the most extreme environments. Ease of engine and gearbox serviceability has been improved by the use of various sub-frames, critical in self-supported long-distance rallies.
To deal with the rough terrain, X-raid has extended and reinforced the front and rear suspension arms, allowing the shock absorbers to be moved outwards, creating more stability. The uprated braking system further improves the YXZ1000R prototype’s performance.
The last time Yamaha did well at the Dakar Rally was in the 2014 Dakar when the entered the Yamaha YZ450F with 5-time Dakar winner Cyril Despres.