Yamalube Yamaha Rally team riders are ready to take to the start of the 2019 Dakar Rally aboard the latest version of the WR450F Rally machine. With Franco Caimi's participation confirmed, the team, who have been in Peru for several days, will feature a complete four-rider line-up consisting of Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait, Franco Caimi and Rodney Faggotter.
Receiving key updates for 2019, the WR450F Rally is the machine that all four Yamaha riders will be competing on throughout this 41st edition of the of the iconic event. Featuring a revised engine configuration for increased performance and an updated suspension set-up, the new rally machine is set to face two weeks of demanding racing in the dunes of Peru.
One of the revelations of the 2018 Dakar, Adrien Van Beveren is back stronger and ready to show what he’s capable of this January in Peru. Adrien will be joined at the start of the 2019 Dakar by fellow Frenchman Xavier de Soultrait. Putting in thousands of racing kilometres on his WR450F Rally machine in 2018, Xavier is excited to be entering the fifth Dakar of his career.
The Yamalube Yamaha Rally team will be further strengthened by Franco Caimi and Rodney Faggotter. Doing everything possible to return to competitive fitness following surgery to his injured leg in October, Caimi is looking to gradually improve his speed and confidence during this Dakar. As for Faggotter, the experienced rally racer is expected to once again play a crucial role for the Yamalube Yamaha Rally team in Peru.
Kicking off this Monday 7th January in Lima, the 2019 Dakar Rally is a 5,000km adventure in the dunes of the South American country. The race features 10 demanding stages and will see all competitors return to Lima for the big finish on 17th January.
Adrien Van Beveren - Yamalube Yamaha Rally rider
“I’m totally ready for this Dakar. I’ve worked a lot during the last few months and I feel I was able to reach a whole new level in terms of my physical and mental preparation. I am honestly really excited for this race and I can’t wait to start competing. This is going to be a difficult Dakar with lots of dunes, tricky navigation and a quite intense pace from start to finish. I feel that this Dakar will suit my riding style, and this gives me the extra confidence to push. I am entering this race with an open mind. I am ready and open to any challenge that we might come across. I feel I have worked really hard for this race and it’s time to show what I can do.”
Xavier de Soultrait - Yamalube Yamaha Rally rider
“I’ve worked a lot for this race and now it’s time to show what I’m capable of. I feel I am 100% ready for this challenge. I’ve studied each stage and each day of the race separately and I know exactly what needs to be done. We’ve raced these dunes in the past and I feel comfortable racing my bike in this part of the world. It’s going to be an intense race but I am physically prepared for that. At the moment, it’s hard to predict what the key points of the race will be. I know I have to be ready to tackle anything thrown at us, from tough navigation to long days on the saddle. I want to be fast on every stage while having my eyes focused on the big finish in Lima.”
Franco Caimi - Yamalube Yamaha Rally rider
“It feels great to be lining up for the start of this Dakar after all I’ve been through these last two months. From the first day after my crash in Morocco in October, I would wake up every morning trying my best to be fit and ready for this race. My doctors were impressed with the progress made and two weeks ago they gave me clearance to race the Dakar. I might not be in the best physical condition going into the race, but I have set my own goals and I will do anything possible to achieve them. I want to keep building on my confidence throughout the race and all the way to the finish. I want to be there to assist my teammates and do everything I can so we can all reach our main goal to win the Dakar as a team.”
Rodney Faggotter - Yamalube Yamaha Rally rider
“I’m really looking forward to get things started here in Peru. I got here last week and it was great to catch up with all the team. We’ve made a few small changes to the bike and I can’t wait to race it. For me the second week of this Dakar will be crucial, as we will be criss- crossing some parts from the previous days. There might also be tracks from previous races in the area, so it’ll be crucial to remain focused. I think that might also be the determining factor for the
victory this year. No matter what the conditions are, I want to be strong from start to finish and fight for the best possible result.”
Alexandre Kowalski - Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team Director
“This will be a different Dakar and we are more than ready for it. We arrived in Lima earlier this week and had a few days to prepare the last details ahead of the race. We talked a lot with each one of our riders and made our plans and strategies for the next two weeks. With Adrien I am happy to confirm he is probably in the best condition of his career. He’s strong physically and mentally and feels really confident on the WR450F Rally. As for Xavier, he’s impressed us with the amount of work he did during the last few months. His speed and navigational skills are great, so we expect him to be among the frontrunners. Franco got the needed clearance from his medical crew last week and I am happy to confirm he will take the start of the race. He did everything possible to get back from his injury and he will do his best for a good result while also supporting the rest of the team during the race. Finally, Rodney is a solid rider and one you know you can always count on. Rod has been doing some baja racing back home in Australia and he is in a good position for this Dakar.”