It was supposed to be “simply” the first test bench for the Tuareg, a stop along the way to returning to the big African off-road races – the true objective of Aprilia’s Back to Africa project. The Turkish competition is a legendary and dreaded one, tackled to build experience, improve the team’s synergy, allow the riders to get to know such a young project, and, naturally, to develop the Aprilia Tuareg’s technical base, starting from the performance and reliability of the factory bike.
Instead, the treacherous Transanatolia Rally turned into the first confirmation and exciting result of the fledgling Aprilia Tuareg project which, at its absolute début in big rallies, took third place in the overall standings with Jacopo Cerutti and eighth place with Francesco Montanari.
Even on the final day of racing today, Jacopo won the leg, dominating both special trials on the programme.
By so doing, he topped both the absolute standings of the day, even beating the single-cylinder super-specialised bikes which finished second and third, as well as (obviously) the rankings in the category reserved for multiple-cylinder bikes between 650 and 1300 cc.
Francesco Montanari also shone, finishing the last day with an absolute eighth place.
Jacopo Cerutti: “Today was a fantastic day with a double win in the specials and the leg. But all in all, I had a lot of fun in the Transanatolia, always pushing hard with the Tuareg. Finishing third overall after such a demanding week is a huge result for the Tuareg and great satisfaction to share with Aprilia Racing and GCorse. However, development on our bike does not stop. The next event is in Sardinia in October to make a play for the Italian Motorally title.”
With this participation in the Rally Transanatolia, the first important international test for the Aprilia Tuareg developed by Aprilia Racing in collaboration with GCorse, the Back to Africa project, which will bring Aprilia back to the big off-road races, enters the decisive phase.
In the treacherous but fast Turkish rally, Aprilia Tuareg demonstrated extraordinary riding and engine features, derived directly from the factory product. Tuareg astonished in both the curvy portions and the fast sections, which hide many dangers, where it reached peak speeds of 190 Km/h.
The Aprilia Tuareg developed for rally raids, which performed so well in the Transanatolia Rally, is built on the technical base of the bike which – closely derived from the factory model – is a huge protagonist in the Italian Motorally Championship, where Jacopo Cerutti currently leads in the G-1000 category, reserved for multi-cylinder bikes bigger than 600 cc.