Words: Merzouga Rally
The sixth edition of the Merzouga Rally has officially started with the Prologue, 1 km long straight line track on the small dunes behind the Xaluca hotel in Erfoud, the head quarter of the Rally.
Yesterday (11 October 2015) the Merzouga Rally 2015 comes into action with a first technical stage with the competitors crossing two of the three Ergs (mountains of sand) of the Merzouga Desert: the Ergs Chebbi and Snaguy. The start by the Oued Ziz will bring the riders south via a series of small dunes and a fast and sandy river bed. With Cap direction Erg Chebbi, the big mountains of dunes will be crossed from North to South, before tackling the Erg Snaguy.
The route for the Expert finishes at the CP2, while the Pro will do the refuelling. The Scorpion Pass will lead the competitors to the Erg Chebbi that will be crossed on the west side till the Yasmina lake. After a path at controlled speed, the riders will challenge themselves on the desert stadium, a 2-km long “circuit” of dunes and natural jumps.
Among the favourite there is the newly crowned 2015 FIM World Cross-Country Rally Champion Matthias Walkner. “This time there is no pressure for the results”, said the Red Bull KTM factory rider, “it will be great to focus on the navigation and ride on sandy terrains as final test for the Dakar. I really look forward to the race”.
2011 World SBK champion Carlos Checa is very motivated for the new challenge: “After many years racing at the maximum level in MotoGP and World SBK, I’m curious about this new discipline. There is always to learn. I have no pressure for results, I want to enjoy the desert and challenge myself with the navigation with road book”.
SSV 205 Lingua - Musazzi: “We are enjoying the friendly and nice atmosphere of the rally. We are racing the MR with a brand new machine and we are excited as two kids with a new toy!!”
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