The Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team is completed by Rodney Faggoter, with the Australian looking to make the most of his experience in multi-stage racing in order to assist the team and get as close as possible to the top. Joining the squad during the 2016 OiLibya Morocco Rally, Rodney immediately showed he will be a strong asset in the team's efforts to bring the WR450F Rally close to the top of the event's final standings.
"I've worked really hard during the past few months and I can't wait to take on this amazing challenge," Faggoter said. "The goal is simple - I just want to do my best to assist my teammates while also giving my all for a good final result. This will be my third participation at the Dakar and I'm glad to be surrounded by such a professional team. The atmosphere within is great, we have an amazing bike and I believe we're in the best position to make amends for all the hard work and sacrifices we've all been making for the past few months."
Further strengthening Yamaha's presence in the motorcycles category will be France's Xavier de Soultrait and Italy's Manuel Luchese. Following an impressive campaign that saw him claim the 2016 FIM Bajas World Cup title, de Soultrait will be racing a rally-modified WR450F machine in the Super Production class. As for Luchese, the 29-year-old rider from Verona will be battling for victory in the Malles Moto category of the rally aboard a Yamaha WR450F.
Featuring a strong mix of talent and experience across the 2017 Dakar Rally's racing classes, Yamaha is also represented by 22 quad riders and three UTV crews. Among them will be seven-time Dakar finisher Camelia Liparoti, who will be racing a Yamaha YFM700R in the Quad class. Former Dakar Rally winners Rafal Sonik, Ignacio Casale and Josef Machacek will also be aboard Yamaha machinery in the 2017 edition of the event.
Kicking off on January 2, the 39th Dakar Rally will see 146 motorcycles, 37 quads and 10 UTV vehicles set off for an 8,818km adventure [8,823km for UTVs] in the heart of South America. After an opening stage in Paraguay, competitors will cross the northern part of Argentina and enter Bolivia. Racing at an altitude of more than 3,000 metres for more than a week, they will return to Argentina and start descending towards Buenos Aires. The event's finish is set to take place on January 14.
Main Photo: HÌ©lder Rodrigues
Race Schedule - Dakar Rally 2017
Stage 1 | Jan 2 | AsunciÌ_n to Resistencia | SS: 39km | Total: 454km
Stage 2 | Jan 3 | Resistencia to San Miguel de TucumÌÁn | SS: 275km | Total: 803km
Stage 3 | Jan 4 | San Miguel de TucumÌÁn to San Salvador de Jujuy | SS: 364km | Total: 780km
Stage 5 | Jan 5 | San Salvador de Jujuy to Tupiza | SS: 416km | Total: 521km
Stage 5 | Jan 6 | Tupiza to Oruro | SS: 447km | Total: 692km
Stage 6 | Jan 7 | Oruro to La Paz | SS: 527km | Total: 786km
Rest Day | Jan 8
Stage 7 | Jan 9 | La Paz to Uyuni | SS: 322km | Total: 622km
Stage 8 | Jan 10 | Uyuni Salta 492 892
Stage 9 | Jan 11 | Salta to Chilecito | SS: 406km | Total: 977km
Stage 10 | Jan 12 | Chilecito to San Juan | SS: 449km | Total: 751km
Stage 11 | Jan 13 | San Juan to RÌ_o Cuarto | SS: 288km | Total: 754km
Stage 12 | Jan 14 | RÌ_o Cuarto to Buenos Aires | SS: 64km | Total: 786km