Everything is ready for the third edition of the Merzouga Rally, the new concept of Rally Raid studied and realized by EdoMossi with a support of a very experienced staff that counts over 60 persons.
With more than 130 competitors joining the Rally in the different formulas Bike (Rally, Rally Lite and Raid) and SSV, representing 14 nations and 5 continents, Merzouga Rally has beat its attendance record for the 2012 edition.
A caravan of 300 will gather in the deep south of Morocco from the 3rd to the 9th of November and will contribute to create a unique event in terms of a racing competition but also as a great human experience to share with the other competitors, team members, family and friends.
THE ROUTE. The route of the Merzouga rally will cover more than 1100 kms all in special stages, without transfer on the tarmac during the 5 special stages + the prologue on the 4th of November, for a true warm up in preparation of the race. The longest stage will be the SS4 “Cassiopea” with 270km of special stages.
THE COMPETITORS. The Merzouga Rally is happy to welcome the more than 130 competitors enrolled in the rally. Among them many are the faithful riders that return from the second or the third time, but there are also many new faces.
Leader of the Rally Lite Classification and second overall in the Italian Championship, Glauco Ciarpaglini will use his experience to aim to win the first prize of the Rally Lite Desert Series Championship. Among the Italian, Alessandro Botturi, finished 8th in the last Dakar and winner of the best rookie.
Merzouga Rally is true Rally
Second last year in the Rally Lite category, Italian Giovanni Sala – 6 time World Enduro Champion, 4 time winner of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) and with the experience of 7 Dakar with the third position in 2006 – will aim to do a better result this year but also enjoy himself on the big dunes of Merzouga.
An experienced line up of International riders will make the life of the Italian riders more difficult. Among them the Aussies King James and Ben Grabham, the most famous off road rider in Australia, at his debut of the big dunes of the Erg Chebbi, will train in preparation of the Dakar 2013. From South Africa, Brett Cummings, winner of the Australasian Safari and Glen Grundy will get the most of the Merzouga Rally to gain experience in the navigation with Road book and prepare the Dakar 2013. From Poland, Jaceck Chkzor, teammate of Jakub “Kuba” Prygonski, Orlen Team, winner of Merzouga Rally 2011, obliged to miss this year edition due to tests scheduled with his KTM Team.
Merzouga Rally is SSV
The French Frederic Michot, Didier Fourny, Arnaud Debron, Francois Lethier (just to mention some of them) will face the Portuguese Pedro Bianchi Prata, winner of Hungary Baja and the Spaniard Antonio Valero Ramos, 8th overall at the XRally Marrakech. From the UTAH Mountains arrives the American Nathan Rafferty, from Venezuela Gustavo Querales, Nicola Alberto Cardona and Rafael Eraso Nardo, From Canada Patrick Trahan and from Morocco Harite Gabari.
The SSV category continues to speak French, even if this year the winners of last year edition, the crew Abel-Manez, ahead of Roustan/Lefebvre and Costa Thierry Henricy will have to face the competition of experienced Spanish crew Fidel-Sanchez, Australian Connel – Whittle and Moroccan Rachid – Bebouross.
Merzouga Rally is desert
ANDREA BRUNOD PRIZE. In honour of the dear friend and rider Andrea Brunod, died on July 1st during Baja Carpathia, in Poland, EdoMossi and the Merzouga Rally have created a special prize bearing the name of the Italian rider who has participated to all the rallies organized by EdoMossi. The prize will be given to the rider who has shown the most sporting attitude and fairpaly during the Merzouga Rally 2012.