“SRR15”: A New Record of Starters in Party Atmosphere. Walkner (KTM) is the Winner of the Prologue!
Pula, June 5, 2015
A record number of 78 Riders (and a beautiful Miss, Rosa Romero, the wife of Nani Roma), has fulfilled the bureaucratic duties and got the official “pass” for the start of the Sardegna Rally Race. Aces are now ready to face each other on the tight schedule of the fourth round of the World Championship. Along with the “Bigs”, a plethora of amateurs, enthusiasts, and of young Riders, some of them with a very interesting sporty profile, for the first time on the stage of the great Rally-Raid.
Pula, the beautiful seaside town west of Cagliari, and the Is Molas Resort, welcomed the “caravan” in the warmth of their hospitality. It is an atmosphere of a “party” that expresses the passion for what is the ultimate discipline of Motorsport. that remains inextricably linked to an ancient spirit of adventure. At Is Molas the pre-race events operations are recorded as in a “time lapse” mode. The riders arrive one after the other, come together, catch up on common competitive events, gather the latest news from the words of Antonello Chiara and Gianrenzo Bazzu, the creators of the Rally. The large family of the Rally-Raid meets again, as it happens to every event of the World Championship. And in Sardinia, of course, it is another matter entirely.
The Sardinia Rally Race is the Motorsports event which, together the upcoming WRC, makes Sardinia … the fastest island of the World. In a explosion of nature and color, also explodes the enthusiasm for “the” Rally, one that brings together the Best, the greatest World Champions. Marc Coma has the number 1, that means he is the World Champion in charge and the winner of the Dakar. Marc is the “Officer and a Gentleman” of the KTM army. The number 2 is Paulo Gonçalves, the Portuguese who more than anyone else has managed, with his Factory Honda, to move closer to Coma. Other, very strong riders, make up the mosaic of the strongest teams. Helder Rodrigues, another World Champion with a brand new Yamaha. Alessandro Botturi, the strongest Italian rider, David Casteu, a “Gentleman Rider” with a solid reputation. They are just a few examples of the “star” of the Sardegna Rally Race. But the SRR15 “constellation” is very special, bringing together other “planets” of the Motorsport. One is the Superbike Champion Carlos Checa, for the first time competing in a race with the road-book. Another is Adrien Beveren, the young Frenchman who is the fastest of the World on the big sandy sprints.
The Sardegna Rally Race is the fourth round of the Cross-Country Rally World Championship. It is 1,500 kilometers across the Island, from the south-west of Pula to the North-East of San Teodoro. It’s 5 stages and 9 special stages totaling 900 kilometers against the clock. It is the crossing of a Paradise and the most special way to visit Sardinia.
Meanwhile is the Prologue. Only a kilometer and a half on the Motocross track of Baccalamanza, halfway between Cagliari and Pula. It is the first test, very short, that is giving away nothing but the starting positions for the first “real” stage of the Rally, one that starts and ends Sunday, June 7 in Pula. A simple step, to give the Riders the opportunity to reach the “working temperature.” But the emotional temperature is already very high.
It does not matter too much, at least today, who is better or who is not. The Sardegna Rally Race is long, complex, strongly competitive rally like no other. The Prologue of Baccalamanza has been won by the Austrian Mathias Walkner, protégé of KTM and, in particular, of his mentor Heinz Kinigadner. the Austrian preceded Van Beveren and Pablo Quintanilla. The result was predictable, given that Walkner was a Motocross World Champion, as it is not surprising that among the top ten, at least half of the classified Riders have an origin linked to Motocross. But that of the first day is mainly entertainment. The rally itself is another matter, and we will see later.