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Africa Eco Race 2024: Jacopo Cerutti off to a great start in motorcycle category

Husqvarna rider Pierre Alexandre Renet of France, races during the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally outside Uyuni, Bolivia, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.   -  
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Juan Karita/AP


Stage One and Stage Two of the,Africa Eco Race have ended after recording a big start touching down on the quayside of the port of Nador in northern Morocco on Tuesday. Jacopo Cerutti and his Aprilia Tuareg 660 went all out to win both stages which also puts him solidly in the lead of the motorcycle category overall.

A superb performance for the Italian brand's return to offroad rallies, ahead of the two YAMAHA Ténéré 700s of Alessandro BOTTURI and Pol TARRES.

"In my opinion, it was a magnificent 179-kilometre stage to start the rally. The navigation was already complicated for a 1st day. It was difficult to stay focused. But I'm satisfied with my day. Everything was OK. I'm enjoying it and tomorrow will be Day 2” Cerutti the former European and Italian enduro champion said.

There are twelves special stages in the race for a total of 6000 km with about 122 participants travelling through Morocco, Mauritania, after departing initially from Monaco and travelling by boat from France.

"I was expecting it to be a bit rougher than that. At the end, there were some small tracks where it was easy to lose all 4 wheels. You had to be careful. There were some small wadi crossings that were very rough" says Gautier Paulin a former motocross world championship runner up driving a hybrid Apache. "When you have a hybrid system, you're not in 4-wheel drive all the time. It's often at low revs that we consume a lot of battery power. We have electric traction. On the fast section, we were always in 2-wheel drive. We had a lot of fun and it was good for our car" Paulin added.

Launched after the cancellation of 2008 Dakar Rally, Africa Eco Race is an annual rally raid, with emphasis on sustainability and zero emission technology. The current 15th edition race will finish on the shores of the Lac Rose on January 14th.

In addition to the sporting aspect, the rally aims to put emphasis on individual awareness about eco-responsibility.

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