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2011 Dakar: Team Giofil Aprilia Preview

2011 Dakar

The 32nd edition of the Dakar Rally is only three weeks away. For the third consecutive year, the most famous rally in the world will be held in Argentina and Chile, with a huge number of entries in bike/quads: 230 competitors at the starting line.

They are all ready to face the 9605 km Dakar race divided in 13 stages, and so is the Team Aprilia Giofil.

The Aprilia Giofil team headed by Filippo Assireli, which finished third overall last year, will attend not only with great ambitions and motivation, but most of all with the will to be competitve.

The leading Aprilia man at the 2011 Dakar will still be the Chilean Francisco "Chaleco" López, well supported by his fans in his own country.

The limitation imposed by ASO to all top riders that must now compete with 450 cc bikes, will be the central thread of the Dakar 2011, with many official teams, starting by KTM that monopolized the race over the years.

To face this new Dakar challenge, Aprilia is decided to give a leading role to the RXV 4.5 Tuareg, with a year of experience in rally raid races in Africa, which has served to improve the bike and take its potential even higher.

The power and reliability of the Aprilia twin-cylinder engine, the last modifications to the cycling and the new electronic mapping will be the strength of López to go for a great result in the Dakar.

The Chilean rider, like last year, will count on Gerard Farrés as his "water-carrier", a precious help in such a long race.

Another Spanish that just arrived to take part of Team Aprilia Giofil is Joan Barreda. The young rider, winner of this year´s Baja Spain, comes from motocross and enduro. Barreda is considered as a growing start in the discipline and will try to hold faith to his reputation of a fast rider at Dakar.

Another new entry to the team is Alain Duclos, the French/Congolese who has been the fastest private rider for years. Duclos finished the last edition of the Dakar in the sixth overall position and this year will look to improve this performance on his Aprilia Tuareg.

Last but not least is the Italian Alex Zanotti. San Marino´s man will be the only one to run with the "light" version of the Tuareg 4.5, a bike that has shown an optimal potential in Pharaons Rally. Of course, Alex will profit from his experience of last year searching to finish the Dakar in the best position.

Besides its five official riders, Aprilia will also support eight private riders, all on the saddleback of the twin-cylinder RXV. They will be Francesco Beltrami from Italy, Danish rider Jes Munk, Frank Verhoestraete and Jean-Pierre Lejeune from Belgium, Wouter Van Der Beek and Erik Koffman from Holland, the Greek rider Vasilis Orfanos and the Spanish Antonio Gimeno.

These 13 riders that will be assisted by ten mechanics and three managers, along with important means: two 6×6 trucks and three 4×4 cars will be there for the assistance service. No doubt that Aprilia Giofil will be the largest team at the start of the Dakar 2011 this next Jan. 1 at the Obelisco in Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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