|Pharaons Rally: Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez winner of the 450 class in Bikes|
After 2562 kilometers in Egypt, the 13th Edition of Pharaons Rally comes to an end. The Chilean Chaleco López wins the 450 cc class in his Aprilia and is second overall, only 8:24 minutes from Marc Coma and his 690 cc bike. Aprilia started to test its rally bike in Pharaons 2008, and after two years of hard work from the engineers, riders and they have taken it to the next level.
"I´m glad. Unfortunately the last two days were not made for my 450 cc, but I think that to have been first overall for four days shows that we can have great results. I´m second in the FIM World Championship of 450 cc and first in this race. These are great results" Chaleco said.
The year 2010 started with Chaleco´s third place overall in the Dakar and then some problems in Dubai obligated the engineers to solve fuel consumption problems as fast as possible. Then the Chilean rider took Aprilia to Tunisia for the first victory in a World Championship Cross Country Rally race, surpassing the power of the KTM 690 bikes.
The Rally of Sardinia and the Baja Spain were test labs for the new improvements that leaded to carry out other necessary changes in the weight, chassis and the electric mapping of the bike. Now in Egypt, Team Aprilia Giofil arrives to Pharaons 2010 with six bikes, four of them with official riders. Two stages victories proved the bike´s potential: Chaleco won the first special section and Gerard Farres in the third.
Unfortunately Gerard Farres and Alex Zanotti had to abandon after crashing during special stage four and five respectively. Matteo Graziani made his comeback to African races after two years and carried out a regular race. The Italian finishes third in the 450 class and seventh overall.
"It was a positive race for me" said the Italian. "I felt confident with the new bike. As I saw that riders were falling every day, I decided to do a regular race until the end. I´m third in 450 cc, which makes me feel satisfied."
The time difference taken at the beginning of the race allowed Chaleco to rein the overall classification for four days, but as the last two days were much more adapted to more powerful bikes (690 cc), the rider kept control to get the victory of his class.
After this comfortable place, Team Aprilia Giofil will focus its work on the next Dakar. Last year Aprilia climbed to the third place of the standings. This year the battle will be harder because all top riders will be on 450 cc bikes. Aprilia has been developing the bike for longer and has excellent riders on its rows, which can make the difference.
2010/10/10 | 12:08 CET | EDITOR: MR/HS