The 6th and last day of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally was a great show with the GP of the Dunes: 50 km of special stage in the big dunes of Merzouga with a “Le Touquet” style start. The SxSs were the first to take the start. 15 minutes later was the turn of the quads and finally the bikes.
The bikes arrived all very close to the finish line with De Soultrait winning the stage by 3 seconds on Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) and 6 seconds on Ivan Cervantes (Himoinsa).
Xavier De Soultrait (#5) gave Yamaha the victory of the 8th edition of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally with him on the podium Gerard Farres (Himoinsa), 2nd at +13’07 and Franco Caimi (Yamaha) at +22’31. Pedrero (Sherco TVS) and Botturi (Boars Rally Team) complete the Top5. 

“I have worked so hard and this victory is a great reward. I’d like to thank Yamaha for their trust. I will keep on working with the target Dakar 2018”,

said an emotional De Soultrait at the arrival at the Jasmina lake in Merzouga.
For the quads, Stephane Marthoud won today’s stage with Cavigliasso 2nd and Maksimov third. With this result, the 25 year old Argentinian Nicolas Cavigliasso (#166) won the overall followed by Giuliano Giordana at +1h21 and Tomas Kubiena (3° at +2h09). 

“I still cannot believe it! This is my second rally. I did the Ruta 40 but I didn’t finish and I came here in Morocco to train for Dakar. This victory is a great satisfaction”,

said Nicolas Cavigliasso.
For the SidebySide, the Italian crew #233 Ventura-Montica won the GP of the Dunes, second #232 Navarro- Rivera, third Henrichy_Bersey. Carlos Checa was almost winng the stage when he made a mistake and lost the chance to go on the podium. “It was good fun and we were attacking when I made a mistake and lost the possibility to win the stage. I really enjoyed the formula of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally. I will be back”, said Carlos Checa.
The victory of the overall SxS category went to #200 Henrichy – Bersey, who added another success in their palmares of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally. Second a superb Camelia Liparoti –Delaunay (at +28’06) at her debut in the category, third Basso – Menard (1h25). It was a pity for Rautenbach, who lost the podium due to a navigation mistake.
#31 Maciej Giemza:

“I’m really happy. I came here to train for Dakar and didn’t expect to win. I gained a lot of experience also in the race strategy. Now the appointment is Dakar 2018”.

#208 Culus-Cadetti (Jardin Loisirs) won the Dakar challenge in the SxS category. They also won a free entry to Dakar 2018.

“It was a good race and we are really satisfied of this result”, 

said Culus.

“It was a demanding rally with a great competition in all the categories”, 

commented Marc Coma, the Director of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally,

“there was an exciting battle in all the categories. Also the Dakar Challenge was very interesting with several riders, switching positions on the front. All in all, it was a difficult race, maybe the most difficult, in terms of navigation and technical tracks. In the end the competitors were happy and this is the most important thing. The race is growing year after year also in terms of numbers of riders enrolled. A special welcome is always for the amateurs. In fact you can compete also with an Enduro bike and having the workshops plus the coaches like Sala and Brucy available for all the riders makes the Afriquia Merzouga Rally unique”.


Statistics 
- 68 bikes out of 88 finished the Afriquia Merzouga Rally 
- 17 quads out of 23 finished the Afriquia Merzouga Rally 
- 24 SidebySide out of 33 finished the Afriquia Merzouga Rally


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