Sherco TVS has announced that Joan Pedrero, Lorenzo Santilino Martin Duplessis and Vanni Cominotto will be riding for the factory team at the upcoming Merzouga Rally 2018, which is set to begin tomorrow. In the aftermath of injuries sustained at Dakar, Indian rider K P Aravind will not be able to participate in this critical rally.
Pedrero, who was the only Sherco TVS rider to complete the Dakar this year, also gave the team its best ever result with an 11th place finish. Naturally, he will lead the team’s effort at Merzouga. Meanwhile, Santilino finished second at the recent Desert Storm and has previously participated in the OiLibya rally which was held in Morocco in 2017. This is the first time he will participate in the Merzouga Rally. Martin Duplessis from Argentina and Italian rider Vanni Cominotto are making their debut in the rally.
On the line-up for the rally, B Selvaraj, the team manager of TVS Racing said, “It gives us immense pleasure to be a part of the ninth edition of the Merzouga rally. This rally is a good training ground for Dakar riders as it tests the limits of man and machine under challenging circumstances. Takeaways from such rally events are huge as it results in improving the teams’ technical capability and in the development of robust motorcycles. Merzouga Rally will offer a virtuous platform to evaluate the physical and technical strengths of the team and provides direction for our preparedness for the upcoming races. ”
This is the ninth edition of the Merzouga Rally, which is also a qualifier for the Dakar, and it will have 5 stages for this year’s edition and will take place in the dunes of Morocco. The competitors will encounter high temperatures combined with the navigational challenges that are posed by the sand dunes. The challenges in this rally give the much needed experience for riders aspiring to take on the Dakar Rally, which is considered as the most gruelling rally in the world.
On the factory team for the rally, David Casteu, the team manager of Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team said, “Merzouga Rally is an important learning ground for us not only because it is part of the Dakar Series but also the sandy terrain here is similar to the ones the riders face at Dakar. There’s a lot of roadbook navigation and riding in windy conditions which makes it interesting. After a solid performance at the Desert Storm in India, Santolino is raring to perform well here and has been training hard. Joan (Pedrero) brings all his experience to the team and will push himself to stay on top. This year we are also giving opportunity to two of our young riders Vanni Cominotto and Martin Duplessis. Our technical crew is also well prepared for the race with 4 Rally-bikes to be managed and we look forward to finish the Rally on a high note.”
Expect some great action as the riders take on the dunes of Merzouga tomorrow.