Background: From racetrack to film festival
Soon, “The Great Adventure” will be available to watch on Amazon Prime. The documentary, a joint production between Yamaha Motor Europe and director Francesco Teo, captures the extraordinary performances of Alessandro Botturi and Pol Tarrés of the Yamaha Ténéré World Raid team. The film has already scored a special coup: A nomination at the prestigious International Motor Film Awards.
A journey into the heart of the challenge
The feature-length documentary follows riders Botturi and Tarrés through one of the most challenging rally-raid events in the world: the 2022 Africa Eco Race (AER), competing on their standard Ténéré World Raid twin-cylinder adventure bikes. For the duo, it’s their second outing as a team.
Experienced meets rising star
Botturi, a 47-year-old Italian and multiple Dakar Rally competitor, has a special connection to the AER. Not only has he won the last two editions of the race, he previously made a splash in this year’s Tunisia Desert Challenge (TDC). Tarrés, a 29-year-old Andorran and former hard enduro and trials rider, is only at the beginning of his rally career, but has already proven his ability and speed on the Ténéré.
6000 km of pure adventure
Starting in Monaco, the route of the AER 2022 covers almost 6000 kilometers through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, with the finish at the legendary Lac Rose in Dakar. Along the way, drivers will have to face extreme conditions such as heat and humidity, as well as the unforgiving terrain of Mauritania’s dunes.
Highs and lows
The race was an emotional roller coaster for the entire team. Botturi dominated in the early stages but suffered a setback and spent more than 24 hours in the heat of the dunes before being rescued. Tarrés, on the other hand, managed to achieve his career best by finishing the third stage with a podium finish. Surprisingly, he even won the class and finished fifth overall, while Botturi pulled off an impressive recovery.
A look behind the scenes
The documentary also provides a glimpse into the creation of the Ténéré 700 World Raid, which was developed by engineers at Yamaha Motor R&D Europe. It shows how a stock adventure bike is transformed into a desert-ready machine.
The film commemorates Cyril Neveu’s victory for Yamaha in the first-ever Paris-Dakar Rally in 1979, putting viewers in a position to experience firsthand all the ups and downs Botturi and Tarrés experience on their journey.
Recognition and outlook
Paolo Pavesio, marketing and motorsport director at Yamaha Motor Europe, highlights how proud he is of the team’s achievement. “Rally Raid is more than just a competition. It’s about pushing your own limits, as well as those of the bike,” he says. And there are already plans for 2023: Yamaha Motor Europe and Riders for Health are enabling two people to take part in the next AER with the Ténéré World Raid Team.
- The Great Adventure [Vinyl LP]
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- Banks, Tony (Author)
- Symington, Ken (Author)
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