In memory of Hubert Auriol

Taken from GPONE the memory of Carlo Pernat

“Hubert Auriol was a gentleman and a friend, a person who taught me so much, especially in external relations. He was always smiling and with the joke ready”. Carlo Pernat remembers the king of the Dakar, the first rider to have won it both on a motorcycle and in a car. One of the myths of that raid surrounded by legend.

The relationship between Pernat and Auriol had not only been professional, on the slopes of Africa was born a friendship that lasted over the years. “I was in Aprilia when and I had been invited to a TV show in Paris, the Monday after the Le Mans Grand Prix – says Carlo – Finished recording, were towards the 23, it occurred to us to call Hubert to go and eat something all together, in those days had a restaurant. He replied that he was already in bed, he got dressed and came with boredom to eat a pizza”.

Their relationship began when the French rider was hired by Cagiva to race the Dakar.

“They introduced me to Auriol ne1 1985. It was already a myth and was important to get sponsorships – continue Pernat – I remember Ligier telling me to go to the Tour Elf in Paris, guaranteeing us that they would give us the money for sponsorship. I didn't believe it, but we went: they offered us lunch and then we went to the private cinema to see footage of the Dakar. Finally they told me: here is a billion for the race. It was thanks to Hubert that we got them”.

Hubert, born in Addis Ababa, he knew the secrets of Africa and jealously costudied them. ” His ace up his sleeve was Mauritania, although I never understood why – confesses Pernat – Practically there, in each stage, had half an hour advantage over all. I asked him how he did it and he replied that he followed the tracks of the animals”.


The adventure with the Cagiva lasted 3 years, but fate would have it that it was not crowned with success. In 1987 faded when it seemed obvious. “We had practically already won the Dakar, we had an hour and a half of advantage at the beginning of the last stage, which is usually a boardwalk on Lake Rosa – the memory of that day is still vivid in Carlo's mind – Everything was born the night before at the bivouac. During the last stage we passed on disused rails and Roberto Azzalin, the crew chief, and Auriol argued over whether or not to use tire mousses. I don't remember what they decided, but that it was Hubert who won it, but then during the stage he drilled 3 times”.

The bad luck was not over.

“He then told me that he had beaten with his ankle against a kind of hidden sapling, on the other side there was a stone and went to slam even against that. The two ankles were open, we couldn't even take off their boots, I never understood how he managed to drive for others 30 kilometers in those conditions. One thing has been particularly impressed on me. We had loaded him on the helicopter that would take him to the airport from which he would then leave for France.. Hubert cried and repeated to me: “by’ in Castiglioni that we beat honda”.
That was one of the few times in my life when I couldn't hold back my tears.

Even after that defeat, Hubert didn't break down.

“Auriol was very professional. Claudio arranged a private flight to Paris with some journalists to visit him in the hospital. Hubert received us with the team shirt, not with the gown. He is one of the people who have counted the most in my life and career, I learned so much from him’ concludes Pernat”.

Departure 1987-1

DAKAR 1987 | 12.000 km instead of 15.000 disappears at night

Suppression of night stages; limitation to 800 Km for the maximum length of the daily stages. Despite the limitations and in spite of the fact that the total length has dropped by about 3000 kilometers passing to total Km, For Rene Metge, winner '86 and from this year route tracker on behalf of the organizers, the Paris-Dakar will still have the terrible charm of the hardness that is then the reason for its success.

This is because the length of the special stages has increased, that is, those sections of the route in which the time taken by the drivers is timed and discriminating for the purposes of the classification. On the other hand, the long daily transfers have decreased, those that were needed by pilots to move from a p.s. to the other After a symbolic street in Milan, at the center II Girasole on 27 December, and the prologue to Cergy on 31, the race will start on 1 January from Versailles. Except for the boarding that will take place from Barcelona instead of From Sete, in homage to the Spanish city hosting the Olympics 1988, the first Algerian stages through El Golea and In Salah will be similar to the past.

Then to Tamanrasset, in the heart of aAlgeria, the first big difficulties will begin with a very difficult stage between narrow mountain gorges and the last 350 Km on tolé onduleé that puts a strain on the mechanical strength of cars. All this to skim the group of 500 Participants. Tamanrasset-Arlit will be the first p.s. all new, with alternation of desert and mountain. By Arlit, the 8 January will go to the former tree of the Tenere renamed tree Thierry Sabine since the ashes of the founder of the Dakar were scattered in that mythical place. And right in the shade (theoretical) of the tree the race will stop at night.

To continue, through the desert of the Tenere, verse Dirkou without the help of the signal balises that in the desert all the same help not to lose the track. Rest is provided in Agadez, the 11 January. After Agadez, in 90 Km from which the oganizers announce a "surprise" (that does not promise to be pleasant), the race will enter the Sahel, or the savannah. The desert ends, the sand remains between shrubs and bushes where it is even more difficult to orient oneself because the reference points and traces instead of missing are too many and confuse ideas. Here the pilots will begin to pick up the compass and map to orient themselves in the 70 Km of vegetation from Niamey to Gao, in Mali.

Tombouctou to Nema, on the border with Mauritania, still compass navigation for at least 300 Km and the only references to orient yourself will be the traces of the animals. In Tidijka the organizers predict that many will spend a whole day around a village to find the right way. At Richard Toll you leave the Mauritanian desert for the last difficulties (last year the truck race was decided here) and the arrival will be the 22 January on the shores of the pink lake of Dakar. The map of the route: again there is boarding in Barcelona, the disappearance of the dunes of Agadem in the Tenere, the exclusion of Guinea and the passage from Tombouctou

Scan 32

DAKAR 1987 | From cross to the charm of the desert

Already in previous years Michele Rinaldi had launched the intention to participate in the Dakar, attracted by the charm that surrounds this race but above all by the possibility of "living" it, in the few free moments, in close contact with all other participants. Rinaldi had even come to hypothesize his participation in the role of the private pilot, despite being used to playing the role of the "super official" in the cross.




From Suzuki, Instead, during the autumn he received the proposal to participate with bikes and official assistance in the team set up in France by the Joineau brothers. "It was Suzuki that asked for it – says the former world champion – since they know my desire to participate and want to try to face the competition that has found great commercial outlets from these races ».



Have you already had some driving experience in Africa?
"Only during some tests in Tunisia. The biggest problem, apart from orientation, comes from the weight and speed of the bike. When you accelerate on the sand it drifts from all sides and it takes good muscles to hold on to a bike that weighs almost twice as much as the cross bike. To get used to it every day I did some training together with Balestrieri, once even at night. Anyway the Suzuki 651 even if it has been prepared well, it is not a winning bike against the various multi-cylinder bikes and even I do not feel able to aspire to success».



How the Suzuki was changed compared to the production model?
"The chassis is standard. The fork and the monoshock system have been changed. On the engine there is a new head, cylinder and muffler to bring the displacement to 651 CC, moreover the cooling is oil as on the Suzuki road and no longer air ».

Edwards 1988-6

Edwards, the German of Bergamo

Born in 1957 in Bergamo, Franco Gualdi approached the world of motorcycles for the passion transmitted by his father who was riding Motobi, MV and Devil and so as a young man he took part in the very first regional enduro races. His biography tells of only two Dakar, one of which is not even finished and a solid career in the enduro.

He earned the nickname “The German of Bergamo”, for his impeccable guidance and for the precision with which he studied the routes. As a starting point for his professional career, eighteen-year-old, chose to join the Fiamme Oro group where he met Azzalin, also active in the same body, but with a few more years: when Gualdi came in, Azzalin was one of the “Old” who were stopping running.

Franco made his first races with Sachs, from 1974 at 1978, and then switch to Italian motorcycles.

Was the 1984 when he approached the Cagiva, who wanted him to participate in the famous Baya 1000, in Spain: his teammate was Gian Paolo Marinoni, but with them were also Roberto Azzalin and Ostorero. If the latter faced the race with the sole goal of having fun, Gualdi and Marinoni, Instead, they were thirsty for important results.
The Baya it was a race with two rings of 500 Km and the first one that came, regardless of the category to which you belong, he would win. Every 70 Km there were service points of alternate types: one refueling, the other of mechanics.

The race was in July and the course was not marked with the road book. That year there was Gaston Rahier, that was kinda the “Master” of the twin-cylinder. Gualdi at one point found himself in front of him, overtaking him on a very technical stretch of road and more akin to an endurist like him, that to a crossman like the Belgian. Shortly thereafter, with the exuberance typical of his young age, Gualdi came along at a bend and went off the road: didn't fall, but he took a big rock and the top plate of the fork broke. But Gualdi didn't give up: took a strap, he used it to tie the plate to the steering tank and left. He and his partner came to the bottom taking a eighth place overall, behind their rivals in BMW.




His first participation in dakar is dated 1987: Auriol and De Petri were the leading drivers, while Franco and Picard were their gregarious. In one stage, Gualdi's bike was like dead: very wide track, by 2 km and all the pilots passed away from each other. He stood still, with the fear that the assistance would not see it.
He left his bike on the ground and placed his jacket at 300 meters, so you get noticed without risking your life. I start disassembling the bike but without finding the fault, until towards evening came the service truck and loaded the he and the bike. They arrived at the camp at the 2 At night, a few km from the arrival. Edwards, hidden in the truck in the middle of the bike and tires, thus crossed the finish line.

They then unloaded the bike and did an engine change operation. At 5 in the morning, took his Cagiva, came back from an external track, hanging up on the main one and crossed the finish line. By now it was late and only an hour was missing at the start of the new stage, so he quickly drank a sip of water, he rinsed himself and left immediately for the next stage. In general, that was an unfortunate edition for Gualdi: all it took was a start and his bike was stationary and in addition, la Cagiva was really challenging. He had a very high centre of gravity and the weight and speed did not forgive: in the event of falls, lifting it up was a struggle, even for the most trained physicists.

Bad game, the race could only continue worse. A few kilometers from the beginning, found colleague Ciro with the broken gearbox: stopped and gave him a hand to fix the bike. They mistakenly reassembled the two exchanged tanks and – just before they noticed and reversed them-someone passed by and took a picture. That year he went to the annals for their disqualification, that came right after this fact and just because of that shot, where you could clearly see a motorcycle with the number 99 on the front and the number 97 on the side, which was used as evidence of an exchange of motion that could never be concretely proven.

It was a kind of divine punishment: the Cagiva team was not really an example of ligio compliance with the regulations, but he was almost never punished for lack of evidence. That time, Instead, the protagonists swore they had done nothing wrong, but they were penalized on the basis of a photo that showed nothing. However, there was no possibility of appeal, since the disqualification did not arrive immediately after the race, nor the following day, that was resting, but at seven o'clock in the morning the next day yet, just before the stage began.

Azzalin could only take note of the disqualification and De Petri and Gualdi stood still, with the threat that, if they had tried to travel even a single kilometer, would have been disqualified for “undue assistance” even the two teammates still in the race. Since Auriol was in the lead, it wasn't worth the risk, so the two gregarious left for Italy and the following day, found themselves on the front page of the Equipe for a cunning that they had never accomplished, And that, Obviously, they would never admit. In 1987 Gualdi dedicated himself to proto: went up there, he guided her, developed it and made it reliable. He did a great job on carburetors., together with Franco Farnè: one even pierced him to figure out the level of gasoline.

Farnè recovered the surplus gasoline from the carburetor and put it back in the tank with a small tube. In the end they prepared about 20 Carburetors: the Weber was the top, really deadly as soon as the gas handle was wide open. He then tried the forks in Tunisia, together with Ciro, in no man's land, while in Savona and on the poorly trafficked Gravellona Toce, did the with michelin mousse tests. Gualdi was nailed, To 100 Km/h, then he came back and the technicians tested the tires. The problem, that remained unresolved even during the Dakar, was that in 170 / 175 Km/h the wheel cleats came off.

While he was trying, Gualdi had to make a’ U-turn: the bike died out and seemed to no longer want to start again. The traffic police arrived and found him there, in the middle of the street, with a bolide without even the license plate. Franco's fortune was to be a colleague of the Fiamme Oro: a quick greeting and had already become their idol. They even gave him a boost and so he managed to restart the bike. Things that were quietly done then, but today they would be unthinkable… In 1988, found himself almost without realizing it at the Dakar: started by de Petri's gregarious, he was the only one of the Cagiva drivers to finish the race. He was in his second participation, as always he did assistance and was under no illusions of doing great results.




Ciro could surely have won some Dakar, if he hadn't always wanted to cross the line: even though we know that more than 170 Km/h tires were ripped off, he never slowed down and so he ripped them. It was then up to Franco to retrieve it, in the middle of the Sahara: certain, even he would have liked to go faster, maybe in the hope of recovering 15 minutes, because that desert looked like asphalt, but instead he went to 150 Km/h safely. So much did he know that he would then find De Petri with the tires bursting: he would stop and give him his gum and, with this little game, Ciro maintained a good position in the standings, as he slipped further and further back.

He once met Ciro who had a devil for hair, went to 90 Km/h and swore at himself and his bike: the engine went to one, and passing him close, Gualdi immediately realized that had the pipette of the candle detached. He didn't have time to report the fault to him., who never saw him again, because he had started to focus: 50 km with only one cylinder and then gave him pay. Ciro was so: from some points of view really incorrigible. The Cagiva team was respected and feared: De Petri eventually retired and Azzalin called Franco and told him to show him what he was capable of. He was five hours away from the first and at least wanted to get to the end of the race with the same detachment, without going crazy to make up for lost time.

Azzalin told him to attack and he was trying to do his best, but without overdoing it: eventually came sixth. He was really pleased with the result: on balance, if there hadn't been all those stops to help others, probably could have achieved an even more important result. Franco kept a diary during the Dakar, in both editions: when in the evening he came to the camp, wrote a few lines. At the end of the race, he put it back and today admits that it was precisely those writings that led him to no longer participate in that race, wonderfully cursed.

He kept wonderful memories, but on those diaries he wrote quite a few things that no one knows yet: one day, Maybe, will pull them out and make them public. Gualdi was always very wise and never left anything to chance: if you needed three levers to change the tire, he was trying to have four rather than two; if the bike had a limit, knew it was better not to tease her; if the change was delicate, it was definitely advisable to drive carefully; avoided overcoming in the dust, not to risk taking a rock that he couldn't see.

His philosophy was: “Pull the rowing in the boat and take home the result.” Certain, this approach, sometimes it frenzied him from achieving more important successes, but he always took it to the bottom and today, all in all, he's glad so. Staying in the Team with Cagiva was an unforgettable experience: in every situation, you did what you could and also the impossible. Getting to the bivouac was already a good result for Gualdi and from that moment, began the work of the mechanics. Probably, then, risked them more than the pilots, making transfers with those unlikely planes!

Also with Azzalin, Gualdi had a nice relationship: even at the first Dakar they were expected to sleep in tents together, but it only lasted one night, because Robert snoring to such an extent that he did not turn a blind eye to the pilot and even waking himself up to assault. After that first night, Azzalin went to sleep under the truck to allow Franco to rest. Thanks to all the experiences they shared, the friendship between them was strengthened: Today, looking back, for Gualdi the Cagiva was embodied in Roberto Azzalin. He obviously also met Claudio Castiglioni, but he never entered his world and their relationship always remained formal and linked to pure labor issues.

Gualdi's salary was also partly given by his role as a test driver: over the years, was no longer at the height of his career as an endurist and, getting away with it well as a mechanic, carried on the development of motorcycles and engines that then became standard and a 750 single-cylinder that was never made. He had a good sensitivity and liked to try until he got a satisfactory final result, as he did with marzocchi forks or with an engine to 45 horses that he managed to bring to 50. The mechanics were at his complete disposal, whatever he said or asked. But he did a relatively short job: broadcast what he could but all the tests were done with Ciro De Petri: he was the leading man and the bike was made according to his needs. Gualdi had to test what Ciro wanted: they asked him to fix some things, but in the end it was De Petri who decided.

Orioli's arrival was decisive for the growth of the Cagiva: started from a Ducati engine, it was brought to maximum power and work was carried out on reliability. On the motion of the 1987 it would have suffi only a 750, instead of a 850, but with development you couldn't go back, and with that bike Ciro won so much. And if in the 1990 you got to win, was certainly also thanks to the great work done in terms of growth and development. At that time the French were the big, while the Italians were not yet ready to win a Dakar. De Petri was the best of our, however anyone was aware that the pilot to beat wasn't him, but the French, as Auriol.

When Gualdi had the chance to have him as a teammate, took advantage of it to steal some secrets from him and his driving improved noticeably. Hubert turned out to be a serious man, more attentive and precise than fast. But it was a “French”: of him, as of all his countrymen, Gualdi learned never to trust too much, because cousins across the alps are a little jealous of the dakar. They consider it a race of their own. The Italians, on the other hand, were all a little special: good and scaramantic, full of rituals, like that of De Petri who every night had hot water prepared by Forchini, his trusted man, to wash your head.

Gualdi also faced many other competitions, like the Titan rally, but the Dakar always remained a unique race: everyone else went into the background. From an edition he took home all the road books with the intention of redoing it as a tourist, calmly, making the stops not in 5 hours but in 12, looking at the wonderful places he couldn't see as a pilot. He never did.. As a pilot there was no time to think too much, reflected only in the evening, once you reach the finish line. Franco once ended up in a lost village, where everyone was naked and looked at him like an alien. The women and children took refuge in the houses and there was only one man left who understood the French: Gualdi was not the first stranger they saw; tried to get directions and then left.

He promised that he would return, but he never did. The race involved risks, Obvious, but it was also joy and fun, and the dangerous part was always less than all positive and unforgettable situations. Even today, many times Gualdi wonders why he ran and answered that it was not for adrenaline and the desire to risk. The risk was there, he was aware of it and was part of the game, but he wasn't necessarily looking for him. He was aware that every time he left he might be the last, but he didn't enjoy defying death for the sake of it.

He just left. The Dakar was certainly not the safest situation in the world: you didn't sleep, you didn't eat, he was suffering… but you knew people for what they were, without masks. And then, when you came back, you found yourself with the “Mal d'africa”. Only those who have lived experiences like those can understand it and Gualdi knows it now very well: the sense of melancholy and nostalgia for those places will accompany him throughout his life.

Peak 87

Dakar 1987 – Belgarda, New, confidence in the mono

After Marinoni's forfeit is Peak the foreman

Yamaha's credentials after Franco Picco's success in the Pharaohs Rally – Belgarda are very high; the value of the pilots is out of the question: they'll go down in the race Peak, Medardo and Fat to replace Andrea Marinoni who won't be able to DAKAR 87 Peakrun because of the aftermath of an accident.

There remains only one mole: The bike is always the 660 Thumper. Light, handy and reliable, complains about the power problem, and therefore the maximum speed, compared to bmw and Honda twin-cylinder bikes and Yamaha itself 900 four-cylinder used by the French.

Lately, Paris-Dakar has been dominated by large. motorcycles that allow you to go to almost 200 Kirih in the immense desert sand straights and gain time against the smaller monocylidrids. The choice of Belgarda, New, Instead, seeks to take advantage of the skills of handling and more simplicity and mechanical accessibility.

A project also linked to the commercialisation of the means: although modified directly by Yamaha racing department in Japan, le Hold 660 reflect the characteristics of the standard product. The power has been increased to more than 50 HP, The capacity of the tanks is 55 while the dry weight barely exceeds 150 Kg.

Peak 1987 Copy

Features that in Yamaha's own plans should allow it to face the various multi-cylinder and recover in the paths of the savannah the time lost on the long straight stretches of desert.
Of the same opinion is also Peak: "To win the Dakar, it is not enough to have so much power. Others Picco_Auriol_Neveu_1987they'll go stronger, but driving a heavier bike also requires more physical effort. After many stages, fatigue can play a key role in not increasing the risk of falls and getting to the bottom.".

You have a little regrets about not being able to run with the FZ 900 bacou and Olivier will use?
"The French have been carrying out the FZ-derived engine design for some years, but so far they have not been able to gather positive results. I hope, because the brand to be defended is the same, whether it's a good year, but I've never tried it so I can't say anything. Let's wait for the Dakar to finish, we'll talk about it for the 88th.


DAKAR 1987 – Disqualification challenged by Dalia

NIAMEY – Is the hot afternoon of 14 January, in the morning the competitors of Paris-Dakar have abandoned the comforts of the capital of Niget, sharing a breeze for Gao. The pool at the luxury Hotel Gaweye only riders withdrawn from the year's toughest race and some reporter; in a dozen of the many rooms of the hotel injured people complain about waiting for flight scheduled for the night of the following day that will bring everyone in Europe. Among the Palm trees and the cool pool water, in a scenario worthy of Simon Le Bon, We will have a long talk with Alexander «Cyrus» Dalia, one of the fastest men ever seen in action on African roads, in the limelight, Unfortunately, to be one of the riders disqualified from TSO at the start of the stage Agades-Tahoua.


De Petri is much more relaxed than the morning of 13, When Patrick Verdoy not handed him and Gates the roadmap, putting them so out-of-competition. That morning at Agades I had almost afraid to interview the pilot of Cagiva, furious about the exclusion of the race. By the pool, though, the tension inevitably Saeed and Cyrus proves to be more talkative and quiet at the microphone of my recorder. The first question is of course dedicated to the "situation" in the stage of 5 January.

Then Cyrus, the bike has been replaced?
"No, I had a problem with the clutch and I had to stop. Shortly after they arrived Gates and Picard and, together, We started working on the bikes. The Cagiva has the clutch handle of type De-Petri-1987-2plumber and work on it is very laborious: There is also to bleed. Let us not forget that it was the first special stage and we were quite nervous. In that moment time seems to fly when reassembling the hulls of confusion and we did three bikes».

But don't you have noticed that the helicopter of the Sierra (the company that films the exclusive Paris-Dakar) you ran over your head?
"Certainly,, and there was nothing wrong, even we noticed that the operator was leaning out to recover». You have been disqualified based on photographic evidence and filmed, but your motorbikes have been verified in the evening, the stage finish? "No, Neither night nor on subsequent days».

What exactly happened on the morning of 13 on departure from Agades, When you have been put out of the race?
«I was presented, like all day, the briefing, but before this started I realized that the compass does not work and are then returned to the “Villa” Cagiva team had rented in Agades, to remedy this problem. Made the replacement of the instrument are returned upon departure, the briefing had already ended and I noticed that everyone was looking at me. Before you ask me the reason for so much attention I came to meet Gates, I said we were out of the race and that they wouldn't deliver the roadmap. I thought he was kidding, but then came the confirmation of Auriol. Anyway I told Gates to follow me until the start of the special stage. Arriving at the departure Verdoy told us that if within two minutes hadn't returned to Agades would also disqualified Auriol».

How you react to this news?
«By disappointment at a decision which I define shocking that ran counter to what I thought of the TSO, an organization that I respected and in which I had the utmost confidence. The Dakar has become a big business for homes, the sponsors and the drivers it is necessary that these interests are protected by a Federation».

Maybe from international, I say mischievous.
"Of course, the Dakar is an international competition and it is essential that such decisions are taken by a body that protects all these huge interests».De-Petri-1987-3

Speaking of the race has changed after Sabine how and the environment after death of the great inventor and soul of Paris-Dakar, What do you think?
"Even with Sabine, or better under his direction, questionable decisions were made, as the penalty imposed on Peak two years ago. Last year during the stage Ouargla-El Golea, There was a complaint against Honda France for a supposed change of bike, but they were not carried out verifications. In any case, this ninth edition of the Dakar is beautiful, great technique with special tests to no end and no nighttime stages: a beautiful and well organized race. What I don't think would have happened at the time of Sabine's do run a pilot for six days, leave to rest one day and then ban him, What happened to me».

You have been put out of the race on the basis of evidence filmed and photographs, you have probably tried to save the situation and continue the race. What happened and, especially, What will happen?
"Our athletic director Azzalin asked to do share Gates and me maybe letting us run sub-judice until Dakar, but Verdoy is still on his decision (wrong for me) and did not accept. Meanwhile, to protect the interests and image of Cagiva, sponsors and also my (Let us not forget that a professional driver prepares for Dakar for about 8 months) you will end up before a court».

You want to maybe the head of Verdoy?
"No, I don't care, We want only to know that disqualify me and Gates was a mistake and especially that in the future there is greater protection for Homes, sponsors and drivers».

The future of specialty care to many and inevitably to Ciro we asked the question that you feel in your environment, as a world rally championship?
"It would be beautiful — answers — and us drivers often talk, a World Championship under the auspices of the International Federation would be a big step forward, but on our part, there is still the need to deal, While Federal environments has not arrived yet effective intervention. Even when we had, After the tragedy of Giampaolo Marinoni, requested that two doctors follow us Italian pilots flying in giving us the necessary security, even psychological».

We talk about safety, for you the Dakar is a safe race?
"The Dakar is a dangerous race. Is the actual product to be, almost a cross between speed (for medium to high) and cross (for the ground on which it runs); In addition nobody knows exactly all the pitfalls of the path: It's a cocktail very dangerous especially if you get lost. If you become injured off piste the risk is so much».

There is solidarity among pilots?
"Yes, Despite the difference between official and private pilots all stop if they see a colleague in distress. In this respect I feel very safe. There is a lot of humanity in this ruthless contest and solidarity on the track is so much».

Interview by Marco Masetti for Motosprint


Claudio Terruzzi, from the pit of the Lambro Park in the Paris-Dakar

Claudio Terruzzi participated and also won the world enduro races but is best remembered for his participation in the Paris-Dakar. Claudio was born in via Amalfi along the Martesana in 1956 and he spent his youth in Crescenzago.
"Welcome home" banner displayed in the 1988 in via Padova, on the occasion of the return of Taddy from Paris – Dakar
Still very young, together with other off-road enthusiasts in the area, riding of 50cc engages in the hole of via De Notaris (in front of the Rol Oil) or at Parco Lambro. Al Parco Lambro, In addition to the classic routes on "mound", There was also a hole in the side of via Crescenzago and behind the Tennis Club that a real gym for motocross, with beautiful paths. In addition to the Park in addition to excelling with friends, There was often to beat even ecological guards, but for the guys was pretty easy, with a flat, escape the "bucks" that rode bicycles.


Orioli, Terruzzi and Peak, the team members of Honda Italy to Paris- Dakar 1988.
Terruzzi, for friends, "El Teruzz", He started racing in years 70 in regularity competitions with several successes, up to land the blue team. After mixed results, the 6 days of San Pellegrino was noted by Massimo Ormeni of Honda Italy and after a few positive tests became official Honda Pilot. Claudio has participated in three Paris-Dakar in the years ' 80, during the period when it was still a grueling race that ran in Africa.
First participated in 1987, riding a Honda XR 650 R, He won a stage in Goa, in Mali the 14 January and won "Rookie of the year" What better motorcycle racer newcomer. The second participation in 1988, that issue was unique for the Italians who ran with the bikes, of 183 bike on departure only 34 they arrived in Dakar and in the first five places in the final classification were three Italians: the winner Edi Orioli on Honda, in second place Franco Picco on Yamaha and fifth Claudio Terruzzi on Honda HRC NXR750R. In that issue Taddy has reported 6 stage wins and without any mechanical problems could also compete for the overall victory.

During an interview in 2012, Claudio, answering a question about his choice to run the Paris-Dakar race again if necessary, remembering those unforgettable moments, responded: "No, because the Dakar, the Dakar, never coming back. I still have a VHS of TG1 conducted by Paul Feehan, the first news was talking about Ronald Reagan, the second of Claudio Terruzzi who had won the stage of Dakar. Remember the banners in via Padova in Milan that says welcome back Claudio… At the time, the pilots were lost and there were no more, many never knew anything: lost in the desert forever. Today with the Navigator is much easier, all safer, almost boring: better make a call for enduro " .

In 1989, Terruzzi leave Honda and goes to Cagiva. The team with with Tade, Orioli, Dalia and Picard, form a potentially winning group but an endless series of mechanical problems and excessive deterioration of tire rack for motorcycles, the third participation of Tade at Dakar leaves no traces of note.
Today almost 30 years after his last participation in the Dakar, Despite meanwhile has become a successful manager, ceo of a company that provides services for the improvement of environmental quality, has not forgotten his innate passion for enduro races and for the world around them.


Scan 4

Philippe ed Erick Al Hamad Dakar 1987

The brothers Philippe and Erick Auribault on small Yamaha DT 125 the Parisian Prolog Dakar 1987. Behind you recognize Martin-Ville on Yamaha Motorcycle Shop Team FD.


ADV Campaign Champion 1987

Champion spark plugs ADV Campaign 1987 with testimonial Hubert Auriol.

Yamaha YZE-920-1

Yamaha FZT 900 Dakar 1987

Three straight victories in the BMW decided in 1986 the Honda, that to return to success at the Paris-Dakar rally was necessary to play the card of two-cylinder motor. The only choice to keep up in long stretches of desert where most top speed allows two cylinders to buy a house edge that they take shelter from every retrieve while agile «mono». The Yamaha decided, Instead, to confirm the single cylinder after it was breezy the construction of a twin-cylinder to be entrusted to the French team.
The response of Jean Claude Olivier, team manager of Sonauto, was the manufacture of a prototype driven by the engine of FZ 750 twenty valves. An adventurous project, who did turn up their noses to leaders of the House of Iwata, but not to the point of rejecting the idea of pilot who in 1985 had arrived for second in Dakar.
The four-cylinder engine for the desert has begun work late and the test bench of the giant French-Japanese enduro was precisely the slopes of Paris-Dakar. It was a single copy, and get him into the race it was Jean Claude Olivier.
Doing so gave up departing at every chance to win a ride a motorcycle that was providing Yes a power of 90 HP but whose weight was about 270 pounds in running order.

In 1986, JCO ended the race 12th, pulled over 10 hours behind the winner, but brought the bike up to Dakar.

An important milestone that convinced Olivier to insist on the road taken. And so these days has been completed the Yamaha FZ 900 T Evolution 1, the bike which Olivier and Serge Bacou will lead to far more warlike purposes of those Dakar enlivened the expedition ' 86. At first glance you understand that this is a completely new bike without any piece in common with last year's experimental version.
You have done a great job of lightening and end the engagement was awarded by dry weight slightly less than 200 kg (20 pounds lighter than last year) and above all, a subdivision of the masses which is nearly optimal 45% the front and the 55% the retro-train.
The frame now has an aluminium bottom cradle (removable) and to eliminate the problems of spin ratio was decreased the maximum power for the benefit of better dispensing. In addition, always at the direction of Olivier, was increased the engine capacity.
The result is a total displacement of 911 CC and a power not exceeding 85 HP, 53 of which are available at 4.000 RPM.
In tests carried out in August in the desert of Tenere FZ 900 T has shown it can travel in a straight line at a speed of more than 160 km/h (as an indication, the «mono» ' 87 in the hands of Peak did not go beyond the 135 km/h) and on a technical course around Agades late against the mono did not go beyond the second one-and-a-half kilometer.
Even the tires have made huge progress in both grip under acceleration, lateral stability and still life. Conscious of the progress of the four cylinders, that could be the surprise of the Paris-Dakar ' 87, but also of his handicap (weight, encumbrance, mechanical complexity) Olivier has preferred to follow as last year two parallel roads. He and Serge Bacou will guide the FZ 900 T while Thierry Charbonnier and (in all likelihood) the American Danny La Porte will be racing with the single winner of the Rally of the Pharaohs with Franco Picco. You never know…

Source motosprint