DAKAR 1989 | The diary of Aldo Winkler

The decision to participate in the Dakar had to be taken by June. Once the decision was made, there was enough time to organize and prepare, in 360 degrees and even beyond. I was back from the edition 1988 riding an official single-cylinder Honda. Honda was reigning champion, thanks to the triumph of Orioli with the twin-cylinder. The relationship between Honda and the team of Ormeni who was in charge of managing the Italian team had broken. So I received from Honda Italia the diktat not to return the bike with which I had participated in Ormeni.
When I make the decision to start the bike is still in my garage. I think it would be a great starting point to be able to count on her and I dare to ask Dr. Manicardi, president of Honda Italia, permission to bring the bike back to the African tracks. He not only agrees but tells me to also take the bikes used by Kasmakers and Everts (the dad) to be able to obtain a set of spare parts



It didn't seem true to me. Certain, the bikes and the various components had a troubled past behind them, they were all marked by participations in the Dakar, so I got very little out of it (an engine and…middle). But disassemble and reassemble pieces with the names of Orioli, De Petri, Balestrieri, Terruzzi, Everts and Kasmakers was strong. I felt a bit’ as Dr. Frankenstein from Mary Shelley's novel.

I could not fit into any team and therefore participated as a private and alone. I hired Mario Barbiero as an airborne mechanic and I prepared 3 spare parts crates that I loaded on 3 different trucks, as a precaution. The previous edition I had finished 19th on Lake Rosa with the regret of a three-hour penalty for a time control jump in France. I had the secret ambition of being able to join the ten. Honestly though, the primary objective was to get to the bottom.

The thousand preparations make the months fly by, it takes time to leave very quickly.

The race is immediately marked by a fatal accident: a Japanese pilot dies during the transfer to France hit by a drunk. Accidents and even death are elements that you undoubtedly know you have to deal with when you participate in certain events, but when they happen they hit deep to the point of undermining the desire to continue. In Tunisia I skipped a stamp, as happened the previous year in France, but I noticed it and went back, but losing a lot of time.

In the stage that arrived at Tumu (Libya) I had stopped on a sandy plateau, along with some other drivers who like me were lost. While we were trying to figure out the right direction Iwinker11-1989 I realize that another pilot, French, he too without the right route, is pointing at me. And’ turned to the side, distracted in looking for the right way and does not see me. This is where my troubles begin! Luck wants no one to be hurt, but the back of my bike has bent and the rear tanks touch the wheel. We put in three on the bike to leverage to try to straighten it that many to allow me to conclude the stage. The arrival in Tumu had two characteristics: it was the evening of the 31 December, there was no airborne support. Then, while everyone celebrated New Year's Eve with a lucullian dinner and lots of fireworks’ artifice, I was forced to work to rearrange the bike with the crick borrowed from a competitor in the car.

Dirkou – Termit: Niger. Stage of pure desert with many dunes difficult to interpret. I do a good part together with Boano who was struggling a lot with his Africa Twin. Termit is a remote place in the heart of Niger, with only a ruin of the house. Africatours (The organization that deals with catering), There is no, so we find nothing to eat. They give us water bottles and survival rations. Together with some other bikers we went to a small group of locals from whom we were able to buy a chicken. If I close my eyes I still feel the taste, one of the best dishes I've ever eaten, better than any dish from a Michelin-starred restaurant. The organization also informs us that the Dirkou stage of the previous day has been cut to the point of the first stamp. At that point the classification says 14th. My secret hopes of closing among the toptens are rekindled.

Termit -Agades: From the very first km the bike is not in place and my troubles begin. Even today I did not understand what was not working: probably dirty gasoline. Anyway I was forced to stop several times to clean the carburetor. To access the carburetor, however, I had to disassemble the tank every time. At some point, during one of these stops in full Ténéré, out of nowhere came out two boys on the 15 years. I didn't pay much attention to him because I'm taken by my cleaning when suddenly they steal my helmet and water bottle in the shape of a baby carrier.. I chase them, I reach the one with the helmet, I take him back and he runs away. I finish assembling the bike and leave. I do again about ten km, after that the bike stops again. This time the problem is that the piece of brass holding the jet of the maximum fell down from the body of the carburetor. A disaster! I never understood if it broke due to the stress suffered by the material or because by force of screwing and unscrewing the jet was damaged. Anyway I'm exhausted and frustrated. I hope that a truck will arrive in the race and that I load the bike so maybe I get to Agades. Many pilots have had this luck. Night falls and I happen to notice in the distance the headlights of the vehicles, unfortunately all very distant.




In the morning a plane passes, he sees me and sends me a message: “Don't move, the broom truck will pass. You're on the track. Write your number on the sand. Courage!”
At that precise moment I was told that my (dis)adventure. In fact, the person on board the plane who saw me instead of reporting “localized” Wrote “Recovered”. Unaware of all this, I put myself with patience and confidence to wait.
In those moments you never know where the resources will come from to make it. I had read a book in which a Tuareg had survived by putting a stone in his mouth and becoming a stone himself with the sole force of his mind.. I tried to imitate him. But I was also very thirsty because the continuous operations on the bike had consumed me. The second night that no truck appears on the horizon also passes. This time, though, I can sleep and I remember having many dreams with many forms of water (Tanks, Fountains, Showers…).winker18-1989

In the morning I wake up with a deep sense of anguish, given by two factors: first of all the awareness of being out of the race, as the others were already divided; secondly, a doubt assails me “because those of the broom truck have not yet arrived? But they will come?”.
In this state of anguish I spend all morning and think of the two guys with whom I had that quarrel. “Certainly, if I go back I will find someone”, Thought. At this point I had to make a very important decision: go back in search of someone, with all the insecurities of really finding them, stay there and maybe no one would come anymore. however, if while I was wandering around like a fool in the desert the broom truck had arrived where I had located the’ airplane, he wouldn't find anyone and he would leave.

The head was never crowded with all these thoughts. Perhaps this was the most inwardly dramatic moment of the whole affair.. In the end I decided to leave also because I was afraid that the next day I would no longer have the strength to walk. Before you leave, I make the will with a message for Paola through which I try to transmit my love to her. I leave in the middle of the afternoon with a lot of hesitation and go back on my tracks, walk and walk. With each step I felt weaker and weaker but step by step I continued, now the body did not respond to the signs of fatigue that transmitted the head, I went on, almost by inertia, I could have died while walking. It was now night and I couldn't see any trace anymore, in a moment of lucidity I was even more anguished. Suddenly I seemed to see a light in the distance. It seemed close but to reach it on foot it took me an infinity.

It kept me aware that I was growing closer: something, over there, there was. This new hope soothed me, the closer I got, the more I calmed down. The light I had seen in the middle of the desert night was a fire around which a family of two parents and six children warmed up.. They welcome me with great care, probably realizing the state I was in. The first thing I ask is “the eau”, they instead offered me a jug of curdled milk so thick that I struggled to swallow it, despite thirst. Immediately after luckily they also offered me their legendary tea. Without a doubt the best thing I've ever drunk, only that the glasses were very small and despite continuing to give them to me, I kept getting thirsty. The “treatment” gave its first fruits, my physique had recovered.




With them it was difficult to communicate we could gesticulate and with a little’ of French that I thought they could understand. The head of the family spoke a lot but I didn't understand much. However, we have started to dialogue. I tried to make him understand what had happened to me, explaining to him that my bike had broken and that I also needed to be accompanied to the “Gudron”, i.e. a paved road. He makes me understand that it takes five days to get there by camel, and that he would be willing to take me. Then, like a stone, I fell asleep. Apart from his wife and young son, the others sleep huddled in the open air, outside the hut. I put it in my trusty sleeping bag and fall asleep. In the morning I first see them getting up, turn to Mecca and pray.

All the family's diet consisted exclusively of tea, milk they milked from sheep and a millet paste. The milk in the morning was yummy, fresh and freshly milked, as opposed to the evening. Always in the morning I see the mother who worried about the small child who was always crying. He would nod me on the baby's head. So I decide to offer him an aspirin. Aspirin ingested, I realized the lightness committed, I hadn't thought that maybe he could have allergic reactions. Fortunately, After 10 minutes of frantic screams in which I was also very bad, he calmed down and miraculously fell asleep. I guess it could have been for a child of 6 or 7 months grown up in that environment. From that moment on, My Mother began to consider me by addressing me.. I had probably entered into his graces. During the days I spent with them, despite being in the middle of the Ténéré, one of the driest deserts in the world, I was struck by how many people there were: practically every two or three hours someone passed by there, who only waved greetings, and who, for the most part, stopped to make a greeting stop.




It was like a kind of ritual and I noticed that "my Tuareg" proudly told my presence and the passage of the Dakar a few days before. It was amazing to see this man so passionate in telling, Guess, always the same story, to all these passers-by. Life was very simple: the woman crushed the millet; the man built ropes with grass and commanded his boys to keep nearby all the camels that were tied by the two front legs. He explained to me that his occupation was to raise camels., make them grow and once a year he went to sell the big ones, and bought other small ones.

Always during the period spent together I managed to be also useful. While preparing water for the trip, I see that to transport it used two large inner tubes of trucks now very old and full of holes. The holes were plugged with twine. At that point, having with me the bag to repair the punctures, I offered to repair them. As for the episode of Aspirin, even this intervention of mine put me in an excellent light in their eyes. By now our gesticulation had been refined and I was also able to explain to him that my water bottle had been stolen. This shook him, he was convinced they had robbed me when I was no longer in force. My story had completely transformed it: he was very agitated, nervous. He tied a knife to his shoulder and fastened his sword to his belt. Then he made me realize that we had to go.

I was very worried about getting into something dangerous, his attitude did not promise anything good. To take time I made him understand that I was not able to walk because I was very tired. Nothing, more and more decisive and firm, he took a camel and saddled it and pushed me over it. After two steps the rope holding the saddle broke and like a sack of potatoes I fell cutting the palm of my hand. I sank and begged him to stop. Nothing! It seemed that if he didn't take me where he wanted he would lose face., Honour. There was nothing that could have made him desist. After an hour's walk, we arrived at a group of huts (like that of my Tuareg), with at least 4 groups of families.

218023_1035085411577_8413_nI was worried, did not pull a great air. The Tuareg put me aside and joined what looked like the leader.. A boy came and laid a carpet on the ground and everyone, me included, we sat in a circle at 10 meters away. Sitting opposite each other, the two characters began to argue with each other with animosity. I don't know how long this discussion lasted, to me it seemed like an eternity. At one point one of the two raised an arm and another little boy ran towards him., handing him the famous water bottle (I tried to see if I recognized the guys of the first meeting, but there were no, everything remained a mystery to me).

When the other head of the family handed the water bottle to my Tuareg, the atmosphere calmed down and suddenly calmed down. After greetings, my Tuareg came to me swollen with pride and handed me the water bottle, satisfied. Of course I thanked him and we greeted the whole group of people present there and we returned to his hut. Finally we arrived and in front of yet another tea, resumed the topic: I needed him to take me to the asphalt. So he promised me that the next morning we would leave. At this point I was able to sleep peacefully for the first time. In the morning of course I was in a hurry, but the proverbial slowness was now expressing itself to the maximum. It seemed that he did not want to leave and he made me understand it with many excuses, at least that's how I interpreted them. I also believed that he wanted to have a fee. After I insisted for quite a while, he made marks on me by bringing his finger to his ear.
Meanwhile the plane of the organization was looking for me with the checkerboard method (so I was told). After a couple of hours I also heard the sound of the plane and all excited I pulled out the rockets I had with me in safety equipment and began to use them. The plane saw me, so he approached me throwing another message along with a safety ration. The message said: “The helicopter will pick you up in an hour and a half. Courage!” and walked away. I offered the whole family the contents of the survival ration in which there were sweets, of peanuts, a fruit juice and several energy portions, of course they would have liked. Instead, they rejected it. I never understood why but I felt bad.

I decided to give him the money I promised him anyway.. But he did not know the value of the Franco French. I'm sure that when he brought the money to change he had a beautiful surprise. I explained to him that I would soon leave with the people who would pick me up., and here began a long discussion, because he insisted that he wanted to take me at all costs to the asphalt in person. Here too, a little’ for the difficulty of communication, a little’ because he insisted, I couldn't make him understand that it wasn't necessary and that I had to leave with the others.. This discussion continued until the helicopter arrived.. I was sorry because I almost had to run away because of his insistence.. I have in mind the scene in which he holds me by the clothes and I almost forcefully release myself to reach the helicopter.




I really wanted to give him a hug, thank him by giving him his hand and honoring the great man he was, greeting him so he left a bitter taste in my mouth. The helicopter left and I looked at those people greeting me, felt a little’ of sadness in leaving you. From above I also saw my bike and here too I felt a feeling of sadness. It was strange: I should have been happy, finally safe but I was almost melancholic.

We arrived in Agades, and here some members of the organization subjected me to a physical check. Then they boarded me on a plane towards Niamey, where the race was coming at the end of the stage. All my friends had me big parties and immediately I was able to make the first serious meal in a long time. I was also able to call Paola's house, reassuring her that everything was fine and that I was fine. I want to take this opportunity to thank Beppe Gualini and Andrea Balestrieri and many other pilots, because they insisted a lot explaining and insisting with the organization that they come looking for me, since I was still in the middle of the desert. If it wasn't for them surely no one would have come to pick me up. The Dakar meanwhile the next day left and from Niamey, with Bebbe Gualini, we arranged to take the first plane to Paris.

On my return I was welcomed with many parties all my friends. Personally, I would have preferred to be celebrated for a good result. I warned Honda Italia that the bike was missing in the desert and that in any case I felt compelled to recover it.. I was told that the bike was now lost and that I should not recover it., at that point I asked him to be able to do it anyway and to keep the bike. In the same stage Picard, official driver Cagiva, retired. I then contacted Azzalin, head of the racing department, to be able to do the recovery together. He gave me the phone number of Manu Daiak who had been a fraternal friend of Thierry Sabine and who was a power in Agades. He was very helpful and promised me that with the truck that was going to get the Cagiva he would also go to get mine and that I’ it would also ship to Marseille. Manu Daiak died a few years later in a mysterious plane crash. Some rumors say it was an attack, consequence of his role in the Tuareg rebellion of which he was said to be the leader.

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


DAKAR 1991 | Crazy, crazy to tie

How to define differently the pilots who take part in the Dakar as private individuals, spending from one's own pocket to undergo fatigue and sacrifices? But the passion that drives them is superior to any cold calculation. It is the same passion that led some of them to start in even more difficult conditions than the average, with means that are definitely not the best for such a marathon.

But the Dakar is also beautiful for this, because even before the race comes the confrontation with oneself and with one's own bike. Of this army of unleashed madmen the king is definitely Jean Gilles Soupeaux, a French who for three years drove the TSO trucks and who for the thirteenth edition of the race decided to go to the other side of the barricade, as a competitor.

For his debut as a motorcyclist he did not choose a usual vehicle: at the Paris audits he presented himself with a Harley Davidson. The American manufacturer, however, did not like the private registration of one of the motorcycles it built, the first in the history of the Dakar: unsuccessfully asked the Thierry Sabine Organization that his name not appear in the rankings, but he at least obtained that his mark was not affixed to the tank of the "monster".


Soupeaux's vehicle was deemed too far from the series to be "worthy" to bear the Harley name.. After all, what the forty-year-old Parisian started with was a strange hybrid equipped with the American twin-cylinder, but with a chassis of the Honda Africa Twin ad hoc elongated and an imaginative look made at the airbrush. Perfectly in character with his bike, Soupeaux left with a black jacket with fringes, also decorated with airbrush.

But it didn't go very far though: 113° and last in the prologue, in Africa he failed to complete even one stage by retiring in the asphalt transfer from Tripoli to Ghadames: with a bike finished only the week before it was to be expected.


Dakar 1992 | Bad Japanese habits

Text by Nicholas Bertaccini

Stories about the Dakar are never single stories, they are never isolated events, there is always a plot, a domino effect that creates different legends. The Paris-Dakar over the years has had different forms. Even before we get to the latest versions, between South America and the Arabian Peninsula, the routes were different.

In particular, the edition of the 1992 was characterized by the arrival in Le Cap, Cape Town.

It was decided to arrive at Le Cap to avoid potential dangers. Africa has always been a restless continent and in that year the father of the late Sabine decided that the classic route, to the capital of Senegal, did not give guarantees. It was therefore decided to cross Africa, the caravan pushed along a coast to coast North-South. This created many difficulties, also because southern Africa has completely different characteristics, is wooded. Then the pilots found themselves running on trails through the woods, in addition to the classic desert slopes.



That year Beppe Gualini obviously participated as a private individual. But he had an agreement with the team. Belgarda, New to act as a fast support. Beppe had to guarantee the team a first assistance in the field. He therefore had the same bike as that of the team's riders but did not have the same colors, his was yellow with livery Camel.

At the end of the fifteenth stage, Gilles Lalay, pilot Belgarda, stumbles upon an accident, amazing and dramatic. The pilot French in fact loses his life by colliding with an ambulance that proceeded in the opposite direction on a track in the middle of a forest. The clash was terrible. The Belgarda team decided to retire, as a sign of condolence. The team manager, however, told Beppe that he can continue, that can bring the bike to Le Cap and that indeed, it would be a nice tribute to the deceased colleague. In return, the Belgarda leaders tell him, you can keep the bike, once the race is over.




Beppe makes it, driven by his incredible and inexhaustible fortitude arrives at Le Cap. The winner of the race was Peterhansel, right on Yamaha, while Beppe ranked sixteenth, an unthinkable result. Then back to Italy, carrying the bike with you. After some time, Yamaha officials knock on his door and ask him for the bike back.. Beppe replies that he has an agreement with Belgarda and that the bike is his. Unfortunately Belgarda has finished his race, the books are in court and nowhere is it written that the bike is gualini's. The bike is by Yamaha. Beppe reluctantly detaches himself from it. But the worst is yet to come.

After some time a carriage smasher contacts him. And’ back to Beppe from the number door table that was on a bike that had to press. The Japanese, In fact, they used to press all their bikes, all their prototypes. So Beppe just has to admire a cube of yellow Camel sheets that had once been his African companion. A note about this Japanese custom: in the Yamaha museum of IWATA a couple of Peterhansel motorcycles are on display. Looking at the color of the frame of one of the two, however, you can see that the bike is not his but it is a private bike, recognizable by the white frame instead of the canonical blue of the officers, Stéphane's was probably pressed.




DAKAR 1991 | African Diary of Aldo Winkler

Many support it and I think so too, Dakar is a disease that never gives up on you. And here I am ready to fall back again! Every Dakar has brought me great friendships: Beat, Maletti, Charles Edson, in the future Morelli during the race. But I had never left with a person with whom we were already friends before. The fact that he had signed up Brenno (Brenno) Bignardi it was the final push to participate. Brenno and I shared a common passion for off-road motorcycles, we both raced cross and enduro and still today we have fun bikes together. What could be more stimulating than having the most beautiful adventure together?



Ghadames — Ghat A bestial stop more than 1.000 km. divided into two stages. A1 morning, an intense cold, we could have opened a’ newsstand with paper under clothes!And’ one of the mythical stages of the Dakar, really hard ,but all satisfied by incredible landscapes. The Dakar is changing becoming more human, the food is tastier, served on trays, there is availability of water, the ration is distributed in the morning, you can sleep in a tent However it is more important to be in a team of friends with impeccable assistance. The only note out of tune was the bike not very powerful and difficult to ride.



Gossololom A remote place, reason why it is not clear why it has a name ,since there is nothing and it is in the middle of the Tenerè. Exactly here the misadventure had happened to me a few years before , exactly in the Ued Egaro. The day after this bivouac, in 40 km., even though I was in special, I started looking for the Tuareg , maybe I would see my friends who saved me again. Avro (Avro)’ fact 15 km. to the east, then I came back and then I went15 km. to the west along in all 60 km. More I could not have for lack of gasoline. Unfortunately I did not see a living soul , how I would have liked to see them again!

They have already left?
This is the classic joke Brenno's workhorse. It was mythical and we asked him to tell us about it a thousand times, throughout the Dakar.
Mr.. Rezzonico (Italy), almost ninety years old, suffers from advanced senile dementia and important confusional states with obvious memory loss and lucidity. His son tried to help him by having him visited by several geriatricials in the hope of finding a solution.. One of the doctors who had the opportunity to visit his father, suggests that he take him to an experimental clinic located in Ticino where it seems that a solution can be found..
Accept the suggestion, makes an appointment and reaches the clinic with his father. They are kindly welcomed at the reception by Dr. Bernasconi who makes them sit in his office. Once you visit your father, the doctor invites the son to take a tour of the clinic to show him the structure and tells him: Our clinic is at the forefront of the treatment of this disease, we healed almost the 100% of patients, now let's take a tour to the first floor where the patients have just arrived and still show obvious signs of madness.
Rezzonico (Italy), at the invitation of the doctor, opens the door of a room and realizes that the situation is similar to that of his father: patients running on the walls, who thinks he is flying, who swims on the floor, ruction, Plant, looks lost in the void. He remains very impressed by this situation. The doctor reassures him and at this point accompanies him to the second floor where things seem to be going better. Rezzonico (Italy), opening a door he realizes that patients seem calmer, always a little’ strange but quiet, one of them for example is combing with a fish. The doctor says these patients have spent at least two weeks in the facility and already show obvious signs of improvement.. It's time to go up to the third and last floor. In the corridor there is silence and even the nurses seem more relaxed. Rezzonico looks at the doctor in amazement and tells him: can enter any room, will see for yourself the optimal state of mental health achieved by our patients, came in two months ago and will see for yourself our results. They then enter a room and are all quiet, who in bed, who sat, who chats, who reads, who paints. Rezzonico is pleasantly surprised and the doctor suggests that he speak directly with some of them.. He approaches the first gentleman sitting in the armchair and asks him: Good morning, What are you doing? Answer: I'm reading a book, you can't see it? He repeats this question to the other guests and everyone gives him logical answers. He eventually reaches a gentleman who is holding a big rabbit on his lap and then asks the doctor: pets are allowed in the clinic? The doctor answers: certainly, are an integral part of our therapies, depending on the type of patient we choose the most suitable animal. Rezzonico at this point decides to ask the usual question to this quiet gentleman with the rabbit on his lap: Good morning, What are you doing? The gentleman answers: Good morning, I'm stroking a rabbit, it seems obvious to me, because he asks me? Rezzonico (Italy): Mah….I ask him because on the second floor they seem a bit’ Parties. The gentleman with the rabbit: have already left? Bastards! Grab the rabbit's ears like a handlebar, gets into the hull and screams uaaaaaaaaaaa
Therapy in this case did not work does not always work.

Agades – Rest day, day of work on the bike a bit of relaxation. Resting a little is good even if it breaks the rhythm, and shooting is difficult. We had rented, like all teams , a closed villa. Since we left we have never taken a shower, not only because of the difficulty in doing it, but above all because the cold did not allow it.
Finished the special after so much sand , we crossed the Niger River, Seeing water was a party and we all stopped to celebrate and take pictures.



The bike was a Gilera absolutely standard, very different from the official ones in terms of power and handling. We called her “the desk” so wide and coarse was the front tank, the driving position was all backward and standing up was torture, in the curves it drifted but with the front wheel. On the contrary, since she was the companion of several days, the engine has never betrayed, he took us to the bottom and for this reason we are all fond of it.

Another terrible aspect was that the fiberglass tank, so very delicate, if you fell from a standstill you risked piercing it, and repairs we have made many on the fly with soap, attack, Etc. We were so terrified that when you risked falling you almost threw yourself under the bike to protect the tanks. Since we consumed I’ front first and rear was spare ,once the rear had punctured and so I ran out of gasoline because I did not notice that it was leaking.




BROKEN FRAME l’ attachment of the swingarm to the frame broke by detaching itself sharply from one side. Brenno and I stopped at Tichit, very small village in Mauritania where we looked for a “saldeur” i.e. a soldering iron. After a long time we find it but it did not have electricity until the evening. I pull out my magical straps , I tie them hoping that the swingarm does not move and going slowly ,now at night, I finished the stage.




ARRIVAL The arrival in Dakar is always a great emotion, almost a liberation, is to achieve the goal for which you have sweated so much and suffered for so many days thinking only and exclusively about this. At the same time, however,, you already begin to miss this engaging focus, it is like having peace of the hunger to live existential. The two specials, one with the beach by the sea (representing the journey from the sea of north France to the Africa of Senegal as Sabine said its creator) and the second special with arrival at the famous Pink Lake so colored by the very high density of salt.




Brenno Brignardi and his “troubles” the Dakar 1991

Penultimate stage: Kiffa-Kayes – Tambacounda.
I'm tired and like everyone else, I am consumed by the fatigue and stress of this race. I strongly wanted it, I felt I had to give myself this adventure. I lived it as a way to close a circle opened many years before, in 1976.
A circle linked to a wonderful sport made of nature, engines, friends. A sport that was a world. In this African adventure I was in the company of a dear friend, friend since this sport was called regularity.

His presence gave me strength and serenity. On the eve of the penultimate stage I was happy, after weeks of km, sand and difficulty only one stage is missing. I had almost managed to complete the toughest race in the world. Obviously, like all outsiders, I was sailing in the back of the standings but the Dakar at that time was not only ranking, for some it was certainly important to get to the front but for many it was very important and challenging to get to the pink lake, at the finish line.
Up to that point I had managed to complete all the days of the race without incurring penalties due to excessive delay at the finish line of the stage. This is also thanks to the help of Aldo, great expert dakariano.

In life, as in races, never take anything for granted, all the more so at the Dakar. The stage included 572 total km, 283 km of special stage. At the end of the special stage, the transfer included a route on a very dusty laterite road. We decide to travel separately to Tambacounda to avoid filling up with dust. Each of us leaves alone and we meet on arrival. I remember that I am traveling quietly when 180km from the destination the mono shock absorber breaks. In the midst of such a selective race there can be many types of breakages. Unfortunately my mono broke in such a way that I could not bypass it by connecting the linkages directly to the swingarm.

It would have allowed me to have a bike with a normal set-up, even without the shock absorbing function. Instead, is made: the bike is completely lying down, so I decide to continue my journey in this way hoping that the rear tire will hold up. But in the desert every problem recalls others, the wheel touches the fender and wears out. While traveling I often turned to look back but saw only dust and black pieces of tire. Even today I don't know why, there were not many holds but the same I hoped for a miracle, that of course, it didn't happen.
At some point, as normal happens, I remain without a tire.

Unique feeling difficult to misunderstand. I stop, I get off the bike. I observe what remains, two large metal rings that formed the shoulder of the tire. I have to remove them but among my tools I do not have the right one. At least I was not in the desert dunes but along a road, the Dakar caravan was about to pass by here. I start thinking, to try to find solutions. I'm too close to the end not to try everything. I think I can wait for my assistance, for sure they have a wheel and a shock absorber on the truck that would solve the situation. This means waiting who knows how long. Until that moment I had managed to avoid it, so I decided to make do on my own. I borrowed a tool to shear the two metal rings from a crew in the car who had kindly stopped to help me. Eventually, Somehow, I'm back.

I did the last 60 kilometers on the rim and without shock absorber, trying to drive as much as possible standing with the weight forward, jumping and bouncing at every little hole, trying to sit only when I couldn't take it anymore. The bike was difficult to direct going slowly because it was the side of the rim that controlled the direction and so I had to try to keep a sustained pace. I don't remember the times I fell. At some point I also lost the saddle. I went ahead, supported by I don't know what willpower. When I arrived just fifteen kilometers from the time control, it was dark by now but I felt I had made it.

I arrived, like a comet, to the time control. A comet formed by the sparks caused by the crawling of the muffler on the asphalt, as the astonished eyewitnesses told me: an unexpected fireworks show in Tambacounda. Commissioners, they too have fun from my scenic arrival, they assured me that for a few minutes I did not take the flat penalty for arriving late at the check. I had arrived. I was the happiest man in the world. At the bivouac, where my assistance was waiting for me, not even the time to greet them that I find myself with a cold beer in my hand and I am baptized immediately by the Assomoto Team "le motard de l'impossible".

Taken from the memories of Aldo Winkler on fb


Dakar 1985 | story of a Dakarian find

Text by Nicholas Bertaccini
Despite having been on so many posters hanging in the room or garage, the paris-dakar pilots have always been normal people, neighbors, classmates, childhood friends. They all have behind them stories similar to those of all of us, only at some point they pursued with great conviction a dream. A beautiful poem says that "taking yourself seriously is the only weapon of those who can't build talent from skills".

Our "heroes" have been able to recognize their talents and turn them into talent, that's why they don't need to take it too seriously and people remain in hand, Genuine.
Over the years we have told stories that have affected them, some of which reported directly by them. This one that follows is a nice story, that we happened to facilitate, Somehow.

It all starts with the #8217;meeting with Beppe Gauri at the beginning 2019, step that led to the realization of Dakar Lens. Beppe was one of the first to confront the potential return of image of certain companies. He who had started almost begging for sponsorships and ended up building a career. Like many, especially at ’beginning, what was advancing from one edition became part of the budget of the next. Then equipment was sold, motion and what’ to fund the next #8217;enterprise, at least the #8217;start.




When we spoke to Beppe he confided to us that he had slowly recovered much of the material concerning him, going up between buyers and collectors.
But the passion for Paris-Dakar has also put us in touch with fans and lovers of the race. One of these, maybe the most iconic one, it's definitely Pietro Manganoni, african race lover and guzzista up to the marrow.

One day he sends us pictures of a race suit he found in a market., a suit that the seller says belonged to one who "did the Dakar".
He sends us the photos and it's clear that it's a Gualini suit, that of 1985 riding a Yamaha Ténéré.
Let's turn the pictures to Beppe who confirms that those pants and that jacket are just his.


Whatsapp Image 2021-07-02 at 18.37.45 (5)

At that point Peter contacts the seller again and opts the complete. You see it in pictures, white and red with the patches of all the sponsors that the good Beppe had collected, Acerbis to Brembo.
The next step is to connect Pietro and Beppe for a rendezvous in Bergamo, hometown of both. For the occasion#8217 peter will also involve Claudio Towers, bringing together a part of that Bergamo battalion that gave the #8217 assault on the Dakar in the 1980s.

Meoni 2002

DAKAR 2002 | Fabrizio's second


When Fabrizio Meoni wins his first Dakar, in 2001, the history of the famous African marathon turns the page to open one of its most beautiful chapters. Fabrizio gives KTM his first win, and in the Mattighoffen Factory the enthusiasm for the Dakar explodes, until then nourished above all by the passion of Heinz Kinigadner. Stefan Pierer, the owner of KTM, flies to Dakar to hug his Champion on the Pink Lake Beach, and with tears in his eyes for emotion he lets go, announcing not only that the Factory will engage even more on the legendary competition but also that KTM will even descend on the Moto GP tracks.

We're talking about 20 years ago, and only now can we say that that of the Austrian Boss had not been a unseated end in itself, but the anecdote only serves to make us understand what enthusiasm generated that victory of Fabrizio Meoni. Back in Italy, Meoni expected to be confirmed in a team with the same set-up as the one that had won the race for the first time, and instead received the proposal to develop a motorcycle intended for a new series of road KTM. An ambitious project, even more so when compared to the Dakar of which Meoni had become the emblem.


WRP Controls-Meoni


Fabrizio's primary task was to test the robustness and reliability of solutions to be developed quickly, and give to the draft frame, in which a brand new 75° and 950cc V-twin was housed, designed by Claus Holweg, a definitive functional form. The development work was carried out by Meoni together with ktm's historical technician, Bruno Ferrari, called Iron, and the mechanic/pilot Arnaldo Nicoli, that alternated with Meoni in the tests. There was no hurry, and, I think, not even too much certainty of outcome, in Stefan Pierer's proposal, but there was total in the challenge collected by Meoni and the Iron. In October, KTM 950 Rally was ready.

Meoni took her to her victorious debut in Egypt, and was ready to play the Title in that edition of the Dakar that started from Arras on 28 December, to end the 13 January on the shores of Lake Rosa. Batini and Meoni With the single-cylinder KTM won, one after the other, De Gavardo, Rome, The strip contains, up to the eighth stage, when the Dakar entered Mauritania. Between Tan Tan and Zouerate, Meoni led to victory for the first time his big and heavy, but also very powerful and exploitable, 950 Rally. With the single cylinder they then continued to win De Gavardo, Cox and Rome, but Meoni remained at the top of the Rally, albeit with Rome only one minute late.


Meoni Sala 2002


The Dakar number 24 became a private affair between Meoni and Rome, that was getting closer and closer. The stage between Tichit and Kiffa was Meoni's masterpiece that managed to mock Rome, to make him lose his head and direction, and to force him to surrender and, Finally, at the retreat. KTM won all arras-madrid-dakar specials, Meoni only two stages and, for the second time in a row, the legendary race. It was a memorable victory, and for Meoni perhaps even more significant than the first, obtained the previous year. was, In fact, a moral victory even greater than the sporting one, with which Meoni demonstrated how it was possible, as long as you have a strength of character and determination certainly not common, win any challenge, including that of a motorcycle on the paper unlikely.

This exclusivity of Meoni's strength was also demonstrated by the very short sporting career of the LC8 950 Rally. Roma chose her for the World Championship season, won in Tunisia but then, frightened by the difficulty of controlling the beast, refused then to drive her again. That bike, In fact, could be guided with complete mastery only by Fabrizio Meoni and Giovanni Sala.

Source La Stampa


DAKAR 1991 Private and public pilots ashamed

Article by Nico Cereghini

Two images to focus the spirit of the private drivers at the Dakar The German Brunner pushing his Suzuki up under the finish line of The Pink Lake his face reduced to a blood mask. the foreman of his destroyed bike in the last fall. And still Brenno Bignardi in Tambacounda after the last 50 kilometers traveled on a Gilera without shock absorber, without tire and without saddle: then sitting on the rest of what had been a frame and running on the rear rim. The important thing is to get there, the last page of the road-book says “the sweep: good!” but it only applies if you have a place in the rankings. Twenty-one Italian motorcyclists took the departure to Paris from private individuals: you're the official pilots, if we consider that even Roberto Boano, registered by Honda

Bonacini and Cabins

Ermanno Bonacini and Antonio Cabini

Europe on the most advanced Africa Twin 750 well. of those twenty-one only eight have concluded, ranked among the twentieth place of Max Malik and the thirty-sixth of Antonio Cabini.

But there is private and private. The drivers of the Assomoto team are, for example,, of the privileged. “Yes — confirmation Aldo Winkler — because we can count on the excellent organization set up by Bruno Birbes: a truck and a car on the slopes, airborne mechanics. however. the private who does everything himself and runs with spare parts in his backpack no longer exists”. Not a chance: This year, with just over a hundred bikers enrolled in the race, paris-dakar hit an all-time low.

What are the reasons for the crisis?? The costs. Of course: those private individuals who aimed to have the bare minimum (that is, a mechanic. maybe in consortium. transported on Transair's planes and a spare parts case entrusted to a competing truck) they had to deal with prohibitive figures. So much so that Sabine, to stem the bleeding. promised that next year TSO will set up a couple of trucks to transport the spare parts of private motorcyclists.

The '91 quotation for the transport of a simple cash register had reached twelve million lire Bruno Birbes, bresciano - Wikipedia. forty-year-old, three Dakars played on motorcycles, however, it is of the opinion that the promises of the organizer will have little effect Because the natural evolution of the race – analyzes Birbes – rewards those teams. even small ones who have advanced towards professionalism. We have the pride of taking our pilots to Dakar, so I have the crunch of having lost too soon Marx.

But I also have the satisfaction of having seen right in matching this year my organization with the Gilera. No need to run to the limit. but focus on good mechanics and reliability of follow-up assistance. Winkler then Walter Surini and Brenno Bignardi were thus able to run a relatively serene race. And like them Giampaolo Quaglino, that at Assomoto he leaned in to keep his private Gilera in order.

Brenno Bignardi

Brenno Bignardi

But it's all pilots who can have a big budget, staff or collected through sponsors such that they can set up an almost guaranteed program. Harder still, then, and it was the brazilian's beautiful feat De Azevedo. who brought his Yamaha XT 600 to victory in the Marathons (strictly standard motion) and in 21st place overall: asking for assistance a little’ from all sides and begging a rear tire (at Byrd) when he noticed in Kiffa, to ride a motorcycle with the slicks.

Massimo Montebelli explains and Fabio Marcaccini, with Yamaha 600 formed in the Wild team – year after year we have grown: from pure amateurs to individuals with a minimum organization. The Dakar is always the toughest race in the world, but this year it has become acceptable to us. The placements prove it. Mario Pegoraro, only survivor of a trio, finished in 33rd place with the Honda Dominator. Thirty-nine-year-old, was cared for on sight by TSO after the disqualification of his partner Domenico Magri for pirate assistance. He concluded with a change that he knew no other relations besides the first and second.

Pecoraro - Wikipedia

Mario Pegoraro

Among those who didn't make it, the most unfortunate are Paolo Paladini and Giampaolo Aluigi, stopped two days after the conclusion by as many falls into the dust. “I also had to abandon the bike — the first regretted it — because the dislocation of the shoulder forced me to get into the doctors' car. Now my Africa Twin will make the joy of some black people in Mauritania”.

Paladini's Adventure, including the bike, registration and assistance offered by Honda France, had cost just over thirty million lire. Much more had invested the veteran Beppe Gauri (also had a unimog service personnel), stopped by a fall before facing the Ténéré. In short, the Paris-Dakar costs dearly: it will be unthinkable next year to register for the race without providing for an expenditure of at least forty million lire.

Though, despite everything, this raid remains the African race coveted by every private: because his fame is great (and that's why it's a little less difficult to raise capital between sponsors), because seeing The Pink Lake is equivalent to a degree. Even a rookie has a fair chance of succeeding: however, it must rely on the organization of those teams that now boast considerable Dakar experience. “Adventurers of the 2000 Follow!” Said Thierry Sabine.

And to those who responded to the appeal of that First January 1979, laid down the rules. That they sounded 20th like this. I would take you to where you would never get there on your own, he said.; me and only I know those African countries, governments and people. So I'm the one who sets the rules, those studied at the table and also those that, necessarily, they're going to be improvised day by day. But there's a watchword to keep in mind: “demerdez-vous”; and that is — translated with an improvement effect — “hurry up on your own.'.

Paolo Paladini

Paolo Paladini


It was probably the only way to rule that hundred “adventurers”, largely careless; Thierry Sabine knew he had to take on the role of “Master” of the race, but he also knew he couldn't get everywhere. Nor did he like to become even the “father” of the participants: would be swamped by individual problems, from the complaints, from the protests of those who had not found the fuel at the established point, or criticized that note of the road-book, or still despised the daily ration of cockerels and fruit juices.

Demerdez-vous Municipality: out of poop on your own. And Thierry was able to carry on his race without much trouble: had a strong personality, gratify the good ones and laughed in the faces of others throwing there two famous judgments: “c'est l'Afrique, c'est la Dakar". But today, for his father Gilbert, the knots are coming to the comb. He has two problems, the ex-dentist: first, doesn't have the personality of his son; second, fisa and fim sewed a number of limits on him, taking away from him in fact the authorship of the race.

And so, while his Paris-Dakar has gradually moved away from adventure to look more and more like a race, Vera, Gilbert can no longer get away with the famous demerdez-vous ruling. Because there's no one left willing to get by on their own when there are three race directors, four jury members, regulations as big as a book, five helicopters, fifteen cars of the organization, two hundred TSO employees, twenty girls with theoretical assignments and a lot of time to devote to tanning. And when, especially, competitors have the impression of paying for it all of their own, this pharaonic bandwagon.


Once upon a time there was only Thierry, to walkway with his beautiful white jumpsuit as if he were reciting a movie. Now there are ten, Thierry winds with the same prosopopea and the same dreamy air from dune heroes; and you don't even know what they're called or what they're going to do with it. But the most irritating thing is another: TSO is undoubtedly more efficient, but it is nowhere nearer to the participants and their problems. If a team manager is alarmed that one of his drivers has not arrived, you will have to contact a journalist friend to be benevolently welcomed by the research manager; if a photographer wants to know exactly where the special test is coming from, to go to work there, will get romantic answers like that “follow the wind” and no precise indication.

And so on: those of the organization seem to live suspended in mid-air between the African countryside and the pure lyric. A mindset that infects. The French doctors themselves, collected by the two associations AMS and SOS Assistance, suffer from it in alarming terms. When the body of the hapless Charles Cabane was transferred to the plane of repatriation, removed the doctors' tent remained a large pool of blood on the concrete of the huge hangar of Gao airport, there in the middle in general disbelief.

To those who did not want to believe that it was the blood of the poor truck driver, a doctor confirmed by shruging his shoulders with indifference and casting a distracted glance. A doctor who certainly, in his hospital in Nantes or Lyon, conscientiously carries out his work from February to December; but when the Paris-Dakar arrives, part for the adventure falling into the part of the desert warrior: forgetting respect for the living and the dead, the most elementary hygiene and civil coexistence standards.

departure 1985

DAKAR 1985 | The Chronicle of the Race

We missed him very little. After six editions of the Paris-Dakar in which the Italians, As a matter of fact, they had never shone, this year the African marathon was going to turn into a triumph for our colors. The triumph was not there, complicit in a good deal of bad luck, who put out the assistance of the Yamaha-Belgarda (assistance that Franco Picco would need extreme), and also accomplice a discussed decision of the organizers, who heavily penalised the Belgarda's colour bearer in the crucial phase of the race.

There was no triumph but there was a global Italian statement of all importance. Peak at the end was third, after leading the leaderboard for about half the race (not bad for one at the first experience in the Dakar). Behind Peak andrea's placed Marinoni. At the final goal, Zanichelli, Gagliotti - Wikipedia, Balestrieri and Gauri.


The Italian success was completed by Cagiva, that after winning several specials with Auriol and Picard took eighth and twelfth place. Success is gone, for the second time in a row, to BMW's Belgian Gaston Rahier, behind which jean claude olivier ended up, a French who in life is the importer of Yamaha in his country and who is famous for the elegance that distinguishes him when he is not riding the bike and that has shown that he is perfectly comfortable in a handful of professionals of two wheels.

But here's how the race went day after day. I start all French, unstoppable rise of Franco Picco and Gaston comebackdeparture 1985-1 Rahier: this is the synthesis from the prologue French on arrival in Dakar, in detail here's the diary. 30 December Theatre at the prologue of the seventh Paris-Dakar the piloting school of Cergy-Pontoise, about thirty kilo-meters west of Paris. About fifty thousand spectators present, despite the polar cold, to admire the participants and their evolutions on an artificial path that immediately put a strain on the skills of the individual.

The best in the prologue was the French Lara with Honda, followed by fellow baron, also on Honda, and Bacou, about Yamaha. The best of The Italian Findanno, eighth, followed by De Petri and Gian Paolo Marinoni, thirteenth and fifteenth. January The actual competition begins with the transfer leg from Paris to Sète, in the south of France. The route winds on 1.076 kilometers from the rue national number 20.

Environmental conditions, characterized by a very rigid temperature, do not favor motorcyclists some of whom even risk freezing. One of the favorites, The Belgian Rahier, is hit by a spectator's car; the accident fortunately does not compromise the rahier race that can continue.

2 January 11 transfer by ship from Sète to Algiers, which was supposed to be the last chance for competitors to rest before facing Africa, for many it turns into a real nightmare.

Sea conditions cause a general malaise and many, during the night spent by ferry, they can't turn a blind eye.

3 January Africa's first stop, transfer from Algiers to Ourgla to 628 kilometers, departs only in the late afternoon due to the delay of the ferries due to adverse weather conditions (the latest competitors even land at the 18) . Among other things, the participants, crossing the Atlas Mountains, they have to deal with weather conditions that are not really 'African' because they encounter fog, cold and ice on the roads.

4 January With the Stage Ourgla-El Golea, and the first special test of 239 kilometers, the competition gets into the heart of the unfolding. French Lalay, winner of the Paris 'prologue', immediately finds himself in trouble. At the end of the day, however, in the first three places there are also three transalpine pilots: Baron, Bacou and Neveu, Bacou on Yamaha the other two on Honda. Good quarter Crossbowmen with Honda, while Marinoni and Auriol, both with Cagiva-Ligier, occupy the fifth and sixth squares respectively.

5 January Fourth stage from El Golea to In Salah and second special test. Franco Picco, with the Yamaha of the Belgarda team, takes third place that allows him to occupy the fourth position in the general classification. In the top three still the French Baron, Bacou and Neveu.

6 January The route of the fifth stage winds from In Salah to In Amguel through 600 kilometers of desert track. New Acute by Franco Picco: taking another third place, the Belgarda rider jumps to second place in the general classification. Bacou passes the leadership after the previous leader, Baron, stumbled across an accident.

7 January The sixth stage takes the competitors to Tamanrasset and does not involve major changes to the ranking. In addition to Picco, always second, the Italians Findanno are well placed, Crossbowmen and Andrea Marinoni, set-thyme respectively, eighth and none.

8 January The Paris-Dakar is painted with Italian colors, at least as far as the means are concerned. In the seventh stage, Tamanrasset to Ilferouane, the victory goes to Picard's Cagiva-Ligier. Bacou is still in charge of the general classification, while Lalay overtakes Peak and takes second place.

9 January Stage eight takes competitors to Agadez, on the edge of the Ténéré Desert. The stage victory is of the American Stearns with yamaha, preceding Auriol with the Cagiva-Ligier. General classification leader Bacou finishes fourth and Peak Seventh.

10 January The air of the Ténéré is good for Rahier; the Belgian, that up until now had been a little’ in shadow, wins the stage from Agadez to Dirkou and takes fourth place in the general classification. No change in top three positions still held by Bacou, Lalay and Peak.

11 January For the first time in the history of Paris-Dakar an Italian takes the lead in the general classification; it's Franco Picco leading the race ahead of Belgian Rahier, winner of today's stage. The success of the Italian patrol, in the stage that brings the caravan back from Dirkou td Agadez passing through Ilferouane, it's Ziobale: five drivers in the top ten. Bacou and La-lay found themselves in trouble. in the desert with the compass.

13 January After a day's rest in Agadez the race resumes with a megatappa of 1244 kilometers to travel in two days. The first special between Agadez and Tchin Tabaraden sees a new partial victory by Stearns ahead of Auriol. Peak and Rahier, coming fifth and fourth respectively, have retained the top two positions in the general classification.

14 January To Gao, in Mali, the supertappa started by Agadez ends. Rahier wins second special by reducing his detachment from Peak, still firmly in command of the general classification, while Findanno is third. 15 January Twelfth stage from Gao to Tombouctou and Peak still in command of the race. His primacy, however, is increasingly undermined by Rahier, that gnaws another 9'45” bringing-yes to only 13'39”.

16 January Peak re-establishes distances by taking a third stage place, while Rahier is only fifth. Victory, in the hamlet that takes competitors from Tombouctou to Nema, is the prerogative of the color carrier of the Cagiva Auriol, while a bad fall knocks findanno out of the race.

17 January Nothing done in the fourteenth stage. A very violent sandstorm forces the organizers to suspend the race and make the competitors reach the tichit finish line in a group. The suspension is propitious for Franco Picco who, a few minutes before, had blamed a mechanical failure that could have made him lose the primacy.

18 January The stage of the 18 january is divided into two semi-tassels to recover the special suppressed the previous day. The first special goes to Picard's Cagiva while Peak, Fifth, consolidates its position as a leader. It goes a little’ less well the second special where rahier approaches worryingly at peak; however the big trouble happens right on arrival in kiffa, where the Yamaha-Belgarda rider is penalized for stamping late and Rahier takes the lead.

19 January A new suspension is decided to allow still-missing competitors to reach the caravan. The 20 two specials will be played again to recover the suppressed one.

20 January In the first special, Stearns wins while Rahier and Picco win, who retain the top two places in the rankings, arrive delayed after having the wrong way both. The second special is baron's prerogative in front of Rahier, while Peak, only tenth, also surpassed in the rankings by French Olivier.

21 January The special is won by Baron and Rahier retains command over Olivier. Peak, now for many days without assistance, tries everything but in the end he has to settle for third place in the general classification ahead of Andrea Marinoni.

22 January There are still two specials on sand before arriving in Dakar, but by now the games are done. Rahier wins his second Paris-Dakar ahead of Olivier; Peak comes third while Marinoni, Fourth, completes the Italian success.

The motorcycle classification
1 RAHIER Gaston (Belgium-BMW) in 88h45’01”;
2 Olivier Jean Claude (Fran-cia-Yamaha) at 57'40”;
3 Franco Peak (Italy-Yamaha) at 1h08’02”;
4 Marinoni Andrea (Italy-Yamaha) at 3h05'37”;
5 Neveu (France-Honda) at 3h25'48”;
6 Stearns (USA-Yamaha) at 3h25'49”;
7 Auriol (France-Cagiva) at 5h09'40”;
8 Charliat (France-Honda) at 5h12'28”;
9 Verhaeghe Municipality (Barigo) at 7h43'51”;
10 Courteous (Yamaha) at 9h55'35”; follow other.

Taken from Motorcycling 1985