For Franco Picco was supposed to be last year's issues of revenge after Dakar, instead hasn't even started: the 23 December Franco Picco fell while he was practicing on the field cross di Arzignano riding a Suzuki 250, to lock the front wheel. Batted and after performing a somersault in the air fell violently beating the basin.
Hospitalized at the hospital in Valdagno (Vi) He was found a fracture to the pubic symphysis and a crack in the sacrum, no serious damage but still force him to at least two months of immobility, the Team of Gaston Rahier had thus relinquishing his top driver for the most important event of the season. Franco Picco, whereas its contract with Suzuki expires in July, It is still determined to get back in the saddle in order to participate in the Rally of Tunisia.
SUZUKI DRZ 750 – Base remained the same last year's bike, currently the only single competitive ranking even if not too strong in terms of reliability. For this we have worked a lot on the engine, a four stroke with cool-ing four-valve air-oil mixture, double switching electronics and power supply through two Carburetors Mikuni shot. Despite the name DRZ 750 the actual displacement is 830 cm. a solution which has been arrived after numerous tests. The Exchange remains five-speed and clutch in oil bath.
The Suzuki, that rally turned totally to the team run by Rahier, He renewed the chassis: a split single cradle with Full Floater rear suspension linkage system modified, Kayaba fork and disc brakes in front and back; you are not, however, overlooked the speech of aerodynamics and comfort, that led to redesign the tank group, two front and one rear for a total of 62 liters, and the windshield. Numerous the reductions leading to a dry weight of 154 kg, driven by an engine that delivers a maximum declared power of 71 CV to 7.000 RPM.
62 – GASTON RAHIER His temper is simultaneously its greatest advantage and his worst fault. Caused him problems of living with some riders of his team but at the same time allowed him to reap exceptional results. Three world cross 125, two Paris-Dakar and three Rallye des Pharaons are but a small part of a sporting curriculum that has few equals.
Owner of the team that bears his name and who does run the official Suzuki, in 43 years played Rahier is still a man to keep an eye on, able to win a couple of stages even in the previous edition of the Dakar rally and get good results.
64 – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE WAGNER Eternal fast assistance team, He always played diligently its task and this sometimes penalized its performance. Though he got good placings occasionally, proving that Rahier had good nose to ensure the presence on the team of 22-year-old Frenchman when it still hadn't played more than national racing.
65 – AKIRA WATANARE It is not a new name for fans of cross, who remember ' 78 cross world champion and also starred in subsequent seasons. He returned to Japan in 84, He never stopped running-road passing though enduro where he won the national title. Dear pilot from Suzuki, in 36 However the Charter of rally attempts practically years to debut, having only attended the last edition of the Pharaohs.
The team belong to four other men: Swiss Andy Brunner the French expert Raymond Loizeaux and two Italians who also last armo reached in good position for the beach in Dakar, Franco Zotti and Giampaolo Abbasi. While running with Team Rahier and riding the Suzuki are unofficial: their bikes are derived from the series, but still receive some assistance from the French education, consistent with the needs of the four drivers.
Ed: It was not a particularly glorious Dakar for Team Suzuki, Rahier finished only at the 13rd place, Brunner 17°, Watanabe 23°, Loizeaux 29°.
Special thanks for photos Stefan Heßler