Mercandelli and Grassotti with 125 towards the Dakar 1988

Carlo Alberto Mercandelli had the dealer Volkswagen which boasted the largest motorcycle throughout the Italian clientele. From his living room in Casale Monferrato came out the cars of the cross, enduro and also the speed.
There was a reason for this, and the reason goes beyond the inevitable discount. Carlo Alberto after being an excellent pilot cross had stood in around like juvenile cross national Manager. An activity that had kept alive the passion and desire to drive.
So after a first experience in the Paris-Dakar ' 86, and the fifteenth place overall and first in class (with a Yamaha 350) the Rally of the Pharaohs, tried the adventure.
«Commitments with the IMF keep me busy between February and October, and I remain. the winter months to devote to bike. So I approached the rally and in Africa I found my favorite terrain. Africa is beautiful. The contact and the contrast between Earth and sky offer unique sensations».

They are not lacking contingencies...
"Already, in 1986 After ten days of competition a little boy in the night stole the boots. I left for the stage in sneakers but I didn't do a long way. Fell almost immediately by retreating to a dislocated collarbone».

This year the difficulties you've go to try running with a 125.
"Of course is a bit’ madness, and if you'd thought over probably would have given up on this adventure. Instead the decision was matured in a hurry. the Yamaha Belgarda has offered to help me as long as I ran with a 125 Ténéré serie».

Much more thought out was the choice of Giovan Battista (said «Beat») Gargate, writing in the Paris-Dakar with a Aprilia Tuareg Rally 125.
"The idea of running with a 125 I came up with last year while returning to Paris after I retired from Niamey.
Be the first to arrive in Dakar on an 125 It would be wonderful, of course I would be glad to do it along with Mercandelli. I front and one behind».

Having a companion of displacement, Although brand opponent, will help?
«Definitely. I'm very glad I'm not the only one to try. In two we can help and we have a better chance to succeed».

Do you believe?
"Technically I don't see why a good 125 modern shouldn't do that. The problem will be that, not being fast, We'll have to drive for hours in the dark».

Ed. The Dakar Mercandelli stopped 4 of January in stage Sahan Berry-Bir Larache. To Grassotti during the fifth stage.

Source Motosprint
Thanks Clement Canino for photos

Arrival 1990 correct

The “our heroes”, the Italians at the arrival of the Dakar 1990

Standing: Franco Picco, Alexander Ciro De Petri, Medardo, Mandelli, Petrini, Marcaccini, Cabini and Malik;
Trussed: Gauri, Algiers, Gargate, Signorelli, Orioli, Mercandelli and Abbasi. In the photo lacks only Zotti.

Assomoto 1991

The Gilera private to Dakar 1991

Also four Gilera private came to the finish of the Dakar 1991, led by four Italians. This is Quaglino (28°), the only group in red, and the three Assomoto Team riders: from left Aldo Winkler (33°), Walter Surini (36°) and Brenno Bignardi (32°). just missing Carlo Alberto Mercandelli, retired.