Designated as one of the main stages of the FIM CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, SILK WAY RALLY 2019 will offer an attractive line-up in the MOTORCYCLE CATEGORY, as all official teams are entering their best riders. In other words, this 9th edition, starting on July 6 from IRKUTSK (Russia) not far from the shores of Lake Baikal, will be the rendez-vous not to be missed! A unique adventure, divided into ten varied and technical stages with a start in EAST SIBERIA, the crossing of MONGOLIA from North to South and the famous GOBI DESERT and its ocean of dunes, to judge the finish, on July 16 in DUNHUANG (China).
SIX OFFICIAL TEAMS!
With six official teams entered, SILK WAY RALLY 2019 is already emerging as one of the major events of the year. This marathon rally, a crucial event in the quest to win the world title, is an opportunity for all teams and riders to gather important points.
As for RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING and ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY, no less than 5 riders will be appointed for this long-awaited rendez-vous. And if Australian TOBY PRICE (KTM), title holder and winner of the last Dakar, like Chilean PABLO QUINTANILLA (Husqvarna), are actively working on their comeback from injuries, both teams will be aligning their best assets such as Briton SAM SUNDERLAND, Argentine LUCIANO BENAVIDES, Spanish LAÏA SANZ and the American MX and SX champion, ANDREW SHORT.
"For all those who love this sport, it is always an amazing experience to discover new lands," admits JORDI VILADOMS, RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING Team Manager. "For both the riders and the whole team, this SILK WAY RALLY will be a real first. And since we are currently leading the World Championship with SAM SUNDERLAND and LUCIANO BENAVIDES, we will line-up the most competitive team at the start in Irkutsk."
"We are really looking forward to starting the next SILK WAY RALLY," emphasizes PELA RENET, Team Manager of ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY. "It's always very interesting to discover new terrain, and we really hope to be able to enter both Andy (Short) and Pablo (Quintanilla), whose recovery is going really well at the moment."
A minimum of three riders to be named among their "Dream Team": this is what is announced within the MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM, which also make this SILK WAY RALLY 2019 a major goal of their season.
"We are convinced that the SILK WAY RALLY 2019 will be a wonderful challenge for our team," explains RAÜL CASTELLS, Team Manager of the MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM"because it is the first time we’ll be tackling such a rally format in the context of the World Championship. This will be the very first time our bikes and riders will be riding in Russia, Mongolia and China. And it will also be an ideal preparation for the Dakar 2020."
With both Frenchmen ADRIEN VAN BEVEREN and XAVIER DE SOULTRAIT, but also Argentine FRANCO CAIMI, the YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM clearly shows off its ambitions.
"Our three riders and the Team are looking forward to the start," explains JOSÉ LELOIR, the team manager of the "blue men". "They will be riding for the first time in this part of the world, and Russia, Mongolia and China are outstanding places for motorcycle sports. The 10 days of racing and the 5,000 km on the programme will be an interesting challenge, which our riders are ready to meet. Yamaha has been present in the past on the Paris-Moscow-Beijing Rally where Stéphane Peterhansel won in 1992. We wish our riders the opportunity to perpetuate the brand's history through this SILK WAY RALLY."
The SHERCO TVS TEAM, for their part, have never concealed the fact that this SILK WAY RALLY was an important event in their season's programme. DAVID CASTEU, team manager, has also officialised his selection for the other major event of the year....
"We're going to enter three bikes," he says on his way back from the Merzouga Rally. "LORENZO SANTOLINO, MICKAEL METGE and our Indian rider ARAVIND PRABHAKAR are expected for this rally. We are coming for the SILK WAY RALLY and its organisers. We are eager to experience these new landscapes and a new organization. From managers to pilots, service crews to mechanics, we are all very excited to be part of this great adventure. We will increase the test-drives and preparation according to the length and difficulty of the event."
As for the HERO MOTORSPORT TEAM RALLY, their two riders will be confirmed in the coming days. And they will complete a magnificent line-up.
There is no doubt that all the motorcycle tracks lead to SILK WAY RALLY!