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A fresh challenge for Camelia Liparoti

 

Light-weight buggies have been racing the Dakar in small numbers for several years. A dedicated category was launched in 2017 with eight competitors on the start line. The S×S category is an attractive proposition for bikers looking for a change of scenery and budget-conscious drivers, as well as a gateway to the Dakar chosen by increasing numbers of amateurs. 13 crews will be on the start line in Lima this year. The fight for glory looks set to be between Xtrem+'s Polaris RZR buggies, which have the most experience at the Dakar and won the 2017 edition with Brazilian Leandro Torres; the Mavrick X3 CAN-AMs, racing in their maiden edition; and the Yamaha 1000 YXZs. Camelia Liparoti, the most consistent female quad rider of the Dakar's South American era with nine consecutive finishes under her belt, is tackling a fresh challenge at the wheel of a Yamaha. The Franco-Italian rider finished second out of 33 S×S buggies in her dress rehearsal at the Merzouga Rally, good enough to place her among the favourites in a category where virtually anything could happen. Among her closest rivals will be the Peruvian crew of Juan Carlos Uribe and Javier Uribe. The duo showed their mettle at the continental level with two wins at the Baja Inca, which netted them the Dakar Challenge and a ticket to go head-to-head with the world elite in the Dakar.