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Gas Gas, Laia Sanz and Marc Guasch, facing the Dakar challenge

02/12/2011
Gas Gas trademark makes its official debut in the biggest rally in the world, while supporting the Step by Step Foundation and promoting tourist trademark “Catalonia”.
Following to more than twenty-five years of history, achievements and appreciations in the world of trial and enduro, Gas Gas will be facing in 2012, for the first time, a challenge such as that of participating as a trademark in the hardest and most transcendental international off-road race: the Dakar Rally.

The team that the Catalan brand has prepared to meet the next edition of the mythical rally throughout the lands of Argentina, Chile and Peru is made up by the most recent newcomer, Laia Sanz —Woman’s Trial World Champion and Women’s Trial Europe Champion, besides having competed in the Dakar Rally winning the Female motorcycle category— as well as the experienced enduro and rally pilot Marc Guasch. Their common objective will be to lay the foundations of a project that aims at making the brand stronger and getting deeper into its International placement, but also to act as ambassadors of the two main travel companions that have joined GAS GAS in this new adventure, the Step by Step Foundation –whose activity is mainly focused on the rehabilitation and investigation of spinal cord injuries – and the Agencia Catalana de Turisme (Catalan Tourism Agency), whose trademark ―Catalonia‖ will be strengthened as a tourist destination on an international scale through the Dakar Rally.

In terms of sport merely, all throughout the two weeks of competition that separate the start at Mar de Plata on January 1st to the finish line in Lima on the 15th, Laia will count on Marc’s support in order to renew the victory she achieved on the last edition of the race. To that aim, both of them will have their 450 cc motorcycles with a Yamaha source propellant – a brand with which Gas Gas collaborates closely in the supply of engines for the enduro models- prepared and developed during these last months by the competition department in Girona, with the complicity of most of the partners who usually collaborate with the trademark. The structure will be completed with a technical team, a physiotherapist and an assistance truck.

In this edition of the rally the pilots of the motorcycle category will have to cover 8.363 kilometres in all, of which more than a half will be timed. Despite the news that the rally will enter Peru, which will become the 27th country to be in the race during its 32 years of history, the organization has already advanced that the sand and the dunes will be the great protagonists, starting in the complicated Argentinean region of Fiambalá, going on to the majestic Chilean Atacama desert, to end up in the endless mountain ranges in Peruvian territory.

Even if this will be the first official experience of Gas Gas at the Dakar Rally, the trademark had already collaborated with other projects of the race, besides having participated in a number of meetings of the 4x4 World Rally Championship. The most recent experience, and also the most important, took place in 2009, when the Dutch team Gas Gas Desert prepared four units of the EC 515 FSR with which Rob Verstegen, Harm Boezeroy, Walter van Sinten and the Spanish Julián Villarubia, from Valencia, participated in the Dakar. It was indeed the pilot from Requena the one who played a better role in the group, reaching a 32nd position and achieving the objective to take a Gas Gas right till the end of the race.

With its official debut in the world of rallys, the trademark goes a step further in the challenge they aimed at three years ago, when they bet for passion and good work as the weapons to recover a first position in off-road trademarks on a world scale. Once more, the endeavour and self-improvement of the whole team have made it possible.

Laia Sanz

"It is such a challenge, and a big opportunity for me to be able to participate with a home trademark in the most important rally in the world. I have arrived to Gas Gas very recently and thus we have not been able to work very much with the motorbike, but this time I am a bit more experienced, I am well trained in terms of navigation and the team have thrown themselves into the project, so that we’ve taken an important step ahead".

Marc Guasch

"The Gas Gas Project proved to be fascinating from the very first moment and it is a big opportunity for any pilot. In addition to the motivation to develop a new motorbike, the fact to be able to help Laia obtain her victory makes it even more attractive".

Palmarés:

Laia Sanz

Corbera (Barcelona) 1985

11 Woman's Trial World Championship
10 Woman's Trial European Championship
5 Trial des Nations Female Category
1 Dakar Rally Female Category
2 times Woman’s Enduro World Runner-up

Marc Guasch

La Garriga (Barcelona), 1973

1 Spanish Junior Enduro Championship
1 victory at the Baja Aragón Rally
1 Spanish Sand Rally Championship
1 Spanish All Terrain Rally Championship
2 times Spanish Sand Rally Runner-up

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