Dakar 2016

January 16, 2016




Finish line: ROSARIO (Argentina)

Special Stage: 180 km – Road connection: 519 km – Total: 699 km


There were 4 Polaris RZR 1000 XT +30 at the start, and there are 4 at the finish with the crown of champions in the T3 Light class for the crew MAXXIS Cinotto and Dominella and the entire podium of T3 Light! A fifth consecutive victory for the Xtremeplus team in the Dakar and 3 rookies at the finish line!


Total success for Xtremeplus. Not many teams can claim to hold the victory of this 38th edition of the Dakar, with 6 cars in the team, with Marco Piana in fast assistance and Yassir Saedan with navigator Sebastian Delunay in T2 (Toyota)… and all 6 crossed the finish line! BRAVO!


Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella N.385 – 45 overall and #1 T3 Light: “This was a beautiful race. The Polaris RZR MAXXIS is an extraordinary car! We had some issues, just like any other Dakar competitor. The Xtremeplus team is very professional and they have achieved an incredible work every night. This was my 4th participation in the Dakar and the first time I finish, so now I realize how long it is! We won the T3 Light class, I am very proud, and we really had fun doing it!”


Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 – 55 overall and #2 T3 Light: “I am so happy! This was a dream I had for years: I wanted to be the first Chinese to finish the Dakar in T3 and I did it! And even more, I closed my participation with a 2nd place. This is wonderful! It was very difficult, and I feel so many emotions at the same time… it’s so hard to describe.”


Leandro Torres/Rolda Lourival N.367 – 57 Overall and #3 T3 Light: “I won my bet! Fourteen months ago, I set up my mind and told my family, that I was going to finish my first Dakar and I’ve done it! I am so happy that it is very difficult to explain. It is hard to focus every day. I don’t know what my next dream will be… maybe a second Dakar! For now, I want to enjoy this personal victory.”


Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 – 62 Overall and #4 T3 Light: “It is so great to be here in Rosario, at the podium! It was an incredible experience… besides the fun of driving, overcoming difficulties and challenges, it is the race that has given me the most emotions ever! I’ve never experienced anything like that. I’ve learned lots… It was difficult, very difficult, but it was definitely worth it!”


Congratulations to each crew and to the entire team that has made sure that everyone made it to the end of the Dakar 2016. Great job, guys!


Dakar 2016

January 13, 2016


Stage 10: Belen – La Rioja (Argentina)

Special Stage: 278 – Road connection: 485 km – Total: 763 km



This morning, the bivouac at Belen woke up under a drizzle similar to those in northern Europe. With this, the Dakar 2016 would have had all kinds of weather conditions. Due to the storm that followed the race since the beginning, today’s special stage was shortened to 244 km. The rivers grew with the water coming down from the mountain were impossible to cross!


At 7:30 pm, the only Xtremeplus crew to have completed stage 10 was N.394, Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu.


Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 (6h40’41): “It was a great day for us, also very hot but everything worked well. Yesterday, I had to stop and get rest under a tree because it was so extremely hot. Today, we had two punctures and we got lost for 7 km but we are here, and we are the first team of the Xtremeplus to finish the stage, it´s amazing!

I had an excellent feeling in the dunes, it is true that in China we had huge dunes, and I drive on the sand. So that didn´t make me feel scared, even if the sand is soft. We passed several cars during the stage and here we are, 32nd!”

The other teams faced some difficulties and arrived to La Rioja a late… to start the 11 stage La Rioja – San Juan.

Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 (52 in 8h32’15): “I preferred to make sure we made it, the stage was so hard! So I wanted to maximize the engine power because it was so hot that we lost power. We had to go from top to top but we but stuck in a basin and stood there for an hour…”

Michele Chinotto/Mauricio Dominella N.389 (42 in 7h20’34) stopped to let the Polaris RZR Maxxis’ engine cool off. The temperatures climbed up easily over normal levels. The Italian crew was also forced to change the belt. 


The Brazilian crew Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival n°367 was blocked quite a long time on the track with Marco Piana reparing the gear box.


Dakar 2016




January 12, 2016

Stage 9: Belen – Belen (Argentina)

Special Stage: 285 km – Road connection: 111 km – Total: 396 km


Today, competitors experienced the real Dakar during this loop Belen – Belen. The journey was mostly off-road, in small dunes with some vegetation, then harder terrain and a riverbank. This special stage was also announced to be challenging navigation wise.


This morning, the sky was clear and the thermometer quickly climbed to the red zone… It was so red that the organizer stopped the special stage at CP2 for the bikes, cars and truck. Tomorrow, the Super Special starts with the ten best times of each class combined. At the arrival of the bivouac, all crews were exhausted and had to face the sandstorm. Most of them tried to escape to get some rest at the hotels.


At the time of this press release, three out of four Polaris crews completed the special stage. Only Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 is still in the tracks with an electrical problem to be solved.


Michele Cinotto/Mauricio Dominella N.389 (38 in 5h17’11):“When we arrived to CP2, they signaled that the special stage had finished, so I hugged the guys at the CP. It was a journey for survivors, the temperature was terrible and all cars would heat up. We had to stop several times to cool it down. Then, we had a puncture, and with this weather, it was impossible to get the jack to come up so we repaired avec wicks twice. We also had a battery problem and the RZR stopped twice. In a canyon, a truck rolled over in front of us, so we just had time to climb and then, we couldn´t find the way to go back down. It was fun!”


Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 (47 in 5h40’21): The Chinese team has managed this difficult stage with only one puncture. Mao and Ka arrived to the bivouac in the 47th place. A job well-done considering the difficulties of the day!


Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival N.367(54es en06h38’32): “I can´t do this anymore, I am so tired… we had to work with our shovels for an hour, putting plates and the jack… It was extremely difficult with the heat!”


DAKAR 2016

January 10, 2016

Rest day: Salta (Argentina)



The Dakar is back in Argentina for another week full of adventures. Yesterday, the Xtremeplus’ assistance trucks were blocked 250 km away from the bivouac due the torrent. The river grew significantly due to the heavy rains that were descending from the high mountains and destroyed part of the bridge, so the assistance only arrived to the bivouac early this morning…


The rest day for drivers and navigators is a full day for all mechanics that must work in the four RZR and make the machines as if they were new to continue the second half of the Dakar. After completing 5,330 km, a total of 21,320 for the MAXXIS LIBERTY tires of the RZR Xtremeplus only count four punctures. This new tire have been specially provided to the Xtremeplus Team for the Dakar and will soon be available for sale!

Thanks to the performances, the Polaris RZR 1000 XT+30 N. 389 of Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella is in the 50 position of the overall ranking and leads the T3 Light class. “In Bolivia, besides the dust and the trucks, we didn’t have any problems. Our small engine had some difficulties climbing in altitude, but since the altitude went down, we were able to take over all those who overtook us on the way up. During yesterday’s special stage, we let them go, and we took over again at the same place of the rain and snow. I am hoping that tomorrow we can finally see some dunes!”

At mid-race, Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival N.367 take a nice 58 place in the temporary overall ranking, followed by Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 in place 62 after facing an electrical problem during the loop Uyuni-Uyuni and having driven a nice stage to get back to Argentina.

The Chinese team of Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 had some difficulties and takes position 73 in the temporary overall ranking. “We had an accident in the loop: we fell in a hole in a chicane and we broke the front right wheel. Ka Chun started to dismount it, but we had to wait for Marco Piana to give us the spare parts to fix it. We lost two hours to repair it but we were able to restart… and the Salar Uyuni was so beautiful that we stopped to take pictures! It was cold and windy, but I really loved it, the stage was fun! During yesterday’s stage, we took over 12 cars in the first part, but during the neutralized section, we wanted to find a waypoint that was in a river… and inside the river, there was so much water because of the heavy rains. Fortunately, Marco was there again to pull us out… I thought we were going to come out with the fish! Unluckily, we had to change the speed variator. In the second part of the special stage, we were totally wet and it was cold… We went calmly, and now we have completed half of the race, we are in Salta!”



Dakar 2016


January 9th, 2016

Stage 7: Uyuni (Bolivia) – Salta (Argentina)

Special Stage: 336 km – Road connection: 481 km – Total: 817 km


The Dakar returns to Argentina with a stage of more than 800 km. The special stage was divided in two selective sections: 230 km in Bolivia and another 160 in Argentina, both separated by a neutralized section of 116 km. La Pachamama continues to make things harder for competitors and today, a storm hit the stage, mostly at the beginning of the second part for cars. The first part was the same trace to get to Bolivia, but backwards, while the second one was nice to drive.


The four Xtremeplus Polaris crews completed the stage, but they will not arrive to the bivouac located in Salta before 10 or 11 pm.

Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella N.389 finished in 59th place; Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 is 61st; Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival N.367 takes the 69th place and Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 takes the 77th place.


Tomorrow is the rest day for drivers and navigators, but not for mechanics that will drive for about 20 hours to come back from Bolivia to get started fixing the cars tomorrow morning!


Dakar 2016

Stage 6: Uyuni – Uyuni

Special Stage: 542 km – Road connection: 181 km – Total: 723 km



Yesterday, the four Xtremeplus Polaris Factory Team arrived to Bolivia, overcoming the marathon stage, rain and altitude! Today’s stage was a challenging loop of 542 km around the Salar Uyuni, the longest timed section of the race.


The weather conditions previously announced added difficulties to the stage that took place between 3,500 and 4,200 meters above sea level, it was rather cold and rainy… The selective section presented lots of change of rhythm along the stage, sand and gravel. Luckily, competitors didn’t have to go through the Salar, where several competitors were forced to leave the race last year. There were also navigation tricks where everyone had to avoid falling for.


At the time of this press release, Michelle Chinotto/Maurizio Dominella N. 389 are at WP11 in the 53th position and Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival N.367 mark the 69th place.


During this difficult journey, Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 faced some issues at the beginning of the special stage and were helped by the fast service car driven by Marco Piana and Steven Griener.


Meanwhile Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 had electrical problems at km 202, but everyone is moving and the three cars are at about WP6.

Tomorrow, the Dakar returns to Argentina and competitors will have a late arrival to the bivouac in Salta, where they will be able to enjoy a well-deserved rest day.


DAKAR 2016

Buenos Aires, January 7 2016

Stage 5: Jujuy – Uyuni (Bolivia)

Special Stage: 327 km – Road connection: 315 km – Total: 642 km




The Dakar enters Bolivia during the second part of the marathon stage with its highest altitude point at an elevation of 4,600 meters above sea level, the highest altitude ever reached in the Dakar Rally’s history, along with the physical and mechanical problems that it causes. Competitors crossed the spectacular Quebrada de Humahuaca, a World Human Heritage site to arrive to the stage start.


But the weather keeps playing with the race and the finish line was repositioned 7 km in advance due to the storm. In spite of the difficult weather conditions, the four crews arrived to Bolivia, and are now at Salar Uyuni.

Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell n°371 (54th in 4h55’31)


Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella n°389 (56th in 4h57’22) 


Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu n°394 (65th in 5h16’22) 


Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival n°367 (68th in 5h20’00)


DAKAR 2016

Buenos Aires, January 6, 2016

Stage 4: Jujuy – Jujuy

Special stage: 429 km – Road connection: 201 km – Total: 630 km



The deluge is now behind and all four crews of the Polaris Xtremeplus team took the start of the marathon stage this morning – this means no possibility of perform any mechanic work in the vehicles. While all service trucks were obligated to head to Bolivia, competitors took the road of Purmamarca, the beginning of Paso Jama, for a timed loop of 429km.


Fast tracks, little navigation requirements and altitude were part of today’s program.


Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella n°389 (66th in 5h25’22) : “Today is my 57th birthday, and I offered myself a 4th stage behind the wheel of the Polaris RZR 1000 XT+Maxxis, what I hadn’t had yet! I am not tired, I could easily start another stage again. And regarding the stage, nothing interesting!”


Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell n°371 (68th in 5h31’13): “It was a very long stage and the RZR had some difficulties with the altitude. The tracks were kind of boring, always straight ahead… we didn’t encountered any issues, which works well for a marathon stage. I tell myself that this means 400 km less to complete, but I’ll get there!”


Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival n°367 (72nd in 3h45’37): “We had zero problem during the first part of today’s marathon stage. It was a beautiful day, but I paid more attention to the car than in previous days. Lourival didn’t feel well at the finish line, because of the altitude, so after a little oxygen he recovered.”


Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu n°394 (75th in 5h50’43): “Knowing that the mechanics would not be at the bivouac tonight, we drove taking care of the car and tires. Unfortunately we had a puncture… and a three minute penalty for speeding. But I have a good feeling and we didn’t have any other problem, which very important for a marathon stage. At the end, the trucks reached us so I did my best to finish. Now I am tired and hungry!”


DAKAR 2016

Buenos Aires, January 5, 2016

Stage 3: Termas Rio Hondo – Jujuy

Special Stage: 190 km – Road connection: 436 km – Total: 626 km


The sky will soon fall over the Dakar with a downpour rain that hits the roads and the bivouac in Jujuy for hours with enormous thunders that could even scare Zeus!


Part of the electric power was down; no internet connection, no results and a curtain of rain that made you stay covered limited the news of the Xtremeplus team. The four crews arrived in Jujuy and mechanics worked all night with their feet in the mud covered by plastic trash bags.


With rivers that were impossible to cross, the organizer shortened the selective section to 190 km timed, very fast and divided by limited speed areas.

Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell #371 (59th in 2h40’50)

Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu #394 (76th in 2h59’09): “In spite of the difficulties, it was a good special stage. Ka Chun did a great navigation job and we marked all waypoints. We make a good team! Before the special started, the rain was pouring down, and the same happened at the bivouac. The track was, like yesterday, very fast, winding and very narrow at some points. We crossed a river that was at least one meter deep and I went a bit too fast… After that, the belt was sliding and we lost some power. Then, we faced about 10 km of fesh-fesh and soft sand. We were right behind another competitor and we were in a dust wall, it was impressive, we couldn´t see anything!


We also had some issues when we run out of water to clean the windshield of the Polaris RZR 1000 XT+30 and from time to time there was mud or water on the road. Ka Chun had to put water from a bottle while we were driving. After we crossed the finish line, the gearbox was blocked and we only had one speed. We were very lucky because the race was over and we took over more than ten cars, so it was a good day for us!”


Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella #389 (74th in 2h53’10) : “Today, we had a slow puncture and after a while, we were obligated to stop and change the tire. For the rest, it was fast, slow, dry, wet, mud, dust…”


Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival #367 (79 th in 3h45’37)


Dakar 2016

Buenos Aires, January 4, 2016

Stage 2: Villa Carlos Paz – Termas Rio Hondo

Special Stage: 510km – Road connection: 337km – Total: 847km




After the rains last night and the drizzle this morning, the competitors of the Dakar 2016 started Stage 2, shortened at CP4. The route was quite spectacular with a dirt track, fast trails, a mountain pass and a relatively simple navigation. But this first competitive stage had to be spiced up and the mud was also part of the program!


Arrived to the bivouac of Rio Hondo, where the high temperatures and humidity are intolerable, the night falls and the thermometer is close to 35 degrees Celsius…


Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella N.389 (54th in 4h42’22): “Everything worked great besides the last 20km behind a car that didn’t let us take him over. We were forced to stay behind the dust. We crossed a ford full of mud which totally covered the car, but we were able to avoid the quagmire. 

The race was long, but I take things calmly and the Polaris RZR 1000 XT+30 works awesome!”


Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 (63th in 4h49’01): “It was a beautiful special stage. Eugenio drove well – explains Rafael Tornabell with his face covered in mud at the bivouac’s arrival- and he had fun in the fast tracks. He had a good pace for this kind of race and also the proper physical condition. While hitting a rut, we ended up on the side, but nothing bad. We also avoided the mud.”


Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival n°367 (83th in 5h20’10): “It was a beautiful special stage that seemed like what we had in Dos Sertoes. After half of the timed section, I started to feel more confident and more comfortable. Also, I am very happy with my navigator, Lourival, who has lots of experience. And luckily, thanks to someone that pointed us in the right direction, we avoided the mud pool.”


Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 (89th in 5h36’32): “This first stage, I thought it was rather long. I also discovered that driving in the water and the mud is not as easy. The special was beautiful but winding and narrow between rocks sometimes. This morning, because of the rain, I felt temperatures were more bearable than in the special stage it was really hot. The RZR worked great but we lost the hood twice and Ka Chun had to run to get it! Tomorrow, it seems that we will have another hot day…”