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Yamaha 500 XT Documentary: Paris-Dakar Rally 1981

Submitted by on January 23, 2010

7Look at this wonderful Yamaha documentary of the Sonauto Yamaha team’s assault on the 1981 Paris – Dakar Rally. I can’t understand a word of it, but its incredible viewing none the less.

The Sonauto team were racing the legendary Yamaha 500 XT with riders Serge Bacou, Michel Merel, Jean-noel Pineau and Yvan Tcherniavsky.

The 500 XT  had taken out the inaugural event in 1979 and won again in 1980 with Cyril Neveu twisting the throttle, but this time the Yamaha’s were under attack from BMW and a host of Honda XLS500’s.

In the end Hubert Auriol was too good and won his first Dakar aboard the iconic BMW GS800R. His victory marked the beginning of a series of incredible performances from the Frenchman. Auriol went on to be the first racer to win the Dakar in both bikes and cars.


Results: Motorcycles Paris Dakar 1981

1. Auriol  – BMW GS 800

2. Bacou  – Yamaha 500 XT

3. Merel – Yamaha 500 XT

Images: Rally-Tenere.net

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