Now released from his role of support rider for Cyril Despres, Michael Metge is ready to take the experience gathered over the previous years to challenge for top honours on his own.
The technical staff will remain the same as 2014, as well as the team infrastructure.
The Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamalube learned a lot during the last Dakar edition. The numuerous achievements of the riders combined with the performance of the Yamaha 4-stroke 450 proved their competitiveness and delivered a final podium and three stage wins.
Alexandre Kowalski (Yamaha Motor France Racing Director) and José Leloir (Yamaha Motor France Team Manager) at Yamaha Motor France, speak with one voice on the performance of the new WR450F Rally: ” No detail has been left out to optimize the performance of the bike. To refine and validate our technical choices, we will participate in the ‘Sardegna Rally Race (Italy)’ and ‘Rallye Oilibya du Morac (Morocco)’, both integrated in the FIM Cross Country-Rally World Championship, as well as the ‘Desafio Guarani’ (Paraguay) and ‘Desafio Inca’ (Peru) Rallies which are run as part of the Dakar Series. The bike will remain in ‘Dakar configuration’ except in the Sardegna event, a rally that is close to enduro. Our main objective is to gather information… but Olivier and Michael work to get a podium from the first race! ”
Oliver Pain – Yamaha WR450F Rally – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamalube
“After successively finishing 28th , 16th , 9th , 6th and 3rd in the Dakar Rally, my new goal is clearly to get my first overall win in 2015. I’m really excited to work on this new project with Yamaha and we are on exactly the same wavelength. Previous years, we only had one or two rallies for our preparation but during 2014 we will race four events and these tests will allow us to complete our physical preparation and refine our technical choices on the bike. We hope to eliminate problems that may arise due to the heat and altitude, and increase the speed while retaining the reliability of the 450F in Rally version which was our biggest asset during the last Dakar.
To win a race like Dakar, the real target of our sports program, every detail, even the tiniest one, must be tuned in. Concerning my preparation, I’m not going to change everything but will work on all aspects in a more professional approach. I’m not ending my job in the family business as I want to keep the same life balance that makes me happy but I open a new chapter in my career with the target to win.”
Michael Metge – Yamaha WR450F Rally – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamalube
” I now have three rallies under my belt and these events taught me a lot. Being support rider for Cyril Despres was a chance, a great option to improve through intermediate. He taught me some skills and told me how to work on my weaknesses, which was a fantastic opportunity. I’m ready to maximize the experience, now liberated from my previous function. Rally is a sport to be respected and I don’t want to cut any corners but I’m ready for this, highly motivated as my dream has come true.
Furthermore, I have known Olivier for a long time as we use to be both enduro riders and contested the Euromaster selection back in 2006. We train, share comments and go ahead together and that’s great. Our first event is the ’Sardegna Rally’, a technical course like an enduro race but you have to keep up with a road book. It’s a race that suits me very well . A chance to see what we are capable of…”
Race Schedule, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamalube
Sardegna Rally Race (Italy)* : 7th-12th June, 2014
Rallye Oilibya du Morac (Morocco)* : 3rd-9th October, 2014
* part of the FIM Cross Country-Rally World Championship
Desafio Guarani Rally (Paraguay)** : 20th-24th July, 2014
Desafio Inca Rally (Peru)** : 11th – 14th september, 2014
** part of the Dakar Series
2015 Dakar Rally : 4th – 17th January, 2015