Nobody knows, of course, that it will be the last Italian Baja in the world (never say never, though ...). There is a formidable array of forces on the field with all the best players already seen in the Dakar.
And for gold and silver it ends just like in the African marathon: first Hiroshi Masuoka, second Stephane Peterhansel (both on Pajero). The ending is identical with the Frenchman who loses the deserved triumph on the home straight.
At the finish line of the Baja there are only 8 km (out of a total of 600) when two steering bolts jump to his vehicle, which starts to trudge to the end of the test, squandering an advantage of 4'32 '' and closing off 2'53 ''. Masuoka went into cash without a shot being fired and Mitsubishi's triumph was completed by third place from Carlos Sousa (L200).
First of the Italians is Lorenzo Codecà, twelfth. Among the bikes, Franco Dal Bello (Honda) finally triumphs, always the fastest in each timed lap, clearly detaching Franco Manenti (Husqvarna) and Matteo Graziani (Ktm) in not perfect physical condition after an accident in training.
Home centaurs in great shape thanks also to the success of Angelo Montico (Yamaha Banshee) in the quad category, beating Luis Henderson (Polaris Predator) and Jurgen Mastrocola (Yamaha Raptor).