Italian Baja 2022

Italian Baja, first stage dominated by AlRajhi

On the podium for now Ferreira and Maluszynski’s Minis. First of the Italians Ventura with his Quaddy Yamaha. Tomasini’s Tricolor dream fades away in the final part.


Pordenone, 10th July 2022_

Never say never. There’s still the last selective sector “Dignano” (126,10 km) today at 8:30am and maybe the impossible will happen. But the facts speak clearly: Yazeed AlRajhi, Saudi super driver, keeps an orbit all to himself at Italian Baja 2022 with the Toyota Hilux Overdrive. Something unreachable to his opponents, that are flying lower, at radar reach. 

He was the fastest Friday on the 14 km and 300 meters of the prologue “Zoppola”, punching at 1:26’02’’4 and then in 1:21’55’’9, for a total of 2:58’05’’4. Great gaps for everybody. 




The best chaser is Portuguise Joao Ferreira on a Mini John Cooper Works Rally, first with 1’45’’1 and then with 1’29’’0, second in the general with 3’46’’0. 

The lowest position of the Word Cup provisional podium remains unknown until the end of the sector. It was taken for granted that it belonged to Juan Cruz Yacopini with another Hilux Overdrive, but he got a penalty for the great delay during the phase of neutralization while crossing San Giorgio della Richinvelda. 




So yesterday morning’s third place belongs to Polish Michal Maluszynski (Mini X-Raid) at 4’21’’2, while in the afternoon the third position goes to Lithuanian Benediktas Vanagas at 3’37’’9 with his Hilux di Toyota Gazoo

In the general ranking Maluszynski is third at 9’23’’5 while Vanagas finds himself at the bottom - a hit during the first lap made him lose some hours to return to the Interporto in Pordenone, headquarters of the race.




In terms of Fia (World Cup and European Cup), Amerigo Ventura (the Turinese that Angelo Montico’s Quaddy Yamaha Racing transplanted in Pordenone) is the best of Italians: seventh overall at 17’08’’7, keeping in sight Brazilian Cristiano De Sousa Batista’s Can-Am Maverick, preceding him by 1’54’’7.




The competition ended last evening for the double Tricolor. Final mockery for Andrea Tomasini that was rocking the dream of a triumph in the Italian Championship for Cross Country Baja. Even though he was in the lead in the middle of the race, his Isuzu D-Max suddenly stopped just a few km from the finishing line, victory to Alfio Bondonaro (Suzuki Grand Vitara), restored in terms of fight for the title, second Alessandro Trivini Bellini (Mitsubishi Pajero) the best of the national T2, third Andrea Alfano (Nissan Pathfinder) limiting damages with a Nissan Pathfinder not in its best shape. Rodigino Mauro Cantarello (Suzuki Vitara) missed the podium, second in the T2 category. 

Ventura obviously first in Side by Sides ahead of Alessandro Bonetto with a T4 that didn't take enough points to conquer the overall title, third Valentino Rocco and fourth Mauro Vagaggini (all on Yamaha Yxz 1000R).




Carlo Ragogna Press Office Italian Baja


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