The top three finishers in Stage One of the 2024 Aprilia Eco Race just keep swapping places. So far, there have been two stage winners in this year's AER: Aprilia's Jacopo Cerutti and Yamaha's Alessandro Botturi. (Did we mention that Pol Tarrés might be racing with a broken foot?!)

At the end of the super long Stage Three, Alessandro Botturi took the win for the day with a total time of 05:37:23. In the early stages of competition, he, his teammate Pol Tarrés, and Jacopo Cerutti have proven themselves to be the fastest in the field, and they keep challenging each other and themselves to go faster and be better in each stage.

Cerutti had a navigation mishap during stage three, and Tarrés was fighting through pain and swelling sustained from a foot injury on the previous stage. Initially, he said that he wasn't entirely sure that he'd even be able to start Stage Three because he didn't know if he could get his boot on over the bandages. 

In the end, he ended up finding a larger boot to slide on over the bandages, so he's wearing two different boot sizes to get the job done. After all that, he still managed to finish in a solid second place, just one minute and 29 seconds behind his teammate. If you needed further confirmation that cross country rally racers are hardcore, here you go.

For his part, Cerutti came in third place on Stage Three, finishing three minutes and 47 seconds off of Botturi's pace. After the stage, Botturi praised his teammate and Cerutti, saying he thought they would have fun together since their quick pace is so similar and they're such well-matched challengers.

After Stage Three, the overall times for the Top Five riders in the motorcycle category were:

Racer Team Time
Jacopo Cerutti Aprilia 11:47:19
Alessandro Botturi Yamaha +06:20
Pol Tarrés Yamaha +06:55
Giovanni Gritti Honda +01:32:13
Guillaume Borne Husqvarna +01:32:17

As you can see, the Top Three are miles in front of the rest of the pack. But there are still multiple stages to go, and anything can happen.

Stage Four Just Wrapped, And Look Who Won Again

 

Stage Four just finished, and Cerutti's win had at least one social media commenter asking if they're going to need to revise their Aprilia Racing victory count sticker that's on their bike after the AER wraps. If the rally continues to progress the way the first four stages have, that seems pretty likely. Stay tuned.

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