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MOTOREX Magazine 2023 125 EN

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MOTOREX MAGAZINE 18 On the way to the camp at Laguna Verde (4239 m). 6725 m world-beating oil – you can always trust CROSS POWER 4T. MOTOREX MAGAZINE 19 Trial and error – finding the best route The day began at 6 am. Despite, or perhaps because of the team's well-insulated garments, getting up in –4 °C temperatures always took a certain measure of willpower. The Peruvian cook, Silvio, rewarded the team with breakfast in generous but always easily digestible portions. They would need plenty of energy for the coming seven hours of off-road travel. 956 kg 4 KTMs & supplies, which were airfreighted to Chile. Jiri (l.) and Raffael (r.) celebrate new world record holder Thomas Schranz. The world record-beating team (l. to r.): Jiri Zak, Patrick Voser, Thomas Schranz and Raffael Panzeri. A well-earned pit stop at over 4000 meters above sea level. Bivouacking at a “cool” –4 °C with a promising view. GO TO MOVIE Raffael Panzeri on the first record attempt: “We were deliberately careful not to climb all too quickly. The mousse would mean less stability anyway at high speeds. After a while it grew hot, nearly 25 °C. Our tongues and eyes were dry, our lips cracked from the elements. We were carrying fuel canisters and water. The team was moving through an inhospitable area, empty of people. No trees, no shrubs, no trails. Then suddenly the terrain changed from fine yellow sand to rocky gravel. Our objective was to find the ideal ascent towards the eastern peak. After crossing the glacier runoff, our uphill path grew ever steeper. Small ravines alternated with dirty snow and ice. After another two hours of balancing acts there was no longer a way forward. We had too little grip, and the cracks in the glacier were too big and dangerous! Exhausted, the team arrived back in camp at about 2:30 in the afternoon. After eating, it was time to rest or relax our muscles in a sheet-metal sauna at a 40° C hot spring not far from the camp.” But this would not be the last attempt to wrestle a new world altitude record from Ojos. The rider is the limiting factor Harsh as it may seem, the rider is clearly the limiting factor when aiming for a new record. It is the rider's physical and mental capacity and skill with the machine that, under favorable circumstances, make the difference in climbing those decisive meters of altitude. It is no exaggeration to say that Thomas Schranz is an extremely successful Swiss enduro rider. On December 3 the moment had come: inwardly, Thomas was ready to outdo himself. Together with teammates Jiri and Raffael he set out in the direction of the eastern peak. The group remained together until reaching an elevation of roughly 6640 m. At this altitude, the KTMs needed every bit of horsepower. Not a problem with fuel injection and the fine control provided by a multi-disc clutch in an oil bath thanks to MOTOREX CROSS POWER 4T SAE 10W/60. Now each rider was searching for the ideal path. Meter by meter of elevation, the riders ratcheted their way up. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. Then the team members lost visual contact with one another. This could prove dangerous given the high, steep cliffs on the far side of Ojos and the border with Argentina. A new world altitude record at 6725 m By virtue of his physical constitution, skilled pathfinding and iron will, Thomas pulled ahead of the group and battled his way upwards meter by meter. Breathing was difficult. His pulse was hammering. Behind him was an extreme landscape of enormous fissured glaciers and little traction to speak of. At the lower temperatures now prevailing, the Michelins were hard as rock. “Keep going!” said an inner voice. As if by remote control he fought his way up to a phenomenal 6725 m – here it was, the new world altitude record in the motorcycle category. Without outside assistance or oxygen. Thomas had made it! His heart beating in his throat, a joyful high-altitude euphoria began to set in. Grateful: the altitude world record-holder Thomas Schranz.



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