The longest stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge failed to produce major changes at the top of the general standings. Paulo Gonçalves, yesterday’s overall leader after the sanction of Walkner, took fourth spot on the day.

The third stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge sees the race arrive at the mid-point with a 288.73 kilometre stage, the lengthiest of the race. Paulo Gonçalves, who set out from the front this morning as leader, after Matthias Walkner collected a penalty yesterday, was pursued by the main pack which reached him and rode as a group until the finish-line. The Monster Energy Honda Team rider posted fourth on the day and holds a similar position in the overall rankings.

The halfway-point of the rally was a little less kind to Argentine Kevin Benavides who was forced to stop shortly after the refuelling point after detecting a clutch problem. Benavides will, however, be able to restart the race tomorrow.

The penultimate stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge tomorrow will feature some 250 kilometres of timed special in a setting that could well favour the riding styles of the Monster Energy Honda Team duo.

Paulo Goncalves

STAGE: 4th. +12'03 OVERALL: 4th. +7'47.3

As we had expected, the competitors who started our from behind were able to catch me up and we reached the finish together as a group. Tomorrow I will have to make up the time that I dropped today. I did everything I could and arrived without any problems, so I’m satisfied with today’s stage. The bike is fine but it’s tough to ride with such high temperatures. We have to keep trying and battle on.

Kevin Benavides

STAGE: 14th. +5:04'37 OVERALL: 13th. +16:11'47

Today I was going quite well and I felt comfortable. But some 50 km after the refuelling, I had a problem with the clutch and I wasn’t able to continue. These are things that happen and it’s important to learn from them. Tomorrow I will be starting again and I plan to battle on until the end of the race.

2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-1 , Stage 3   Abu Dhabi

Results Stage 3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sunderland Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team KTM 3:55'23
2 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 6'01
3 Walkner Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team KTM + 9'02
4 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda + 12'03
5 Renet Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 15'01
6 Meo Antoine FRA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM + 17'43
7 Albalooshi Mohammed UAE Ride to Abu Dhabi Team KTM + 20'58
8 Stephens Lee AUS KTM + 28'49
9 McBride David GBR Vendetta Racing UAE KTM + 39'46
10 Tomiczek Adam POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM + 42'50
16 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5:04'37
2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-1 , Stage 3   Abu Dhabi

Provisional Standings after Stage 3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sunderland Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team KTM 11:41'20.5
2 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 3'06.7
3 Walkner Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team KTM + 5'14.1
4 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda + 7'47.3
5 Renet Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 11'57.8
6 Meo Antoine FRA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM + 52'50.6
7 Albalooshi Mohammed UAE Ride to Abu Dhabi Team KTM + 1:08'39.2
8 McBride David GBR Vendetta Racing UAE KTM + 2:14'19.1
9 Tomiczek Adam POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM + 2:20'02.3
10 Jaffar Mohammed UAE KTM + 2:25'41.0
15 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda + 16:11'47.0
Location Information

The erstwhile UAE Desert Challenge, one of the world’s most prestigious international cross country rallies, entered a new era in March 2009 when it was renamed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the five-day motor sport spectacular being staged in its entirety across Abu Dhabi emirate under the auspices of the Abu… read more.

Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - View in Google Maps

Records

2017 Sam Sunderland
2016 Toby Price
2015 Marc Coma
2014 Paulo Gonçalves
2013 Marc Coma
2012 Marc Coma