Portuguese Monster Energy Honda Team rider Paulo Gonçalves performed well in the third stage of the Qatar Rally with second position on the day to remain in second place in the overall standings.

On Qatar Rally’s longest day, with a total trajectory of over 500 kilometres, Monster Energy Honda Team come away with notable results, particularly for Paulo Gonçalves who posted the second fastest time and remains in contention for the overall prize.

The special stage of 353 kms took place over the same course as yesterday’s stage, this time, however, in the opposite direction. Once again navigation was a key issue at play for large sections of the route.

Gonçalves worked hard to keep out of the reach of the pursuing riders. In spite of conceding some time in the earlier parts of the stage, he was able to recuperate after the refuelling, even managing to overtake the sole rider who had started out ahead. Paulo wrapped up the day crossing the line in first place.

Monster Energy Honda Team’s second rider in Qatar, Argentine Kevin Benavides, who set out this morning from third place, finished further back after being unable to locate a waypoint. Benavides came home with the sixth fastest time of the day some nine minutes off the special stage winner Matthias Walkner.

The penultimate stage of the Qatar Rally will take place tomorrow in the northern part of the peninsula of the country with a total of 461.46 km, 337.76 of which will be against the clock.

Paulo Goncalves

STAGE: 2nd +3'14 OVERALL: 2nd +6'28

We finished the second day with a lot of pace. Today I set out second and the tracks weren’t very visible, meaning that the navigation was essential. I had to work hard. I lost a little bit of time to Sam but I made it with an advantage to the refuelling. After I kept up a good pace and I got up close and managed to pass Sunderland and opened the track for 40 km. I’m fairly happy with the day’s performance. There are two days still to go and we have to keep pushing.

Kevin Benavides

STAGE: 6th +9'05 OVERALL: 5th +13'01

I was going quite well until refuelling. In the final section at about kilometre 100, I made a mistake with the waypoint which I couldn’t find and I had to look for it and lost a bit of time. Some of the other riders caught me up and we finished the stage together. Today the hand was playing up a bit after such a long stage, but I will keep battling on and getting more mileage under my belt.

2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-2 , Stage 3   Qatar

Stage 3 results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Walkner Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team KTM 4:01'25
2 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'14
3 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +6'06
4 Sunderland Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +6'18
5 Renet Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +8'04
6 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +9'05
7 Meo Antoine FRA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +31'25
8 Albalooshi Mohammed UAE Ride to Abu Dhabi Team KTM +50'31
9 Giemza Maciej POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +1:13'56
10 Tomiczek Adam POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +1:23'37
2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-2 , Stage 3   Qatar

Provisional Standings after Stage3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sunderland Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team KTM 7:55'44.20
2 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'28.90
3 Walkner Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +9'47.60
4 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +12'41.80
5 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'01.40
6 Renet Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +15'00.60
7 Meo Antoine FRA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +1:01'35.70
8 Albalooshi Mohammed UAE Ride to Abu Dhabi Team KTM +1:40'14.30
9 Giemza Maciej POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +2:00'51.90
10 Tomiczek Adam POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +2:41'03.60
Location Information

We have great pleasure in welcoming you to the desert landscapes of Qatar and we hope that our varied desert terrain of soft sand, of dunes, of hard and rocky terrain all provide suitable challenges for our FIA and FIM World Championship contenders and competitors over the five hard days… read more.

Losail International Race Circuit, Municipalidad de Al Daayen, Catar - View in Google Maps

Records

2017 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2016 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2015 Marc Coma (KTM)
2014 Joan Barreda (Honda)
2013 Marc Coma (KTM)
2012 Marc Coma (KTM)