A curtain-raising Super Special at the Losail Circuit got the second round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship off and running. Monster Energy Honda Team participate with Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides.

A short, but nonetheless spectacular special stage of just less than five kilometres in the area surrounding the Losail circuit got the Qatar Rally underway today. A very compact and rocky track required a mix of aggression and prudence in equal measures as competitors battled to stay on their bikes.

Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides, still fighting to overcome a right wrist injury was one of the first to tackle the unknown track and rode a swift race to score one of the day’s better times on the Honda CRF450 RALLY. The rider who hails from Salta, Argentina posted fifth fastest on the day. Monster Energy Honda Team co-rider Paulo Gonçalves finished behind Kevin, who came home two seconds ahead of the Portuguese rider.

Tomorrow, the first full stage attend. Riders can look forward to a long second special stage with 334 km against the clock. Expect heavy navigation on a rocky ride through the desert, which will include a final section of dunes in the south eastern area of the Qatar peninsula.

Paulo Goncalves

STAGE: 6th +0'16.20 OVERALL: 6th +0'16.20

I have finished the Qatar prologue and I made a few mistakes on the way. We have keep on going as the race is likely to get quite difficult with some very tricky navigation. We will have to be very cautious out there on the track. In this race it will be really important to have a good stage each day to be able to get a good final result.

Kevin Benavides

STAGE: 5th +0'14.70 OVERALL: 5th +0'14.70

It was a good special – quite relaxed but good to gain a bit of confidence. The real race begins tomorrow and we can expect a tough one for the navigation. We will have to be very careful to make sure that we have a good stage tomorrow.

2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-2 , 1   Qatar

Super Special Stage Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Meo Antoine FRA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM 4'31.90
2 Walkner Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +0'06.90
3 Sunderland Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +0'08.30
4 Renet Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +0'10.90
5 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'14.70
6 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'16.20
7 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +0'28.10
8 Tomiczek Adam POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +0'39.90
9 Giemza Maciej POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +0'44.20
10 Albalooshi Mohammed UAE Ride to Abu Dhabi Team KTM +0'56.50
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)