Monster Energy Honda Team’s debut in the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship turned out to be a positive one with good sensations for the team and a fourth overall place for Paulo Gonçalves.
There were few surprises in the final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge which unfolded as had been expected. Monster Energy Honda Team’s Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides headed off in first position after yesterday’s victory. The rider remained at the head of the course throughout the entire 250 kilometre timed special stage, clearly back on form after returning from injury. Benavides, lumbered with the task of having to pay closer attention to the roadbook, was caught up by the pursuing riders, before crossing the line amid the leading group.
Portuguese rider Paulo Gonçalves also saw that, in spite of starting from third position, the riders setting off from behind were able to follow the tracks left in the Liwa dunes, eventually reaching him as the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge neared its final phase.
As the stage and rally in Abu Dhabi wrap up, we find Paulo Gonçalves in both fourth position on the day and in the overall standings. Benavides posted the day’s seventh best time as he collects valuable points towards the world championship.
Stage 5 results
|1||Sunderland Sam||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||2:40'20|
|2||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+5'59|
|3||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+8'58|
|4||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+12'26|
|5||Renet Pierre-Alexandre||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+14'56|
|6||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+15'32|
|7||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+17'56|
|8||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Ride to Abu Dhabi Team||KTM||+24'20|
|9||McBride David||GBR||Vendetta Racing UAE||KTM||+27'01|
|10||Tomiczek Adam||POL||KTM Orlen Rally Team||KTM||+28'32|
Final Standings Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2017
|1||Sunderland Sam||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||18:14'32.5|
|2||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+6'13.7|
|3||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+8'16.1|
|4||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+11'10.3|
|5||Renet Pierre-Alexandre||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+14'50.8|
|6||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+1:09'00.6|
|7||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Ride to Abu Dhabi Team||KTM||+1:30'34.2|
|9||Tomiczek Adam||POL||KTM Orlen Rally Team||KTM||+2:59'10.3|
|10||McBride David||GBR||Vendetta Racing UAE||KTM||+3:06'06.1|
|16||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+17:10'06.0|
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