A sandstorm puts paid to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2015. Race authorities, unable to offer the riders adequate measures of security, decide to cancel the final stage before the race start, therefore meaning yesterday’s final results stand. Ricky Brabec wins the junior category and finishes fifth in the general rankings.
The organisation of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge decided for safety reasons to annul the fifth and final stage of the race after a major sandstorm swept the rally area reducing overall visibility to less than 100 metres. As a consequence, the helicopters normally deployed to maintain race safety were grounded, thus forcing the cancellation.
With two out of four stage victories in the bag, Team HRC has once again reiterated its mighty potential in the first round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, with a notable display that once more rubber-stamps the correct trajectory that the team is taking in both rider performance and machine improvements.
Joan Barreda and Paulo Goncalves, winners of the second and third stages, gave an exhibition of their speed, their capacity to win races and to be a constant threat at the head of the rally. Once slight mechanical setback stood between them and the podium, as they had done in the previous edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
Team HRC is very proud of the performance put in by 23-year-old American Ricky Brabec. The rookie had got his first taste of navigation and riding amid the dunes and even managed one of the honorary final placings, posting an overall fifth as well as triumphing in the junior category.
Next stop-off for Team HRC is in two weeks for the Qatar Sealine, which will feature Paulo Goncalves, Joan Barreda and Chilean rider Jeremias Israel, who has just renewed his contract with Team HRC ahead of the next Dakar 2016.
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2015 Final Results
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||14:49'05|
|2||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+ 11'55|
|3||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 20'16|
|4||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 28'01|
|5||Brabec Ricky||USA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 34'17|
|6||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||+ 44'48|
|7||Salvatierra Juan Carlos||BOL||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 1:03'06|
|8||Hart Matthew||AUS||CPW Moto||KTM||+ 1:13'15|
|9||Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho'||CHI||XRaids||Suzuki||+ 1:13'31|
|10||McBride David||GBR||Team Gecko||KTM||+ 1:17'35|
|15||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 3:03'00|
|36||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+ 29:11'40|
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.
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