The penultimate day of racing at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge failed to produce the kind of results that Team HRC had been hoping for; Barreda, opening the track, took sixth place; Brabec finished seventh. Paulo Gonçalves was unable to make it through the special stage.
Team HRC, who had endeavoured to keep all options of a final win open in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, rested their hopes in Paulo Gonçalves setting out from a favourable starting-position. Nevertheless, it wasn’t to be. The Portuguese rider’s podium bid has thwarted by an electrical hitch that saw him unable to complete the timed special. Some 43 km into the 258 km race, Paulo was forced out due to an electrical problem which he was unable to sort out. The Portuguese rider will be disappointed to not defend his previous Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2014 title. With the navigation in the dunes, the strategies and some of the most extreme weather encountered, this is one of the rally raid calendar’s most taxing events with riders having to endure temperatures of up to 50 degrees.
Joan Barreda got the show underway, leading the charge, which meant having to navigate his way ahead of the ensuing pack whom he led for a greater part of the 258.1 kilometre special. With the pursuers hot on the heels of the Honda CRF450 RALLY, the Spaniard was finally forced to concede in spite of having upped the pace considerably over the final stretches. Barreda settled for a sixth place as the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2015 heads into tomorrow’s final stage.
Tucked in behind Barreda was a very consistent Ricky Brabec with a seventh place finish who leapfrogs two places on the overall leaderboard. The plucky debutante now lies in fifth in the general standings in addition to leading the Rally juniors.
Results Stage 4
|1||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||3:43'14|
|2||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 0'10|
|3||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 2'05|
|4||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 4'43|
|5||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+ 6'01|
|6||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 7'49|
|7||Brabec Ricky||USA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 8'48|
|8||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||+ 12'56|
|9||Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho'||CHI||XRaids||Suzuki||+ 12'42|
|10||Salvatierra Juan Carlos||BOL||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 12'11|
|36||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+ 5:16'46|
Standings Stage 4
|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.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - View in Google Maps