Paulo Gonçalves and Jeremías Israel got the fifth date of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship underway in Chile. The first stage of the Atacama Rally proved to be a far-from-easy one, although the team remains firmly focused on their objectives.
Torrential downpours over the last few weeks, which have left the tracks and race route in a poor state, finally forced race officials to drastically reduce the length of the opening stage of the Atacama Rally. The opening stage of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship’s first visit to South America this year was thus reduced to a fifteen kilometre route that was raced over two laps.
Paulo Gonçalves, after clocking the fastest time in yesterday’s prologue, had the privilege of choosing today’s starting position as the rally headed off from Viña del Mar. The Portuguese rider on the Honda CRF450 RALLY set off hoping to gain time on his rivals up ahead. Nevertheless, an unexpected electrical fault in the dunes held Paulo up and saw him concede time to adversaries.
Chilean rider Jeremías Israel, seventh in the curtain-raiser, scored a similar final finish position on today’s first day of racing, likewise overcoming a minor electrical failure and experiencing a fall on second lap of the timed section.
Tomorrow sees the second stage of the Atacama Rally with a special stage of 367.30 kilometres from La Serena to Atacama.
Results Stage 1
|1||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||40'23|
|2||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 1'00|
|3||Price Toby||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 2'17|
|4||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 4'08|
|5||Meo Antoine||FRA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 4'17|
|6||Viladoms Jordi||11||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 4'45|
|7||Israel Jeremias||CHI||Team HRC||Honda||+ 7'13|
|8||Gouet Daniel||CHI||KTM||KTM||+ 9'37|
|9||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||+ 12'57|
|10||Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho'||CHI||XRaids||Suzuki||+ 53'29|
|15||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+ 1:00'11|
The 2019 edition of the Atacama Rally will offer its competitors a high-level sports rally, challenging the incredible dunes of the Atacama Desert. An open challenge for all and especially for those competing for the third round of the FIM Cross-Country World Rally Championship in the category of motorcycles and… read more.
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