Monster Energy Honda Team succeeded in placing both of their duo of riders onto the podium at the end of the Atacama Rally – the third round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Kevin Benavides took runner-up spot overall and Paulo Gonçalves third.
In spite of a tricky starting position for the final day’s racing, Monster Energy Honda Team nevertheless finished the event with a notable all-round team effort and result. The riders had to head off in front as the race got underway this morning, with the adversaries starting immediately behind, who were able to take advantage and follow the tracks already marked out ahead. In spite of this, Kevin Benavides set a scorching rhythm with Chilean Pablo Quintanilla – the eventual overall winner – in hot pursuit. Kevin, who at one point made a minor navigation error, finished behind the current world champion.
Meanwhile, Paulo Gonçalves performed valiantly in the dunes given that his disadvantageous starting position was a mere three seconds ahead of Sam Sunderland. The Portuguese Monster Energy Honda Team rider was able to fend off and beat the winner of the last Dakar, a feat rewarded with a place on the final rostrum.
With the participation in the Atacama Rally out of the way, Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides will next take part – along with the rest of the team – in the following round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship: the Desafío Ruta 40 (North) in Argentina.
- The stage was delayed for a few minutes due to the late arrival of the helicopter at the starting point.
- This fifth and final stage – in the form of a loop from Iquique to Iquique – departed from the eastern part of the city before finishing in the same place as yesterday’s stage on the famous dune beneath Los Verdes.
- The final stage consisted of a special stage of 158.27 kilometres against the clock. The timed section took place after an initial liaison section of 31.17 kilometres to reach Alto Hospicio and concluded with another liaison of 20.66 kilometres before heading back to the bivouac in Iquique.
Stage 5 Results
|1||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||1:35'42|
|2||Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho'||CHI||Cornejo Rally Team||KTM||+0'12|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+0'19|
|4||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'25|
|5||de Soultrait Xavier||FRA||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+5'47|
|6||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+7'03|
|7||Caimi Franco||ARG||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+8'20|
|8||Sunderland Sam||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+11'46|
|9||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+15'29|
Final standings Atacama Rally 2017
|1||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||12:53'49|
|2||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'23|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+11'51|
|4||Sunderland Sam||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+23'15|
|5||de Soultrait Xavier||FRA||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+33'46|
|6||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+34'05|
|7||Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho'||CHI||Cornejo Rally Team||KTM||+43'35|
|8||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+49'41|
|9||Caimi Franco||ARG||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+1:23'31|
This is your invitation to live the Atacama Rally 2018, Third Round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. The Atacama 2018 will be unique, traversing the immensity of the Atacama Desert. Is set to be a magical race, breathtaking and above all challenging, taking riders’ abilities to the limits to… read more.
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