It was another day of triumph for Paulo Goncalves in the Rally Dos Sertoes, which saw the Team HRC rider very focused on achieving victory in the final part of the race. Helder Rodrigues finished the stage in sixth place.
With just one stage remaining in the Rally Dos Sertoes –the fifth race so far in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship- reigning champion Paulo Goncalves continues to fight nail and tooth in each stage to hold on to his position as world’s number one.
Today’s stage was without the usual link, which meant that the bikes were against the clock from the minute that they headed out of the parc fermé. The stage passed first along an old railway line full of loose rocks requiring a lot of demanding navigation. It was then on to a very fast section needing special attention to the speed controls lining the course, before the route headed up some mountainous areas, along narrow rutted tracks, and passed through numerous fords.
Today was another exhibition of the Portuguese rider’s handling skills, which has brought him four victories (three stage wins and the prologue) so far in the Brazilian race. But it proved to be far from easy. ‘Speedy’ set out to catch up with Jean Azevedo, from the Honda Brazil team, but found himself facing a wall of dust that made overtaking near impossible. In spite of this, Goncalves pushed hard and managed to whittle several minutes off the deficit with overall race leader Marc Coma, reducing his advantage to 4 minutes 36 seconds. Paulo will be aiming to win the Sertoes, and to do so, he will be battling every inch of the way, as he did in last year’s edition.
Helder Rodrigues is aiming for a podium place, although he lost some time today in one of the race’s tougher sections; a stretch that proved difficult to reduce the gap with Jean Azevedo, who managed to finish the stage as runner-up. Helder was nevertheless, able to hold on to his fourth place in the overall standings. Tomorrow will get one more chance to attack for the podium.
Stage 7 – Diamantina-Belo Horizonte
Liaison: 54.38km Special Stage: 125.88km Liaison: 151.96km
|1||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||2:24'25|
|2||Azevedo Jean||BRA||Honda Mobil Rally||Honda||+1'43|
|3||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+2'24|
|4||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+3'09|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+3'55|
|6||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+3'59|
|7||Klaumann Ike||BRA||Team Klaumann||Honda||+5'24|
|8||Casteu David||FRA||Team Casteu||KTM||+6'13|
|9||Sacilotti Ramon Oliveira||BRA||Kawasaki Rinaldi||Kawasaki||+7'23|
|10||Faria Ruben||POR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+9'02|
Provisional Standings after Stage 6
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||16:45'39|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+4'36|
|3||Azevedo Jean||BRA||Honda Mobil Rally||Honda||+13'29|
|4||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+19'07|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+23'07|
|6||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+29'50|
|7||Klaumann Ike||BRA||Team Klaumann||Honda||+38'42|
|8||Casteu David||FRA||Team Casteu||KTM||+43'50|
|9||Faria Ruben||POR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+44'18|
|10||Sacilotti Ramon Oliveira||BRA||Kawasaki Rinaldi||Kawasaki||+59'36|
Dust, mud, brain-melting heat or damp cold, into the night, in dirt or asphalt roads, treks in the forest, ravines and flatlands. Crossing big cities and little villages, contacting simple, caring and hospitable people. All this is part of Sertões International Rally. Besides the bold competition, the event is also… read more.
Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil - View in Google Maps