Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves grabbed the third stage victory in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, climbing up one place into second spot in the general rankings. Noteworthy specials too from Barreda – home in fourth – and Brabec in seventh.
The Honda CRF450 RALLY was back in a starring role in the dunes of the Liwa Desert where the third of a five-stage Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge played out. After Joan Barreda’s win yesterday, today it was team-mate Paulo Goncalves’ turn to stamp his authority on a 400 kilometre stage, which included a 272.8 km timed special.
Joan Barreda took advantage of a new rule that allows the first three finishers to choose their starting positions among the first six starters. The Spanish rider set out from sixth place, put pedal to metal and was soon forging ahead of the pack, opening the way for a long stretch of the special stage. The adversaries did finally catch up and Barreda had to content himself with a fourth final place.
Paulo Gonçalves, on the other hand, took full advantage of the day, pushing hard from the start, before going on to take his first triumph so far in the 2015 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The win permits him to move up one spot on the overall leaderboard. The Portuguese supremo now lies in second in the general some five minutes off the leader.
Ricky Brabec, for his part, finishes the day with a positive balance sheet. After enduring a dune-filled stage in extreme temperatures hovering around 50 degrees, the American rookie crossed the line in seventh, holding on to his position in the general rankings.
Results Stage 3
|1||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||3:38'49|
|2||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 0'29|
|3||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 3'04|
|4||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 6'16|
|5||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 10'30|
|6||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 14'37|
|7||Brabec Ricky||USA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 15'28|
|8||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||+ 20'12|
|9||Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho'||CHI||XRaids||Suzuki||+ 22'53|
|10||Salvatierra Juan Carlos||BOL||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 24'52|
Standings Stage 3
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||11:04'41|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+ 5'04|
|3||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 6'31|
|4||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 18'21|
|5||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 23'49|
|6||Brabec Ricky||USA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 25'39|
|7||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||+ 32'02|
|8||Salvatierra Juan Carlos||BOL||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 49'05|
|9||Hart Matthew||AUS||CPW Moto||KTM||+ 53'45|
|10||McBride David||GBR||Team Gecko||KTM||+ 55'07|
|18||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 2:55'21|
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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