Team HRC get the show on the road in Qatar with a fine performance. The second round of the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship sees Joan Barreda grab second spot and Paulo Goncalves fifth. Top ten finish also for Jeremias Israel.

Team HRC’s Jeremias Israel got the tricky task of leading off the second event in the Cross-Country Rallies calendar, which meant the Chilean rider had to open the way and navigate alone at the front of the 194.08 kilometre special stage. ‘Jere’ was eventually caught up by adversaries but took advantage of the opportunity to continue honing his navigational and road-book reading skills.

Paulo Goncalves started the race from sixth position, set a nippy pace and finished a relatively problem-free special stage alongside team-mate Joan Barreda, who crossed the line in second place just six seconds behind the winner. The Spaniard, heading out from eighth position, had set about imposing his cracking pace on the rest of the field and scored the fastest times at the two check-points. He would have done even better were it not for a navigation system malfunction that forced him to wait for team-mate Paulo to be able to successfully complete the special stage.

The starting positions could well prove to be the decisive factors in the quest for overall victory. The latest regulatory change allows the previous day’s winner to choose between the first six starting positions. This will certainly give an added advantage, which permits those starting from behind to retrace the route of riders who have previously opened the track.

Tomorrow’s stage (Tuesday) will feature a considerable increase in kilometres as the rally takes on its lengthiest adventure with a 397.56 kilometre special as part of a total 476 km trajectory. Here, the map.

Joan Barreda

STAGE: 2nd OVERALL: 2nd

I think that I had a good day. I passed half the group but from kilometre 50 onwards I was opening the way with Viladoms. The navigation was difficult and to make things worse I had a problem with the GPS. I had to wait for Paulo who was going really well and I was able to make it through to the end without any trouble. It was a shame as we lost some valuable minutes in the final part. Let’s see how the rest of the race turns out.

Paulo Goncalves

STAGE: 5th OVERALL: 5th

I finished fifth today with a couple of navigational setbacks. From that point of view, it is the most difficult race of the world championship, so I suppose that it is normal that some errors are made. The position jeopardizes the rest of the rally a bit as it means that the riders who finished ahead are able to choose tomorrow’s starting positions. I’ll just have to keep battling even if I don’t like it. But the most important thing is that the bike hasn’t given any problems. I’ve just got to keep battling on.

Jeremias Israel

STAGE: 10TH OVERALL: 10TH

It was a complicated stage with a lot of navigation. I was forced to open and for me the most important thing is to keep gaining experience and get back into the swing of things. I tried to maintain a positive and steady navigation, riding by myself, but I made a couple of mistakes. I continued to try and learn and correct my own mistakes instead of just clinging on to the other riders, which would have been the easiest thing to do.

Private: Wolfgang Fischer

Team HRC Team Manager

Today was the first day of the Sealine Rally in Qatar and was not a bad day. We didn’t have the best starting positions but the guys made the most of it. For Jeremias he had the pleasure of starting first and opening the track, learning more about navigation and being able to concentrate on his road-book, while other riders at the rear were able to have an easier job. So, for Joan it was important to push and make it into the top positions for today. It was a pity that he just missed the stage victory by just a few seconds, having a few problems with his GPS at the end of the stage. Paulo helped him out a bit in the end. Overall, it could have been a bit better, but nothing has been lost so far, so tomorrow we’ll be concentrating on the tricky navigation again. So let’s look forward to the next four days. The bikes have been running great with no technical problems and there’s been very stony and hot conditions which are a good testing place for the bikes and riders.

2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 2 , Stage 1   Qatar

Results Stage 1

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Coma Marc SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 2:10'01
2 Barreda Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 0'06
3 Sunderland Sam 1 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 0'57
4 Quintanilla Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM + 2'05
5 Goncalves Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 4'09
6 Albalooshi Mohammed 76 UAE Duust Rally Team KTM + 5'16
7 Viladoms Jordi 11 SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 8'08
8 Faria Ruben 8 POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 8'27
9 Walkner Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 13'03
10 Israel Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 18'31
2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 2 , Stage 1   Qatar

Provisional Standings after Stage 1

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Coma Marc SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 2:10'01
2 Barreda Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 0'06
3 Sunderland Sam 1 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 0'57
4 Quintanilla Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM + 2'05
5 Goncalves Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 4'09
6 Albalooshi Mohammed 76 UAE Duust Rally Team KTM + 5'16
7 Viladoms Jordi 11 SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 8'08
8 Faria Ruben 8 POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 8'27
9 Walkner Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 13'03
10 Israel Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 18'31
Location Information

We have great pleasure in welcoming you to the desert landscapes of Qatar and we hope that our varied desert terrain of soft sand, of dunes, of hard and rocky terrain all provide suitable challenges for our FIA and FIM World Championship contenders and competitors over the five hard days… read more.

Losail International Race Circuit, Municipalidad de Al Daayen, Catar - View in Google Maps

Records

2017 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2016 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2015 Marc Coma (KTM)
2014 Joan Barreda (Honda)
2013 Marc Coma (KTM)
2012 Marc Coma (KTM)