Team HRC ‘s fifth FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship campaign concluded yesterday, with a more than positive final balance sheet. Paulo Goncalves finished runner-up in a competition that saw him snatch victory in four stages, as well as winning the prologue. The world championship title challenge remains wide open.
The Honda CRF450 RALLY proved itself to be highly competitive in a taxing Rally dos Sertoes, in the hands of both the five-times special winner Paulo Goncalves, and Helder Rodrigues, who was on the podium twice.
The machines were certainly subjected to a vigorous work-out on a route that featured just about every type of terrain that nature could muster. One minute the riders were speeding through forested zones, the next, choked in clouds of dust. There were trial-like climbs, sand, and highly demanding routes that tested both physically and technically. Yet, not even this was able to dent the performance of the two Hondas, who finished in top positions on a daily basis.
Paulo Goncalves finished the 22nd edition of the Rally dos Sertoes in second place, just three minutes adrift of Marc Coma, the championship leader. ‘Speedy’ goes into the last race of the championship calendar in Morocco, with title options still in his sights.
It was also an admirable performance from Helder Rodrigues with a fourth final place, which leaves the Portuguese rider with chances of finishing the world championship high on the leader-board. Helder currently lies in fourth overall position, eight points behind Team HRC stable-mate Joan Barreda, who didn’t participate in the Sertoes.
Team HRC would like to thank the Honda Brazil team for their collaboration in this race, facilitating the work of the team throughout, and congratulate rider Jean Azevedo, who battled his way to third place overall on a Honda CRF450 RALLY.
Next port of call for the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship will be the Rally OiLibya Maroc for the sixth and final date in the calendar, held from 2nd to 9th October, where Team HRC play their final hand prior to the 2015 Rally Dakar.
World Championship Standings
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||71 points|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||61 points|
|3||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||45 points|
|4||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||37 points|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||37 points|
|6||Faria Ruben||POR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||24 points|
|7||Salvatierra Juan Carlos||BOL||Team Speedbrain||Speedbrain||21 points|
|8||Botturi Alessandro||ITA||Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||20 points|
|9||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||20 points|
|10||Cardona Nicolas||VEN||Pedrega Team||Yamaha||17 points|
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.
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