Team HRC’s Paulo Gonçalves finished the second stage of the Desert Challenge in third place and Joan Barreda likewise repeated yesterday’s fourth place. Hélder Rodrigues crossed the line in seventh after starting out from way behind.
The second stage went as planned with the three riders on the Honda CRF450 RALLYs arriving at the halfway point with no major mishaps. After days in which practically every rider had experienced tough moments, today it was all about keeping up the pace without jeopardizing rider safety. The route across the sand was not a heavily technical one although in the second special there was the constant threat of running into some hidden hazard. The second part of the course was made up of various banks of dunes requiring some navigation before drawing to a close in Qasr Al Sarab.
Paulo Gonçalves started out in third place and was able to keep up a fine rhythm to finish once again in a podium position. Joan Barreda was forced to stop after the refuelling to check that his Honda CRF450 RALLY was running correctly and dropped a few minutes. In spite of stopping he managed to finish in fourth just behind his Honda team-mate.
Hélder Rodrigues started from 26th position after suffering a set-back that caused him to lose a lot of time. The Team HRC rider battled his way back into sixth place in the stage and tomorrow it should be back to business as usual.
The Eurosport International TV channel will be showing the highlights of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The broadcast time for today, Monday, will be at 22:55 hrs and tomorrow at 23:30 hrs.
Stage 3 – Moreeb-Qasr Al Sarab
Liaison: 88.05km Special Stage: 256.40km Liaison: 27.57
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||03:36'02|
|2||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+02'00|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+02'06|
|4||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+07'39|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+14'31|
|6||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+14'43|
|7||Berglund Thomas||SWE||Rally Rage Sweden||Husaberg||+23'00|
|8||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+24'19|
|9||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+26'00|
|10||Chunchungguppe Santosh||IND||Team CS||KTM||+27'05|
Provisional Standings after Stage 2
|1||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||07:08'29|
|2||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+01'25|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+04'16|
|4||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+12'08|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+25'09|
|6||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+01:02'46|
|7||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+01:10'35|
|8||Nikishkin Aleksei||RUS||WI Rally||Honda||+01:24'46|
|9||Chunchungguppe Santosh||IND||Team CS||KTM||+01:25'42|
|10||Piatek Jakub||POL||Team Hanesco||KTM||+01:31'48|
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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