The second stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, in Qatar was far from an easy one for Team HRC. Neither the fourth place of Joan Barreda nor the eighth position of Paulo Goncalves really reflected the sheer amount of navigational work that the riders had put in over a long and arduous stage.

The riders had their work cut out at today’s second stage of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, the Sealine. Not only was it a lengthy day with almost 400 kilometres in the saddle, but also one involving a heavy measure of navigation and road-book interpretation over the rocky stretches of the Qatar desert.

Today turned out to be a tiresome day that barely allowed Team HRC to shine. Paulo Goncalves had been forced to start out from an unfavourable position and, in spite of managing to notch up the fastest time at the first check-point, was baffled at how other riders – including team-mate Joan Barreda – had been able to catch up. Barreda crossed the line alongside the eventual race winner, yet both he and his Portuguese comrade dropped time to the other competitors. Barreda does, however, hang on to second overall place, while Goncalves lies in eighth in the general standings.

Jeremias Israel fell victim to the all-pervasive stones just a few kilometres into the special taking a heavy hit in the right arm from a rock that shot up from the front wheel. The Chilean rider was forced to battle bravely on against the intense pain, making a decision to play it safe and even managed to improve on his overall ranking by the time the day was through.

Tomorrow’s third stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally of Qatar offers the Team HRC a further chance to display their abilities and will feature another long special as riders go 401.15 km against the clock.

Joan Barreda

STAGE: 4th OVERALL: 2nd

I’m happy with today which has been a really hard day. One where it was really tough to keep up the concentration with such a lot of complicated navigation. In the first few kilometres I pulled alongside Marc, he took over first and from then on we took it in turns to open the track.
I’m not so happy with the race strategy. The new rule makes it impossible to control the race. You can go as fast as you want but it doesn’t get you any good results. You get controlled from outside and I’m not in favour of that. Anyway, for everything else the bike is going really well and I’m on good form. Let the fight continue!

Paulo Goncalves

STAGE: 8th OVERALL: 8th

It was quite a long stage at 400 km. I started in second place and opened the way from about kilometre 50 until refuelling. I felt great on the bike which is running perfectly without any trouble. Today there was stony track, very fast and 50 km of dunes. As we expected, the riders who started up behind were able to make up time. I’ll to change tactics to see if I can find a better place with the new rules. Let’s see what happens in the next stages. But it can’t get any worse.

Jeremias Israel

STAGE: 13th OVERALL: 13th

Today was a really hard day. In the first 50 km I was hit by a rock in the right arm that came up from the front wheel. I was left with a very painful arm, so I decided to opt for a more laid-back stage finish and I was able to make it through the rest of the day.

Private: Wolfgang Fischer

Team HRC Team Manager

Day two of the Sealine Qatar Rally with 400 kms and plenty of navigation. It was very tiring both physically and mentally having to keep as concentrated as possible to stay on the right track. Joan and Paulo both had the job of opening the track for a part of the race today and did a good job finishing well, even though the tactical possibilities are limited with the new regulation with the starting orders. Tomorrow we will try and make the best of it. Not so lucky today for Jeremiah. He had an impact from a stone – not a crash – but he was hit by a stone right at the beginning of the stage and had a lot of pain in his forearm after. He had to slow down, keep a rhythm and make it through to the finish. We will see how fit he is for tomorrow, but it shouldn’t be so bad.

2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 2 , Stage 2   Qatar

Results Stage 2

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Walkner Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:06'09
2 Viladoms Jordi 11 SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 2'08
3 Coma Marc SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 4'07
4 Barreda Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 6'04
5 Sunderland Sam 1 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 8'06
6 Albalooshi Mohammed 76 UAE Duust Rally Team KTM + 10'11
7 Quintanilla Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM + 14'10
8 Goncalves Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 14'30
10 Piatek Jakub POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM + 38'32
13 Israel Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 52'57
2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 2 , Stage 2   Qatar

Provisional Standings after Stage 2

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Coma Marc SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 6:20'17
2 Barreda Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 2'03
3 Sunderland Sam 1 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 4'56
4 Viladoms Jordi 11 SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 6'09
5 Walkner Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 8'56
6 Albalooshi Mohammed 76 UAE Duust Rally Team KTM + 11'20
7 Quintanilla Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM + 12'08
8 Goncalves Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 14'32
9 Sonik Rafal POL Poland National Honda + 1:06'11
13 Israel Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 1:07'21
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)