The Atacama Rally has again highlighted Team HRC and Paulo Gonçalves’ knack of consistently turning out high-level performances and triumphs in a season about to culminate with the OiLibya Morocco Rally, last stop before the Dakar 2016.
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Team HRC dispatched the duo Paulo Goncalves and Jeremías Israel to head the campaign – the fifth round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship staged in Chile.
Paulo Goncalves once again shone in a highly technical Atacama Rally. The Portuguese rider set out his stall early at the event’s curtain-raiser by grabbing top prize in the short prologue. Although an electrical breakdown the following day, on the rally’s first full stage, needed an hour to repair and effectively ended Team HRC’s chance of an overall win, it did little to diminish Goncalves’ hunger for victory. The rider went on to win the second and fifth stages too. Goncalves’ break-neck pace and navigational dexterity saw him rise from fifteenth place overall after the first stage to a final sixth position.
Paulo Goncalves, with 53 points, now sits in fifth spot in the world championship standings. With just the Morocco Rally still to go, the Honda CRF450 RALLY can still climb various places on the leaderboard. Even a shot at the title isn’t completely ruled out either.
For Jeremías Israel the Atacama Rally meant a return from a serious operation, carried out to remove a plate in his right arm that had been fitted after a bad fall in the Dakar 2014 and had caused considerable pain in the Qatar Sealine. ‘Jere’ was on a three-fold mission: to get back into the race rhythm, get used to the speed and clock up some serious mileage on the Honda CRF450 RALLY. The Chilean put his final eighth place down to a lack of action and sanctions for having missed some waypoints.
Team HRC will be back in competition in the first week of October at the OiLibya Morocco Rally, the sixth and final date whose points count towards the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. The race gets underway in Zagora October 3rd and finishes on the 9th in Agadir.
Atacama Rally Final Standings 2015
|1||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||11:07'34|
|2||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 0’49|
|3||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+ 3’14|
|4||Viladoms Jordi||11||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 21’28|
|5||Gouet Daniel||CHI||KTM||KTM||+ 37’48|
|6||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+ 53’02|
|7||Prohens Felipe||CHI||Team Hermanos Prohens||KTM||+ 1:06’14|
|8||Israel Jeremias||CHI||Team HRC||Honda||+ 1:33’52|
|9||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||+ 1:36’30|
|10||Price Toby||1||AUS||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+ 1:46’18|
World Championship Provisional Standings after Atacama Rally
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||70|
|2||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||67|
|3||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||66|
|4||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||55|
|5||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||53|
|6||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||52|
|7||Piatek Jakub||POL||Orlen Team||KTM||46|
|8||Viladoms Jordi||11||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||44|
|9||Monleon Armand||SPA||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||37|
|10||Salvatierra Juan Carlos||BOL||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||35|
|11||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||30|
The 2019 edition of the Atacama Rally will offer its competitors a high-level sports rally, challenging the incredible dunes of the Atacama Desert. An open challenge for all and especially for those competing for the third round of the FIM Cross-Country World Rally Championship in the category of motorcycles and… read more.
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