Paulo Goncalves returns once more to one of his prefered battle-grounds, a terrain which proved to be crucial in the 2013 World Championship: the Rally dos Sertoes. Victory in the Brazilian GP marked an important step towards gaining the world title, and paved the way for Paulo Goncalves to subsequently take the title in Morocco.
Last year, the Brazilian Rally “dos Sertões” (‘rally of the inland regions’) turned out to be one of the most decisive in the 2013 championship. It was a cool-headed Paulo Goncalves, who handled the difficult course, and made the most of opportunities, leading to a crucial victory as he closed the gap on overall leader Marc Coma. Later in the Morocco Rally, the Portuguese rider aboard the new Honda CRF450 RALLY, sealed his place as the new FIM World Cross-Country Rallies champion.
The Team HRC rider Paulo Goncalves will thus be sporting the number one on the Honda CRF450 RALLY in a race that will bring back some thrilling memories for the Portuguese rider, for it was there that ‘Speedy’ rode to his first championship win, after a hard-fought rally and a display of strength and reliability.
Paulo Goncalves and Hélder Rodrigues are set to be the Team HRC starters for this edition of the Sertoes 2014, as the victorious Honda CRF450 RALLY –winner in Abu Dhabi and Qatar-, returns to action. This comes after the team was unable to use the machine in the Italian race due to its particular characteristics. Goncalves arrives in Goiania in third place in the overall standings of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, just seven points behind overall leader Marc Coma. Hélder Rodrigues lies in fifth overall position. As had been previously planned at the beginning of the season, Joan Barreda continues his program of preparation in Spain ahead of the next Dakar.
The race gets underway this Saturday 23rd August, with a 10 km prologue in the Goiania Autodrome Ayrton Senna. The first of seven stages will be disputed on Sunday. The Rally dos Sertoes comes to a close in Belo Horizonte on Saturday 30th after some 2,600 kilometres, of which 1,545 are against the clock.
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.
Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil - View in Google Maps