It will be symbolic special stage at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi that raises the curtain on the 2015 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Paulo Gonçalves will be out to defend his victory in last year’s edition.
With the competition now celebrating twenty-five years of history, including twenty years of motorcycle racing, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has kicked off once more. Portugal’s Honda CRF450 RALLY ace Paulo Gonçalves is poised to begin the event after having picked up top honours last time round in an event that also saw a first triumph for Honda. ‘Speedy’ Gonçalves sets out as current world championship runner-up.
Also on the Emirate’s start-line will be Team HRC companions Joan Barreda – third in the 2014 FIM Cross-Countries Rallies World Championship – and American rookie Ricky Brabec, winner of the 2014 Bajas 250, 500 and 1000.
The Yas Marina circuit has, for the last three days, become the competition headquarters and as pre-race activities begin to wind down, the track has witnessed a display from motorcycle rally’s elite, although for the time being without the clock. The chronometer comes out for tomorrow’s first stage that will cover 404 kilometres, including the timed special of 262.36 km that will take the participants out into the Liwa Desert in the Al Garbia region.
|Days||Stages||KM SPECIAL||KM LIASION||TOTAL KM|
|29 March||1 –Yas Marina Circuit||262,36||142,12||404,48|
|30 March||2 – ADNOC||279,24||231,79||511,03|
|1 April||3 –Qasr Al Sarab||272,8||127,21||400,01|
|2 April||4 – Nissan Patrol||258,1||146,9||405|
|3 April||5 – Abu Dhabi Aviation||233,77||137,49||371,26|
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.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - View in Google Maps
|2021||Matthias Walkner (KTM)|
|2019||Sam Sunderland (KTM)|
|2018||Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna)|
|2017||Sam Sunderland (KTM)|
|2016||Toby Price (KTM)|
|2015||Marc Coma (KTM)|
|2014||Paulo Gonçalves (Honda)|