Speeding penalties ruin Toby Price’s tilt at Atacama Rally
Paulo Gonçalves recovers and wins the Atacama second stage
Team HRC riders bounced back, after the misfortunes of yesterday, with a fierce attack on day two of the Atacama Rally, the fifth race of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Paulo Gonçalves took victory on the day.
After an unfavourable start to the Atacama Rally yesterday, Team HRC went on the offensive in both parts of today’s stage. The first leg played out over some 90 kilometres of fast track through a dried-up riverbed requiring very nifty navigational skills. After refuelling there were 120 kilometres of full throttle down dusty paths that called for far less navigation.
It was Team HRC’s Paulo Goncalves who had notched up the day’s quickest time as the riders made it to the finish-line. Paulo put on a fine display of riding prowess in spite of having to navigate in the midst of the cloud of dust churned up by the riders ahead. By the end, the rider had muscled his Honda CRF450 RALLY into first position. Paulo climbs several places to eleventh on the overall scoreboard.
Australia’s Toby Price had finished third on the opening stage but 22 time penalties for speeding due to minor navigation anomalies has put the KTM rider out of contention. Without the penalties Price would have again finished third on today’s second stage.
Toby Price – “Was a disaster today, I would of finished in third again today but with nobody to blame but myself, I should of backed it off as the roadbook was very inconsistent today, with notes anywhere up to 300-400 metres out meaning I was hitting things early, and ended up with 22 speed zone fines as I was early, or thought I was lost, and panicked in a speed zone and clocked them up real quick… My race is finished so now it’s just riding to get practice for Dakar… Very frustrating though it’s hard to explain how it works, but everything is messed up at the moment…”
Tomorrow, the third stage of the rally will be disputed in the Atacama loop. The route starts and finishes at the bivouac and will include 236 kilometres of timed special.
Paulo Goncalves – Stage Winner – 11th overall – “After the little problem yesterday, things went much better. I started out from behind. There were dry riverbeds with a lot of dangers caused by the rains. I had all the other riders ahead and it was pretty dangerous, mainly because of the quads. The dust stopped me from going too quick due to all the dangers. I tried to race at my own rhythm. We were thinking positively and took it as it came. Everything worked out well without a problem. I will keep trying hard in the three remaining days and I will do my best with the navigation, the pace and the stamina.”
2015 Cross Countries Rally – Round Five – Atacama Rally – Stage Two
GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda 2:23’44
WALKNER Mathias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 0’10
PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 3’16
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 4’31
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM + 5’50
GOUET Daniel CHI KTM KTM + 14’44
MEO Antoine FRA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 15’16
ISRAEL Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 17’22
PROHENS Felipe CHI Team Hermanos Prohens KTM + 21’55
ALBALOOSHI Mohammed UAE KTM UAC KTM + 30’06
2015 Cross Countries Rally – Round Five – Atacama Rally – Stage Two Outright Standings
WALKNER Mathias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM 3:08’25
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 1’13
PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 1’15
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM + 1’32
MEO Antoine FRA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 15’15
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