Paulo Goncalves rounds off the Atacama Rally with a stage win
Toby Price battles back into the top ten outright
Team HRC’s Portuguese ace Paul Goncalves collected his third special stage win as the Atacama Rally – the fifth date of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – came to an end in Chile.
The top five positions outright however were dominated by KTM and headed by local Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla ahead of Mathias Walkner and Sam Sunderland.
Toby Price has started strongly in third place as the Atacama Rally got underway but confusion over speed zones saw the Australian penalised nearly two hours. Price showed great pace throughout the Rally though and took fourth in Saturday’s final stage to sneak back into the outright top ten.
An electrical gremlin on the opening day of competition saw Goncalves never in the hunt for the outright win, but nevertheless he did take stage victories and stormed to victory today with a ferocious pace in the 100 kilometre special stage. The start had once again been delayed for two hours due to heavy early morning mist. The HRC rider has put in ever more consistent performances since the opening day’s mishap which robbed him of a win in the first full stage. This persistence has paid off over the course of the week and has seen the rider continue an ascent up the overall scoreboard, posting a well-deserved sixth final place.
Paulo Goncalves – Stage Five Win – Sixth Overall – “Today was a great special stage. I started out very focused on attacking. I wanted to win the special and regain some of the positions in the overall rankings. I finished sixth and I won another stage. I’m pleased with the work and with Team HRC’s performance.”
Wolfgang Fischer – Team HRC Team Manager- “So here we are after six days in the Atacama Desert. We’ll start with the positive things first: today was another win for Paulo in the super-special, both on the second day and today on the last day as well. If he had not had the big technical problem on the first day, which cost him an hour, it would have been a really good race, especially for Paulo, who stayed focused after the mishap on the first day. It was a great motivation for the team to continue and show its best side. Paulo managed to climb up the rankings to sixth position which shows his consistency. He didn’t make any mistakes in the whole race. It was a great performance. Congratulations. It was not an easy race for Jeremias either and he had difficulty finding his rhythm after coming back from injury. He has to work more now to get into shape for the Dakar. We are now looking forward to the end of the season in Morocco where we will get the whole team together in the final race before the Dakar.”
2015 Cross Countries Rally – Round Five – Atacama Rally – Stage Five
GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC 1:25’48
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 2’05
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team + 3’54
PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory + 4’05
MEO Antoine FRA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 5’17
WALKNER Mathias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 5’58
VILADOMS Jordi SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 6’59
GOUET Daniel CHI KTM + 10’22
ISRAEL Jeremias CHI Team HRC + 13’22
CORNEJO José CHI XRaids + 14’32
Atacama Rally – Final Outright Standings
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team 11:07’34
WALKNER Mathias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 0’49
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 3’14
VILADOMS Jordi SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 21’28
GOUET Daniel CHI KTM + 37’48
GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC + 53’02
PROHENS Felipe CHI Team Hermanos Prohens + 1:06’14
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