Quintanilla Holding Third Overall Position with Four Stages Remaining
January 13, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla on Tuesday delivered another strong performance in stage nine of the 2016 Dakar Rally to finish fourth. He is currently in third place overall with just four stages to go to the finish in Argentina’s Rosario.
Tuesday’s stage, again won by Australia’s Toby Price, was the first half of a second marathon stage where riders overnight in an isolated bivouac. They also have no contact with their teams and receive no technical assistance. It was also a stage with some controversy as some riders had already completed the regulation distance before the stage was shortened.
Quintanilla maintaining a strong overall position at the end of stage seven
Speaking after the stage, Quintanilla underlined the general feeling of the riders that it had been a very tough day. “For sure, today was a really hard stage. From the beginning there was a lot of navigation and a lot of off-piste with dunes and vegetation. I was trying to ride regularly, trying to push with confidence and not take many risks. It’s important to take care of the bike and take care of the body by avoiding crashes. We still have some stages in front of us and we have to try and be regular. I feel really good, I have confidence and I’m really happy with the bike and with the team. The team did an awesome job.”
It was another strong finish for Husqvarna-supported Jacopo Cerutti of Italy who was 20th in the stage. With continued consistent riding, the Italian now has the possibility of finishing his debut Dakar Rally in the top 20. Dutch Husqvarna rider Robert van Pelt of the Netherlands was 21st in the stage but sadly it was the end of the ride for Czech Husqvarna rider Ondrej Klymciw. He crashed in the first half of the timed special and had to retire. Over the past days, Klymciw had been riding with a sprained ankle from a crash in the first week.
Husqvarna-supported rider Jacopo Cerutti continues to impress
The stage, the shortest in this year’s rally, was not only tough off-piste riding with plenty of rocks and low scrub, but riders also had to contend with extreme heat and difficult navigation. It was a significant contrast to the fast but relatively straightforward stages in the first week of competition, but organisers had promised that conditions would get harder as the race progressed.
On Wednesday riders must tackle the notorious Fiambalá dunes in a stage that could be decisive in this year’s edition. What awaits them is a total distance of 561km from the overnight bivouac near Belén to La Rioja, including a timed special of 278km. On Wednesday evening they will again have the support of their teams.
Please note: As some riders completed the whole distance in stage nine, but it was later shortened, discussions about the times are taking place with the organisers and they may be adjusted later.”
Stage 9: Belén – Belén
Original timed special of 285km shortened at CP2, Organizers citing extreme heat
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 2 hours 24.19
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, + 7 minutes 10 seconds
3. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, + 10.33
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, + + 10.48
20. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA), Husqvarna, +35.48
21. Robert van Pelt (NED), Husqvarna, + 36.55
Provisional Overall standings after Stage 9
1. Price 29 hours 53 minutes 15 seconds
2. Svitko + 24 minutes 47 seconds
3. Quintanilla + 32.14
4. Benavides + 33.05
5. Meo + 40.37
21. Cerutti + 2:17.33
24. Van Pelt + 2:57.4