Chilean Rider Remains in Contention
as Rally Heads for the Finish at Rosario
January 16, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna factory rider Pablo Quintanilla on Friday delivered another competent stage in the 2016 Dakar Rally to stay in contention for a podium place when the rally finishes on Saturday in Rosario, Argentina.
Quintanilla finished sixth in stage 12, the longest in this year’s rally and one that was physically and mentally demanding. He reached the line just over 15 minutes behind stage winner Helder Rodrigues while overall leader Toby Price finished second. But while Quintanilla is currently third overall behind Price and Slovakia’s Stefan Svitko, there are three riders currently in contention for overall third, all within four minutes of each other in accrued time.
Quintanilla remains in contention for overall third in Dakar 2016
Friday was another very tough day. Riders first had a long liaison before launching into a 481km of timed section that took them through narrow tracks and over hard, rocky terrain that was punishing on riders and machines, and particularly hard on tyres. Rain and swollen rivers were also thrown into the mix in this the penultimate day of the 9,000km competition.
Quintanilla: “It was a difficult stage, really long and I pushed from the beginning to the refuelling. It was also raining and very muddy and I had a crash so I slowed down and was careful to the end, also with the tyres. It was very slippery. It was difficult to get the grip and to keep the bike upright. Tomorrow we have another hard day and I will try to push until the last kilometre.”
Despite the difficult conditions on Friday, Husqvarna-supported Jacopo Cerutti of Italy wrapped up the stage in tenth place, a best yet result in this, his first Dakar Rally. He goes into the final stage in 12th overall and can be more than satisfied with his performance. Cerutti won the right to enter the Dakar Rally by delivering a strong finish in the 2015 Sardegna Rally Race, which was classified as a Dakar Challenge event.
Cerutti continues to impress going into final stage of Dakar Rally
Riders are finally coming to the end of the long and arduous sweep through Argentina and Bolivia and one that has thrown many obstacles in their way, but organizers, who promised that the second week would be a difficult one, still have planned a difficult final day. From Villa Carlos Paz to Rosario there is still almost 700km to reach the finish, including a timed section of 180km under the clock as they travel from Villa Carlos Paz to Rosario. Riders will start on Saturday in reverse order as they head for the finish line.
STAGE 12 (penultimate stage)
San Juan – Villa Carlos Paz
Total distance 931km, timed special 481km
Stage Results (Provisional)
1. Helder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 5 hours 57 minutes 24 seconds
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, + 7 minutes 32 seconds
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, + 7.55
4. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, + 9.48
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, + 10.28
6. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, + 15.23
10. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA), Husqvarna, + 21.29
Provisional Standings after 12 of 13 stages
1. Price, 46 hours 13 minutes 26 seconds
2. Svitko, + 37.39
3. Quintanilla, + 53.10
4. Rodrigues, + 54.29
5. Benavides, + 57.28
12. Cerutti, + 4:21.34