Quintanilla Sets Scene for Final Stage Atacama Showdown

August 27, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Quintanilla, winner of the first and third stages, is riding on familiar home territory and as the rally headed back into some fast, stony territory, he finished third in the penultimate stage behind Portugal’s Paolo Goncalves and the Australian Price. The top three stage finishers were within 25 seconds of each other at the finish line.

Riders tackled 241 km of timed special between Bahía Inglesa and Vallenar and for the final stage, Quintanilla is in an advantageous position at the start. As third out of the start in the morning he is relieved of the responsibility of opening the track. He will be able to concentrate on his race with the potential of not only winning the rally but also to move into the points lead in the world championship.

160827 Husqvarna Chilean Pablo Quintanilla riding for the win and the lead in the FIM World Championship

Quintanilla:It was a really good stage for me. I was in front from the beginning to the end and I felt really good in the navigation and I also the rhythm was very good. It’s important to do one stage like this out in front so I’m pretty happy. For the last stage, for sure it will be an interesting fight with Toby (Price) but my goal is the championship. I’m thinking of the points. Of course I will try to do my best tomorrow but without taking any risks. It’s only a short stage and I’ll try to focus on navigation and have a good rhythm.”

Should Quintanilla finish first he will have 66 points, which, depending on where Price and KTM’s Sam Sunderland finish may take him into the final round in Morocco at the head of the leaderboard. Before this week’s rally Sunderland led the points and Price was fourth.

It was also a better day for Quintanilla’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Pela Renet of France who finished ninth in the stage 12.24 minutes off the pace. He is currently 11th overall, but this also reflects the 33 minute penalty during the week.


Speaking after the stage, Renet commented: “It was good, very fast and in the first part I only made some small mistakes. It was also good in the second part. Tomorrow it is only a short stage and I think we have a lot of dunes. I will try to be near the top five. I think that would be a good result for me.”

The rally, the fourth round of the FIM World Cross Country Rallies Championship is the ideal training round for the 2017 Dakar Rally in January. The final round is in Morocco at the beginning of October.

Results Stage 4 (of 5)

  1. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +2.29.35 h
  2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +0.20 sec
  3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, +0.25 sec
  4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +3.33 m
  5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, +4.46
  6. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, +12.24

Standings after Stage 4

  1. Price 10:49.21 h
  2. Quintanilla +0.26
  3. Goncalves +6.24
  4. Benavides +8.34
  5. Walkner +33.01
  6. Renet 1:29.51 h

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Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH