Quintanilla Rides a Safe First Stage of Morocco Rally

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider going for the world title

October 4, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The opening “Seaside Stage” stage, took riders over just 240 km of which 70 and 50 km made up a split timed special. While Quintanilla came in sixth fastest, he is just 2:09 minutes off the stage winner’s time after a day when the first 14 riders crossed the finish separated by just five minutes. Pela Renet, Quintanilla’s factory teammate was 14th across the line, 5:07 minutes behind.


Quintanilla, who was the winner of the last round of the championship at home at the Atacama Rally in Chile, has a lot at stake this week. He goes into the title chase on top of the leader board with 77 points, eleven more than second placed Sam Sunderland and 20 more than third placed Toby Price, Monday’s stage winner. But there are 25 points up for grabs and Quintanilla will be hoping to hunt down his first world title, for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna factory team, and for his country.

Speaking after the stage on Monday, Quintanilla commented: “Today was not such a good stage for me. I didn’t have such a good feeling on the bike. I prefer to stay calm and slow down a little bit but it’s only the first day and we are racing for the world title. I have to keep this in mind over all these kilometers and not risk too much. Tomorrow we will have the marathon stage and we will try to do a good day of racing.”

It was also an eventful day for Quintanilla’s factory teammate, Pela Renet. The French rider, who comes from enduro sport, did finish the day rather more eventfully than he had hoped when he crashed and cut his chin after hitting the road book carrier. Renet and the team were quick to confirm that the injury was minor and that he was in good shape for the coming stages.

Renet: “The stage was not so bad for the first part and also the second, and I felt good. I was riding quite well but I had a big crash and I hit my head on the road book and cut my chin. I finished the special and they put four stitches in the cut, but that was the only thing that happened and I am completely okay. Tomorrow will be the first time I have ridden the marathon stage. The level here is really high and everyone is pushing 100% because it’s just over five days. You can’t ride at 80% if you want to be in a good position. The goal is to make the maximum result, to ride as well as possible and to try to finish as close to the front as I can.”

Riders now face two very long days – Tuesday they ride for 554 km, of which 291 km is timed special. They will then overnight in the desert, and because they are not permitted any outside assistance from their teams, it is a priority to take care of their bikes and their tyres. On Wednesday they travel another 390 km, of which 315 is timed and these stages can be very decisive for the end result and the title.

Results Stage One – Seaside stage

1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 57:53 min
2. Kevin Benavides, (ARG), + 00.52 sec
3. Sam Sunderland, (GBR), + 1:09
4. Ricky Brabic, (USA), + 1:38
5. Paolo Goncalves, (POR), + 1.41
6. Pablo Quintanilla, (CHI) + 2:09
14. Pela Renet, (FRA) + 5.07

Husqvarna Motorcycles. Tradition on two wheels since 1903.

Husqvarna Motorcycles are widely known and respected in the off-road world for a heritage of competition and numerous motocross and enduro world championships. Originally founded in Sweden in 1903, Husqvarna Motorcycles have been designed and manufactured in Mattighofen, Austria since 2013.

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Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH