October 6, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Quintanilla finished sixth in stage four but moved into third place in the overall standings behind both current leader Sam Sunderland, his main rival for the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship title, and Australia’s Toby Price. Quintanilla went into the final round of the championship on top of the leader board but the gap between him and Sunderland has narrowed to just two points, so it is all to play for in Friday’s final dash.
Riders confirmed that stage four had continued to present them with difficult challenges, particularly with the navigation and some dangers on the track that were not self evident from the road book. Quintanilla now has to go into the final stage five, the Erg Chebbi Final, with a clear head and determination. The stage is just 275 km of which 230 km is timed special.
Quintanilla: “Today was a really hard stage and very dangerous from the beginning to the end. But for me it was a good stage, I was riding on my own all day and it was sometimes a little difficult to keep the rhythm, but up to now it has been good. I recovered some positions in the overall standings and we will see what will happen tomorrow. For sure it is going to be tough tomorrow, and like every other day it will be hard with a lot of navigation. My goal is to keep the focus and my position, to start with 100% concentration and to do my best.”
Regardless of the outcome of the championship and the Morocco rally, Quintanilla’s factory teammate Pela Renet, who this event experienced his first marathon stage, can leave satisfied with his performance. He has steadily improved during the stages as he continues to learn the finer points of rally sport, including mastering the road book navigation. Seventh in stage four, just 8.13 minutes behind the stage leader, he is now in a good position have a top 10 finish in what has been a very competitive field of top riders.
Renet: “I’m feeling good. Like yesterday it was a good day for me and I was not so far from the top guy. I continue to learn the piste and the navigation and it gets better and better every day. Now, after a difficult start to the rally it is going well. My goal for tomorrow is to stay on the bike and to finish the rally and to try to as close as possible to the front riders.”
The Morocco Rally is above all a perfect opportunity for leading riders to hone their skills ahead of the Dakar Rally in January 2017.
Results Stage Four
Erfoud Loop 376 total distance, 319 km timed special
1. Matthias Walkner, (AUT), KTM, 3:38.00 h
2. Sam Sunderland, (GBR), KTM, +16 sec
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +3.21 sec
4. Helder Rodrigues (POR) Yamaha, +4.25 m
6. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, +6.46
7. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, +8.13
Overall after Stage Four
1. Sunderland, 10:35.40 h
2. Price, +1.07 m
3. Quintanilla, +15.48
10. Renet, +38.43
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