Pablo Quintanilla Retains Overall Lead After Stage Two of Atacama Rally

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rider Battles Through a Tough Stage to Get Fourth on the Day

August 15, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Continuing his strong run of form in this year’s Atacama Rally, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Pablo Quintanilla secured a fourth-place result on stage two to maintain his lead in the rally’s provisional overall standings. Suffering a fall midway through the special stage, Pela Renet was unable to finish the day.

Remaining fast aboard his FR 450 Rally machine, Quintanilla made light work of the extremely challenging navigation in the first part of the special stage. Following Pela’s crash, race organisation decided to stop the stage at km 164. Reaching the neutralisation point in a time of one hour and 40 minutes, Quintanilla claimed a close fourth place result for the day.

As for Renet, the Frenchman entered the stage looking to improve on his navigation and speed in the desert. Frustratingly, the crash he suffered midway through the day will force him to sit out the rest of the event.

Wednesday’s stage three of the Atacama Rally will see competitors head towards the city of Mejillones further in the north of Chile. The second longest stage of the rally, stage three includes a total of 487km to be completed by all riders. The highlight of the day will be the 349km-long timed special.

Pablo Quintanilla

Pablo Quintanilla: “I had a good day. The stage was quite difficult at the beginning, there was a lot of navigation. I think I did well and rode a good stage making virtually no mistakes. My feeling on the bike is great, and with the hardest part of the rally coming up, I hope to keep my place at the top. I am really sad for Pela, he was riding really well. It’s always tough to know the stage has been stopped when a friend has a crash, but luckily he is fine.”

Pela Renet - Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Pela Renet: “It’s really disappointing that I will have to miss the rest of this rally. Everything was going well for me today until the crash. It happened midway through the stage and I immediately felt intense pain in my neck and my left shoulder. I had surgery on this shoulder back in 2015 so I was worrying it might be dislocated. Luckily I avoided any serious injury.”

2017 Atacama Rally – Stage Two Provisional Classification

1. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 1:39:25
2. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 1:39:42
3. Franco Caimi (Yamaha) 1:40:03
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 1:40:28
5. Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) 1:41:04
6. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 1:41:36

2017 Atacama Rally –Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 2]

1. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 4:03:40
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 4:03:47
3. Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) 4:07:34
4. Franco Caimi (Yamaha) 4:09:52
5. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 4:09:55
6. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 4:12:23

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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

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