Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Star Moves up the Overall Standings After a Solid Stage Three Performance
January 8, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Making full use of his experience throughout day three’s demanding stages, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pablo Quintanilla has moved up three spots in the 2018 Dakar Rally’s provisional overall standings. Enjoying a strong and mistake-free run so far, the Chilean rally star is currently third overall and within striking distance to the provisional overall leader.
Entering today’s 296km-long timed special determined to show what he is capable of, Pablo quickly found himself in control of the stage. Holding on to the provisional lead until the final part of the stage, the FR 450 Rally powered rider finally posted the fifth best time for the day. Gaining ground over the leading group of riders, he is now third in the overall classification and five minutes behind the provisional leader Sam Sunderland.
Continuing to improve, Pablo’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Andrew Short reached the finish of today’s stage without any issues. Making light work of the event’s longest stage so far, the US racer brought his Husqvarna home in 27th position. Three stages into his first Dakar Rally and Andrew is comfortably sitting 24th in the event’s provisional overall standings.
Tuesday’s stage four features a circular route that starts and finishes in San Juan de Marcona. Including a 330km-long timed special, the stage will see competitors race in the massive dunes of Peru for the fourth consecutive day.
Pablo Quintanilla: “I enjoyed it a lot today, it was a really fun stage to ride. Some of the larger dunes were really soft and it was easy to get stuck. I felt really comfortable first thing this morning and was able to push right from the start. I recovered some time on the guys ahead, but then ended up losing a couple of minutes when I made a small mistake with one of the waypoints. I feel a lot fitter today than I did yesterday so that helps a lot, especially on the longer stages.”
Andrew Short: “I felt I rode well today. We have now entered the tougher stages of this rally so it’s key to remain focused all day long. The first part of today’s special had some sand dunes. I had one small scary moment in a ravine but everything was fine. After that I got a good pace until the checkpoint and kept pushing to gain some time. Halfway through the stage I got stuck in the sand for a while and after that I got lost. It was really difficult for me and the conditions were tough. It was definitely the toughest day for me in terms of racing but I learned a lot. It’s crucial to stay focused. I’m just happy that I’m here and I look forward to the stages to come.”
2018 Dakar Rally – Stage 3 Provisional Classification
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 03:20:43
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 03:23:46
3. Toby Price (KTM) 03:24:11
4. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 03:24:38
5. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 03:25:03
6. Gerard Farres (KTM) 03:25:51
27. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 03:45:02
2018 Dakar Rally – Provisional Overall Standings After Stage 3
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 06:44:23
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 06:49:01
3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 06:49:23
4. Toby Price (KTM) 06:51:51
5. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 06:52:23
6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 06:53:13
24. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 07:29:03
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