Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rider Kicks off the Week-Long Event in the United Arab Emirates with a Top Five Result in the First Competitive Stage
March 25, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Reigning FIM Cross Country Rallies World Champion Pablo Quintanilla has made a positive start to his 2018 international rally racing campaign by securing a fifth place result in the first full rally stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
Following an untimed demonstration lap around the Yas Marin circuit on Saturday, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge competitors headed for the dunes of UAE today. As the reigning World Champion, Pablo was the first rider to take the start of today’s 418km long stage.
Doing an excellent job navigating in the dunes of UAE, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider completed the timed special without being passed by any of his competitors. Putting in a total time of three hours 23 minutes, Pablo is 10 minutes behind the provisional overall leader with four more stages still to be contested in the event.
Monday’s stage will be the longest in this year’s rally. Featuring a total of 519km in the dunes of the UAE, tomorrow’s stage is expected to be one more tough challenge as riders head towards the end of the event Thursday in Abu Dhabi.
Pablo Quintanilla: “It was a really good stage for me today. I had the chance to open the stage all the way from the beginning to the end, and that was a great experience. I managed to get a good pace so nobody was able to catch or pass me during the whole stage. As the first rider to take the start this morning, I knew it would be a great challenge to remain fast in the desert, but I’m really happy I made it happen. I might have lost some time to the day’s winner Toby Price, but this has just been the beginning of this rally and there’s still a long way to go. My goal from now on is to catch the pace of the leading riders and try to push during the next few stages. I am satisfied with the job we did today and tomorrow I will do my best to make up some time in the provisional overall.”
2018 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Stage 2 Provisional Classification
1. Toby Price (KTM) 03:13:00
2. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 03:15:51
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 03:20:20
4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 03:22:36
5. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 03:23:42
6. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 03:24:55
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