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Rockstar Energy #husqvarna factory rider #pabloquintanilla cemented his position as a main contender n the #abudhabi Desert Challenge in stage three on Tuesday to finish fourth in the stage and third overall. The Chilean, clearly at home in the sand dunes of the Gulf State, was just one minute 15 seconds off the provisional leader when riders competed the 280.6 km timed special. As the stage two winner it was his job to open the track for Tuesday’s stage.
With just two stages to go to complete what is the opening round of the 2016 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, Quintanilla is still one of the top three potential winners and is locked in battle with the Tuesday’s two front-runners Toby Price of Australia and British rider Sam Sunderland.
It was also another good day for the team’s newest factory rider, Pela Renet of France, who after some small time adjustments was ranked ninth in the stage, seven minute 45 behind the leader, and is now eighth overall. Renet, a former enduro world champion is quickly making the adjustment to his new discipline, according to Team Coordinator Daniel Trauner: “Pela spent a lot of time riding alone today so there was a lot of navigation and that’s good for him because it’s a learning process. We are in a good position with both our riders and although anything can happen in the next two stages, Pablo (Quintanilla) is well placed to fight for the win. The important thing now is that they both need to stay concentrated and very focused for the rest of the rally.”
The competition concludes on Thursday.
Results Stage Three #abudhabi Desert Challenge 2016
1. Helder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha 3 hours 48.50
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +1 second
3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +2.03 min
4. #pabloquintanilla (CHI), #husqvarna, 4.04
5. Txomin Arana Cobeaga (ESP), #husqvarna 4.04
9. Pela Renet (FRA), #husqvarna, +7.45
Standings after Stage Three (of five)
1. Price, 11 hours 35.07
2. Sunderland, +57 seconds
3. Quintanilla, +1.15 min
4. Mo Al Balooshi (UAE), KTM, +29.30
5. Txomin Arana Cobeaga (ESP), #husqvarna 29.30
8. Renet, +39.06
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