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Hélder Rodrigues won today's stage of the #abudhabi Desert Challenge on the Yamaha #wr450frally, the opening race of the 2016 FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship. The result reflects the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team's hard work on the Yamaha WR450F set-up and performance development.
The third stage of the #abudhabi Desert Challenge (UAE) took place on a 280km timed route (174miles), switching between sandy tracks and blind riding in the dunes. In the Persian Gulf warmth, between the cities of Tharwaniya and Hamim, Hélder Rodrigues let his talent speak for itself to reach the stage victory with a one minute lead on the recent Dakar 2016 winner.Hélder Rodrigues, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
"It is very good for me and for the whole Yamaha team to win a stage on this opening race of the 2016 FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship. I started today's special from the back and I made my own race alone, focused on the navigation with a fast and steady pace on the dunes route. This first stage win is very satisfying and gives us confidence for the rest of the rally and also the season ahead. My #wr450frally is performing well, and we will continue to improve the set-up further moving forward."
"We are very happy about Héler Rodrigues' victory today. It is encouraging not just for this opening race, but also in preparing for the next Dakar edition. The whole team is performing well in #abudhabi. It was a tough day today, as it was quite hot in the dunes. On the first part of the stage Hélder raced with a very fast pace. At the refuelling point he knew he was very close to Toby Price, who was leading, and sensed that victory was in his reach today. He made a great effort to win a crucial few seconds in the last 100 km which really made the difference. The bike is performing well and we will continue the work on the WR450F, especially here on these difficult sandy routes, to help development and adjustments for the next races."
You can follow Hélder Rodrigues' progress on the #abudhabi Desert Challenge HERE.
Click HERE for more imagery of #abudhabi Desert Challenge 2016.
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2016 - Provisional Classification of Stage 3
1. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 03:48:50
2 .Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 03:48:51, +00:00:01
3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 03:50:53, +00:02:02
4. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna, 03:52:54, +00:02:01
5. Txomin Arana Cobeaga (ESP), Huqsvarna, 03:52:54, +00:04:04
6. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE), KTM, 03:53:22, +00:04:32
7. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHL), KTM, 03:54:48, +00:01:26
8. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 03:55:25, +00:00:37
9. Pierre Alexandre Renet (FRA), Husqvarana, +03:56:35, +00:01:10
10. Jakub Piatek (POL), KTM, 03:56:57, +00:08:07
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2016 - Provisional Overall Classification after Leg 3
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 11:35:07
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 11:36:04, +00:00:57
3. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna, 11:36:22, +00:18:00
4. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE), KTM, 12:04:33, +00:29:26
5. Txomin Arana Cobeaga (ESP), Huqsvarna, 12:04:37, +00:29:30
6. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 12:12:24, +00:37:17
7. Jakub Piatek (POL), KTM, 12:13:04, +00:37:57
8. Pierre Alexandre Renet (FRA), Husqvarana, +12:14:13, +00:39:06
9. David Mc Bride (GBR), KTM, 12:19:47, +00:44:40
10. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHL), KTM, 12:31:13, +00:56:06
30. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 30:12:00, +18:37:30
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