Reaching the end of a gruelling SS03, the former leader in Abu Dhabi Pablo Quintanilla is currently fourth in the event’s provisional overall standings. With two more long rally stages remaining, the Husqvarna factory rider is a little more than one-minute away from the provisional top three and less than 11 minutes behind the current overall leader.
Quintanilla was enjoying a highly competitive pace for the first half of the timed special. Pushing hard through the fast, sandy sections of the Liwa desert, Pablo was inside the stage’s provisional top three when a small technical issue forced him to ease his pace.
"I was having a great day until the refuelling point," said the Husqvarna rider. "The stage started with some big dunes and some massive drops. The pace was quite fast. As the first to take the start this morning, I was doing my best to stay up front and my pace was good in the fast sections. Right after the refuelling point I had a small technical issue that didn’t let me continue in the same rhythm."
"I was unable to keep the pace with the guys up front and had to do my best to avoid losing much time. At the end I’m happy I brought my bike home and I’m still within striking distance to the top. We finished a tough stage and we now have two more to go in this rally. Everything could happen and I will do my best to make up for the time lost."
Making good use of his experience, Pablo brought his Husqvarna home to post the eighth fastest time for the day. Currently fourth in the provisional overall rankings, Quintanilla has his eyes set on taking advantage of his good starting position tomorrow in the hope of reducing the gap to the riders ahead of him.
Bikes Stage Provisional positions SS03 Al Ain Water Stage
01) Sunderland, Sam (ARE) I KTM I 03:29:52 I 00:00:00
02) Walkner, Matthias (AUT) I KTM I 03:35:55 I 00:06:03
03) Benavides, Kevin (ARG) I Honda I 03:38:53 I 00:09:01
04) Brabec, Ricky (USA) I Honda I 03:39:27 I 00:09:35
05) Goncalves, Paulo (POR) I Honda I 03:39:46 I 00:09:54
06) Cornejo Florimo, Jose I. (CHL) I Honda I 03:41:21 I 00:11:29
07) Metge, Michael (FRA) I Honda I 03:41:28 I 00:11:36
08) Quintanilla, Pablo (CHL) I Husqvarna I 03:41:54 I 00:12:02
09) Giemza, Maciej (POL) I KTM I 03:58:32 I 00:28:40
10) McBride, David (ARE) I KTM I 04:05:30 I 00:28:40
Bikes Overall Provisional positions after SS03 Al Ain Water Stage
01) Sunderland, Sam (ARE) I KTM I 10:35:19 I 00:00:00
02) Walkner, Matthias (AUT) I KTM I 10:42:53 I 00:07:34
03) Benavides, Kevin (ARG) I Honda I 10:45:07 I 00:09:48
04) Quintanilla, Pablo (CHL) I Husqvarna I 10:46:13 I 00:10:54
05) Brabec, Ricky (USA) I Honda I 10:57:56 I 00:22:37
06) Goncalves, Paulo (POR) I Honda I 10:58:30 I 00:23:11
07) Cornejo Florimo, Jose I. (CHL) I Honda I 11:08:31 I 00:33:12
08) Price, toby (AUS) I KTM I 11:14:02 I 00:38:43
09) Metge, Michael (FRA) I Honda I 11:16:56 I 00:41:37
10) McBride, David (ARE) I KTM I 12:19:19 I 01:44:00
ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE
SHARE THIS ARTICLE