Second place for Kevin Benavides in the penultimate stage

2017-04-21 08:28
The Qatar Rally produced its toughest day so far with extremely demanding navigation. Kevin Benavides finished second on the day, while Paulo Gonçalves still has options open in the upper-part of the overall table.

A change of scenery at the Qatar Rally brought with it a complicated stage with constant changes of route. Competitors had to be particularly careful with the roadbook to avoid missing any waypoints. The tough 337 kilometres against the clock, however, failed to produce any changes on the overall leader board. Kevin Benavides nevertheless moved up one position.

The Monster Energy Honda Team rider from Argentina rode a fine stage. After getting off to a swift start, the young rider started to post better times from CP1 onwards. After refuelling a minor error in the final section was enough to undo some of the good work done earlier, which should have merited a better prize.

Paulo Gonçalves, meanwhile, was also getting a taste of just how tough the navigating was. A slight misinterpretation of an unclear point meant the Portuguese rider conceded some time to adversaries. Paulo scored the day’s fourth fastest time and clawed back some of the lost time. With just one stage left, the Portuguese rider still holds strong in second overall position.

Tomorrow, Saturday sees the final date of the Qatar Rally at the Losail Circuit after 532 km of competition featuring 343 km against the clock to decide the new winner of this, the second round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

Paulo Goncalves
STAGE: 4TH +6'05 OVERALL: 2ND +12'34
This fourth stage in Qatar has been the most difficult one so far to navigate. Before refuelling I got confused over one of the indications and I had to rectify it, losing time in the process. I was able to push harder in the final part and I managed to make up some of the lost time. I’m second overall and tomorrow will be a very important day. I will try and pull something good out of the bag to hold the position. There are still 350 km left to go, so I will have to be as focused as possible.

Paulo Goncalves
Kevin Benavides
STAGE: 2ND +3'58 OVERALL: 4TH +16'59
Today was a good stage that was very tricky for the navigation: the roadbook was difficult and some of the signals were a bit confusing. I think that I had a good stage although I lost some time towards the end. I arrived well and I’m happy with the bike and the way that the team is working together. We have to keep on battling.

Kevin Benavides
Stage 4 results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team 4:02'39
Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +3'58
Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team +5'32
Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team +6'05
Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +7'00
Pablo CHI

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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