All set for the Desafío Ruta 402017-08-26 09:42
The riders from the Monster Energy Honda Team are ready to rumble as the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship arrives at round four for a week-long crusade in the north-eastern provinces of Argentina.
Saturday sees the Desafío Ruta 40 get underway for the Monster Energy Honda Team in San Juan, Argentina. The most exciting event in the offroad disciple and the fourth date so far in the world championship calendar will play out over six days, once again on South American soil. The rally kicks off with a short four-kilometre curtain-raising prologue on Saturday; the start is scheduled for 16:30 local time.
Joan Barreda, Paulo Gonçalves, Kevin Benavides, Ricky Brabec and Michael Metge spent Friday morning getting through the usual pre-race scrutineering session. First up were the administrative checks, followed by the technical shakedown for the Honda CRF450 RALLY bikes, which all passed successfully and were deemed fit for participation in the Desafío Ruta 40.
Paulo Gonçalves, currently third overall in the world championship table, will be out to gather the maximum number of points possible as he goes in pursuit of second place Chilean rival Quintanilla, winner of last week’s Atacama Rally. Meanwhile, Kevin Benavides, also looking to scale positions in the championship table, will be seeking to repeat the result of last year’s edition. The local boy currently occupies fifth position. Alongside the Portuguese and Argentinean riders in the Desafío Ruta 40 will be Michael Metge (France) and Ricky Brabec (USA). Last week these two, with Joan Barreda (Spain) and Metge as a reserve rider, took part and triumphed in the prestigious Vegas to Reno Race.
Joan Barreda, originally scheduled to start the Desafío Ruta 40 today (Saturday), fell during a team training session in the outskirts of San Juan yesterday. As a consequence of a left forearm injury sustained in the accident, and as a cautionary measure, both the rider and the team’s management have decided to leave the rider out of the race.
Stage Day Place Liaison Special Liaison
Prologue 26 August San Juan 10.74km 4.5km 10.67km
Stage 1 27 August San Juan-Villa Unión 56.79km 321.90km 133.82km
Stage 2 28 August Villa Unión-Tinogasta 54,56km 336.91km 45.89km
Stage 3 29 August Tinogasta-Belén 89.76km 303.97km 95.47km
Stage 4 30 August Belén-Tafí del Valle 94.05km 309.14km 132.65km
Stage 5 31 August Tafí del Valle-Tucumán 79.84km 180.70km 67.26km
We have trained a lot since the end of the last Dakar, both with the motocross bike and the rally bike. I went to Baja Aragon, Spain, and it was good, so we are in great shape. Now, here we are in Argentina, in a world championship event, with many high-level riders to contend with. It will be very important to ride well to be able to assess the level and pace we have. It will also be good to see all the work we have done on the bike. I'm a little discouraged because Joan has been injured and will not be here, but the most important thing is that it is not serious and he still has time to recover before the Dakar.
Just a few days after the Vegas to Reno in Nevada, we are here in Argentina for the Ruta 40. My goals are high, of course; it's my first race outside of North America this year. I like Argentina, the country and the terrain. We have a strong team and I am confident that these next five days will be good for us: we have the best bikes and Kevin Benavides, who will be racing at home, should prove to be very strong. Hopefully everything will be fine.
Location: Desafio Ruta 40
The Desafio Ruta 40, gets installed in the global sporting context as a premium brand. More than a simple velocity race, like every Cross Country Rally, the Desafio Ruta 40 is an adventure that requires competitors other capacities that goes beyond speed to reach the goal faster.
Desafio Ruta 40 it’s an only adventure and a unique experience to be lived. Who initiate the competition will share the same propose of making it to the end after crossed many kilometers and many adventures.
A week of competition it’s enough time for competitors to prove themselves, their corage and stregh for the big race in january. Solidarity is also an aspect of great importance. By bringing together amateur with professional drivers in the same race is expected that the latter assist and cooperate with the firsts in the development of their learning in the competition.
Finally, being a race to be held in the highest level of competition, all the main aspectsinvolved: sports, technical, security and dissemination are carried out according to highestperformance standards.
With Desafio Ruta 40, the world of Rally Cross Country will discover new grounds and will be full of new stories.
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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