Another great win for Team HRC in the fourth stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally disputed today in Qatar. Paulo ‘Speedy’ Gonçalves picks up first place in the stage aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY, the third for the team so far in the competition.
The Team HRC continue their run of excellent results and maintain the squad with great options for the final classification in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally as the race heads into tomorrow’s final stage.
Today was the turn of Paulo Gonçalves, who put his skill at handling and high speed on display for all, as he clocked up the fastest time in the Sealine’s fourth special, a 404 km affair across the Qatar desert in the Arabian Gulf. The Portuguese rider made up for lost time in the overall standings, and now lies just 17 seconds away from a podium place.
Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda, set off knowing the importance of controlling the race and keeping his close competitor at Marc Coma at bay. Barreda finished fifth, with a good chance of taking overall victory as he now finds himself just 41 seconds behind the leader.
Tomorrow sees the final stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, with some 363 km against the clock, with the final finish-line back where the race set out from in Umm Sa’id.
Paulo Goncalves: “I had a really good race day. I won the stage but more important is the time that I pulled back from my adversaries after the mistake with the navigation on the first day. My focus is to be on the podium at the end of the rally. But we have to keep our eye on the target and stay focused, because tomorrow we have 270 kms still to race and it’s easy to slip up and make a mistake, so we’ll wait and see what happens.”
Results Stage 4
1 Paulo Goncalves 04:48’07 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
2 Jordi Viladoms +01’58 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +03’58 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Marc Coma +06’08 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Joan Barreda +08’08 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
Provisional Standings after Stage 4
1 Marc Coma 16:06’11 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Joan Barreda +00’41 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jordi Viladoms +01’52 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Paulo Goncalves +02’09 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Helder Rodrigues +06’26 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
Text/Photo: PR Team HRC