|Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Surprising ADDC victory for Paulo Goncalves.|
Surprise after the last day of the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge" in the bikes: FIM world champion Paulo Goncalves (Honda HRC) wipe out a 1:31 minutes overnight lead for this year’s Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma (KTM), to deny the Spaniard an eighth Desert Challenge crown and secure a first for himself.
At the end of a five-day passage through some of the most demanding desert terrain on earth, the Portuguese rider won the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes by only 20 seconds.
Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort (Honda HRC), winner of the previous two stages, took third place, with the UAE’s Mohammed Al Balooshi recording a highly credible sixth position overall, despite a frustrating last day when his bike stalled.
Goncalves, who edged out Coma to clinch last year’s FIM world title, said: "I feel really happy to have won and for the team who altogether made an extraordinary job in Abu Dhabi. We’ve had five days of racing and no problems, and it proves we are very strong and competitive. I’m very confident for the future. Today was a really fast stage. I knew I had to catch Marc, and the first 90km were very fast."
Coma, who will be back next year to pursue a record eighth bikes title, said: "It was a very nice race. I love the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. I tried to fight right till the end to catch Paulo, but well done to him. It was a great race till the end."
Finishing with mixed emotions, Al Balooshi said: "I'm quite upset with today. We had a great four days but everyone has bad days and today it was a bad day for me. Unfortunately it had to be the last day. My bike stalled just before refuel and I couldn't get it started again."
"I fiddled around and eventually got going again, but obviously I lost a lot of time. But anyway the goal was to finish in the top ten and we did that so I'm very happy for that. It’s frustrating when the problem is out of your hands. I was riding great but my bike just let me down in the end."
Poland’s Rafal Sonik captured the Desert Challenge got the quads title for the first time 42:52 minutes from Russian rider Sergey Karyakin to add to his 2013 FIM world championship success.
"It's been a good day and a good week for me," said the Pole. "I decided at the beginning of the season to come to the Desert Challenge and this has been a great event for me. It's my fifth time here, and I didn't have a lot of luck in my earlier attempts, but now I'm very happy to win this time. I was very consistent this week and only lost one stage due to mechanical problems, so that's easily fixed. The desert is great, absolutely great, now home."
Top 10 stage results BIKES SS 05 Thursday
01) Goncalves, Paulo (PT) I Honda I 03:39:49 I 02:44:06 I 00:00:00
02) Coma, Marc (ES) I KTM I 02:45:57 I 00:01:51
03) Barreda, Joan (ES) I Honda I 02:48:32 I 00:04:26
04) Rodrigues, Helder (PT) I Honda I 02:49:23 I 00:05:17
05) Viladoms, Jordi (ES) I KTM I 02:53:35 I 00:09:29
06) Stanovnik, Miran (SLO) I KTM I 02:56:37 I 00:12:31
07) Piatek, Jakub (PL) I KTM I 03:05:44 I 00:21:38
08) Nikishin, Aleksei (RUS) I Honda I 03:09:44 I 00:25:38
09) Lloyd, Oliver (UK) I Speedbrain I 03:09:49 I 00:25:43
10) Karcher, Kristian (D) i Yamaha I 03:11:25 I 00:27:19
Top 10 overall results BIKES SS 05 Thursday
01) Goncalves, Paulo (PT) I Honda I 16:57:47 i 00:00:00
02) Coma, Marc (ES) I KTM I 16:58:07 I 00:00:20
03) Barreda, Joan (ES) I Honda I 17:06:31 I 00:08:44
04) Viladoms, Jordi (ES) I KTM I 17:38:36 i 00:40:49
05) Stanovnik, Miran (SLO) I KTM I 18:37:11 I 01:39:24
06) Albalooshi, Mohammed (UAE) I KTM I 18:57:53 I 02:00:06
07) Rodrigues, Helder (PT) I Honda I 19:00:16 I 02:02:29
08) Lloyd, Oliver (UK) I Speedbrain I 20:00:16 I 03:02:29
09) Piatek, Jakub (PL) I KTM I 20:00:48 I 03:03:01
10) CS, Santosh (IND) I KTM I 20:09:42 I 03:11:55
2014/04/10 | 14:59 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ADDC