|Rally dos Sertões: HRC Honda Paulo Goncalves fastest in the bikes prologue.|
It was a noteworthy display from Team HRC as the Rally dos Sertões in Brazil got underway, with Paulo Goncalves and Helder Rodrigues finishing the prologue in top positions in a race against the clock over a distance just shy of 10 kilometers.
Victory, in a very quick and surprise-free prologue, allows Paulo Goncalves to choose Sunday’s starting position in first full stage, which sets out from Goiania and winds up in Caldas Novas, 216.21 kilometers later. 155 km will be against the clock.
"I’m very pleased because I’ve won the prologue in the Rally," Goncalves said. "Sunday sees the first long special at 160 kilometers. I hope to be on form and be in the running for the victory as this rally means a lot to me."
Helder Rodrigues crossed the finish-line just 24 seconds behind his fellow-countryman in fifth position, which also sets the rider up for a good starting position on Sunday.
Helder Rodrigues reported: "Today is the first day of the race for us. It was a very short 10 kilometer special, and a very important one, as everyone was looking for a good position so as to avoid the dust tomorrow. That’s why it is so important to be in the best starting positions and keep pushing throughout the race."
The fine performance of the Honda Brazil team, should be highlighted, with Jean Azevedo scoring the second best time and Julio Zavatti, ninth.
"Today Team HRC began the Rally in good form," said Wolfgang Fischer, Team HRC Team Manager. "Paulo Goncalves won the Super Special and Helder Rodrigues finished well in fifth place. We are in the position to choose the starting-order tomorrow. The Honda Brazil team, who have been the best hosts, have also done a great job, and Jean Azevedo finished in second place. We have great opportunities and are very motivated ahead of Sunday’s long first stage."
2014/08/23 | 20:22 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/FISCHER