|Sealine Rally Qatar: Team Honda HRC to defend championship leadership|
The "Sealine Cross Country Rally" is the second race of the "FIM World Cross-Country Rallies Championship" for bikes and quads, as Team Honda HRC and its three official riders ready themselves to defend the lead of reigning world champion Paulo Gonçalves. The action gets underway once again on Monday.
Once the administrative and technical checks are passed and out of the way, it’ll be down to business for the three Team-riders, Paulo Gonçalves, Hélder Rodrigues and Joan Barreda, with the first of the rally’s five stages setting off tomorrow morning from Losail. The Honda CRF450 Rallys are once again fine-tuned and ready to face the performance demands required by the Qatar desert.
"We are here in Qatar to prepare the second race of the world championship," said the actual World Champion Paulo Goncalves from Portugal. "I won the first race in Abu Dhabi and I plan to go on doing the same here in Qatar. Everyone in the Team HRC is ready to fight again. We hope to be able to win this race together here."
Team mate Joan Barreda said: "We are here in the second race of the world championship, just one week after the last one in Abu Dhabi. I’m pleased to be here with all the team. I’m third overall in the championship. I think that it’s a good position in the championship to start the race from, and we’ll try to do a good job."
Helder Rodrigues reported: "We are here with the whole Team HRC in Qatar for the second race in the world championship. I think everyone is happy. We’re leading the world championship with Paulo, and Joan is in third. I’m a little bit further back, but I think that it’s very positive to be here, to get more experience and to train for the next Dakar."
Team Manager Wolfgang Fischer is enjoying the last days before the rally. "Today is the day of administrative and technical checks. The team is preparing the material and bikes, and is looking forward to defending the number one position in the world championship standings, after the successful first race in Abu Dhabi. Everybody is well-prepared and in a good mood, all ready to attack and show our best for team HRC again."
Generaly Manager Martino Bianchi said: "The Qatar rally is a very important race for Team HRC. After winning our first world championship race in Abu Dhabi, we need to defend this fantastic result. The team, riders, bikes, mechanics, are all well prepared and ready to get a result in this race too. I wish everybody all the best."
Spectator Vantage Point SS01 Monday
SS1 – 28.82 km (1st bike 11.45 hrs / 1st car 13.00 hrs) approx., Doha/Salwa Rd
Leave Salwa Rd at exit 42 turning right. Follow the route for 11.5 km. There is a passage control immediately before the cars and bikes cross the tarmac road. It is possible to see the competitors for almost 500 metres on a track parallel to the asphalt before they turn left and pass a bridge over a pipeline.
2014 Sealine Cross-Country Rally – leading starters Bikes
01) Marc Coma (ES) I KTM 450
02) Ruben Faria (PT) I KTM 450
03) Jordi Viladoms (ES) I KTM 450
04) Sam Sunderland (GB) I KTM 450
05) Paolo Goncalves (PT) I Honda CRF 450
06) Helder Rodrigues (PT) I Honda CRF 450
07) Joan Barreda-Bort (ES) I Honda CRF 450
08) Michael Ott-Eulberg (D) I Speedbrain 450 Rally
09) Santosh CS (IND) I KTM 450
10) Stuart Charleston (AUS) I Aprilia RXV 450
2014/04/20 | 18:50 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/HRC