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Morocco Desert Challenge 2019

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Ruta 40 SS4: Gonçalves strengthens its lead

The fourth stage of the Desafío Ruta 40 brought with it good results for the Monster Energy Honda Team. Despite opening the track, Paulo Gonçalves minimized the handicap and managed to finish the day on the podium. Brabec was fourth on the penultimate stage.

 

In spite of the hindrance of having to open the field, as the Desafío Ruta 40 reached its fourth day, Paulo Gonçalves was able to maintain a swift pace high in the mountains linking Tinogasta and Villa Unión. In doing so the rider was able to keep the aspirations of his pursuing rivals firmly in check. The Portuguese rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team managed to finish the longest special of the Ruta 40 in a very healthy third position on the day, conceding a mere four minutes to the second placed adversary in the overall standings. As a consequence, Paulo continues to lead the race with just one day to go, and has an advantage of almost three and a half minutes over the nearest rival. The Portuguese rider will now endeavour to maintain the gap at the head of the leader board in tomorrow’s final stage as the race concludes in San Juan.

Ricky Brabec climbed positions in the overall rankings with a fine ride in spite of the bitterly cold conditions that were far from the Californian’s liking. Brabec finished with the fourth best time of the day and tomorrow will seek to secure the fifth spot he currently occupies in the overall standings.

Tomorrow sees the final stage, which will be battle over very varied terrain taking in mountain track, sand filled river bed and high speed off-piste. The stage includes 200 kilometres of timed special out of a total 447-kilometre stage. The start will take place in Villa Union with the rally wrapping up in San Juan.
     
Paulo Goncalves #4 - STAGE: 3rd  OVERALL: 1st
"Today we had a very long stage, 360 kilometres with a lot of rivers, loads of rocks and some fast track too. I started first and I tried to keep a good pace and not miss anything while navigating. I think I've done pretty well because I didn’t drop much time, so I’m happy about that. We have the most important day still ahead, especially given today’s result. I will try and not make any mistakes and will be focused from the start of the special until the final flag."

Ricky Brabec #15 - STAGE: 4th  OVERALL: 5th
"Today started out really cold. I don’t really do well in the cold weather. Today was difficult all day. This morning riding in the rocks with frozen hands was really tough for me. I’m still cold now even when we are done. I’m glad that the stage went really well. We’re ready to push for the last day tomorrow."
     
Provisional results Stage 4
1. Walkner Matthias (AUT) - Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 4:24'13
2. Price Toby (AUS) - Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, +2'50
3. Goncalves Paulo (POR) - Monster Energy Honda Team, +4'07
4. Brabec Ricky (USA) - Monster Energy Honda Team, +5'59
5. Quintanilla Pablo (CHI) - Husqvarna Factory Rally Team, +7'46
6. Nosiglia Daniel (BOL) - Team Nosiglia, +23'19
7. Benavides Luciano (ARG) - KTM Factory Racing Team, +42'15
8. Nosiglia Walter (BOL) - Team Nosiglia, +53'39
9. Santolino Lorenzo (SPA) - Sherco TVS Rally Factory, +55'00
10. Duplessis Martín (ARG) - Honda Argentina - MEC Team, +1:00'22...
    
Provisional standings after Stage 4
1. Goncalves Paulo (POR) - Monster Energy Honda Team, 15:05'37
2. Price Toby (AUS) - Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, +3'28
3. Walkner Matthias (AUT) - Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, +4'45
4. Quintanilla Pablo (CHI) - Husqvarna Factory Rally Team, +4'52
5. Brabec Ricky (USA) - Monster Energy Honda Team, +46'12
6. Benavides Luciano (ARG) - KTM Factory Racing Team, +1:14'24
7. Nosiglia Daniel (BOL) - Team Nosiglia, +1:41'55
8. Santolino Lorenzo (SPA) - Sherco TVS Rally Factory, +1:44'51
9. Nosiglia Walter (BOL) - Team Nosiglia, +3:34'19
10. Ontiveros Alberto (ARG) - San Juan Gobierno Rally Team, +4:06'45...


Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

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