Continuing their dominant performance in Peru, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team saw Adrien Van Beveren secure an impressive victory at the longest stage of the 2017 Baja Inka Rally. With two out of four stages now completed, Adrien has taken the provisional lead in the rally’s overall standings.
Contested in the big, sandy dunes south of Paracas, stage two of the 2017 Baja Inka included a gruelling 325km-long special stage. Taking his time to get to grips with the Peruvian terrain on Thursday’s stage one, Van Beveren entered the longest timed special of the event with all guns blazing.
Taking advantage of his good starting position, Adrien quickly found himself racing alongside the leading pack of riders. Enjoying a mistake-free day aboard his WR450F Rally machine, the Frenchman was more than two minutes faster than his closest rival.
Assigned with the challenging task of opening the tracks for the first half of the special stage, Xavier de Soultrait managed to bring his WR450F Rally home in third place for the day. Currently third in the provisional overall standings, the Frenchman will look to continue his strong run of form at the 2017 Baja Inka.
Stage two brought some mixed fortunes for Yamalube Yamaha Official Team’s Rodney Faggotter. Kicking off the rally’s longest special stage looking to continue improving, the Australian suffered a crash in one of the big dunes. Losing precious time getting back on his Yamaha, Rodney battled through to finish the stage in 11th place.
Suffering a technical issue 74km into the special stage, stage one winner Franco Caimi was unable to complete the second stage of this year’s Baja Inka. Currently heading back to the bivouac in Paracas, the Argentinean rider will look to return to competitive action tomorrow.
Saturday’s stage three of the Baja Inka rally includes a timed special of 322km that will be again contested in the desert south of Paracas.
Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Team rider
1st Stage 2 / 1st Overall
“I had a very good stage today and I’m happy about that. I was the fifth rider to start the special stage and that gave me extra motivation to catch the leading pack. I managed to catch them after 200km and we raced the rest of the stage together. In the last few kilometres I took the lead and opened the track to the finish of the special stage. Taking my time to get familiar with the terrain and the road-book yesterday, I was feeling great today. I got my confidence back so I could control my speed throughout the stage. Navigation was also tricky in many parts. Overall, I think this rally is a great opportunity to learn and improve ahead of the coming Dakar. We have one more long stage tomorrow and I will be the first rider to start the day. Avoiding any risks I want to race a good stage while continue learning.”
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
3rd Stage 2 / 3rd Overall
“Today was a huge learning experience for me. We had to race two laps in the special stage and for the first of them navigation was key. I was the third rider to start the stage and I quickly caught up with the leading pack. Staying focused on my navigation I managed to pass the other riders so I found myself opening the tracks for the next 80km. It was an amazing experience and I feel that I learned so much today. To open the tracks in the big dunes of Peru was quite a challenging task but I pulled it off. Then in the second part of the special stage some other riders caught me and I stayed a bit behind at the finish. Getting third while having to open the tracks is a great result for me and I can’t wait for stage three tomorrow.”
Rodney Faggotter – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
11th Stage 2
“It was all going good for me until the crash. I started the day looking to improve on my speed. 90km into the special stage there was a very big dune. As soon as I reached its top I realised there was a huge gap on the back side. The crash was big and I had to take some time before getting back on my bike. Luckily I avoided any serious injury, but after the finish I still had pain on my hand. We got it checked with the medical crew and it seems there is no major damage done. We’re still in the race to the finish and I’m looking forward to stage three tomorrow.”
Franco Caimi – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
DNF Stage 2
“I was the first to start today’s stage and my speed was good. 74km into the timed special a small mechanical issue left me with no chances to continue the day. Following my win in the opening stage I was really looking forward for a good result today. All the members of our team are doing an incredible job but things like that can happen to any racer. My team are already working on my bike and we will take the start of tomorrow’s stage three. This rally has been a learning experience and I want to continue doing my best to improve. We still have two days to go and my goal is to push for some good stage results.”
Baja Inka 2017 – Stage 2 – Provisional Classification
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 04:05:22
2. Paulo Gonçalves (POR), Honda, 04:07:57
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 04:10:38
4. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 04:11:45
5. Daniel Nosiglia (ARG), KTM, 04:16:04
6. Gerard Farrés (ESP), KTM, 04:23:51
11. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 04:46:04
Baja Inka 2017 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 2]
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 04:47:42
2. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 04:49:05
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 04:50:57
4. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 04:52:00
Race Schedule – Baja Inka Rally 2017
Stage 1 | Sept 14 | Paracas | SS: 55km | Total: 119km
Stage 2 | Sept 15 | Paracas | SS: 325km | Total: 389km
Stage 3 | Sept 16 | Paracas | SS: 322km | Total: 386km
Stage 4 | Sept 17 | Paracas | SS: 93km | Total: 135km