Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Ross Branch has taken the lead of Rally Kazakhstan following another strong ride on stage three of the event. Bringing his Yamaha WR450F Rally home in third place, Branch moves up to the head of the field with just two days of racing remaining. Rounding out yet another highly positive day for the team, Adrien Van Beveren placed second on today’s stage, with Andrew Short in fifth.
Stage three, the second and final leg of the event’s marathon stage provided a serious physical test for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally team riders. The longest special of the event at 332 kilometres, it featured mixed terrain including desert tracks, hardpack conditions, and rolling sand dunes, which required full focus from all riders with Ross, Adrien, and Andrew, going on to post impressive results for the third day running.
As the fourth rider to enter today’s third stage of Rally Kazakhstan, Ross Branch had the unenviable task of opening the stage with the other leading riders. Unfazed by the task in front of him, Ross focused on himself, brought his navigational skills to the fore and completed the stage as the third fastest rider. After three consecutive stage results inside the top four, Branch now sits on top of the overall provisional classification with a near six-and-a-half-minute lead.
Adrien Van Beveren claimed his best stage result of the rally so far with a second-place finish on stage three. Much like his teammate Ross Branch, the Frenchman rode his own race and put his navigational skills to good use to secure his impressive runner-up result. Van Beveren’s strong form and consistency this week has elevated him to second place in the provisional standings for a Yamaha 1-2.
The super-consistent Andrew Short placed fifth on stage three to maintain his fifth-place ranking in this year’s Rally Kazakhstan. After successfully completing the marathon stage on his Yamaha WR450F Rally, the American picked up an unfortunate time penalty when he went off course due to a minor navigational area, just before a refuelling station. Nevertheless, Andrew has created a comfortable margin over the riders behind him as he enters tomorrow’s penultimate stage.
Tomorrow’s stage four features a 309km special. Early on, riders will work their way through a rocky, narrow canyon before high-speed sections form a large part of the stage. The conditions then change to sandy soil where accurate navigation is essential, especially for Adrien and Ross who will be the second and third riders to enter the special. Upon completion of the penultimate stage, just one more day of racing separates the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team from the event’s finish line on Sunday.
Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Mixed emotions today. The stage was going really well but I had a small issue with the mousse in my tyre near the end. I was able to complete the stage, that was main thing, but I lost a little bit of time. I’m in the lead though so overall it was a pretty good end to the marathon stage. I’m happy to be back with the team, they’ll prepare the bike for tomorrow and we’re in a really good place so I’m looking forward to the next two days and keep doing what we’re doing and see where we end up.
Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
It was another really fast stage today, so keeping focused was really important. The marathon stage was challenging and I’m really happy to have completed it with no issues for myself or my bike. My navigation was good today, and this really helped me to achieve such a strong result. I’ll be approaching the remaining days with the same focus and the same mentality to maintain my pace and stay up front. Another great day for me and the team so everything is going really well.
Andrew Short – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Today was the second day of the marathon stage and these stages can be a little crazy. A few riders lost their mousses and had other issues but fortunately for me, my Yamaha ran great and I was able to complete the stage successfully. I did make one big mistake though with my navigation, which made me go way off course before the refuelling station and I picked up a penalty. But overall, two days to go and I’m feeling good so I’m looking forward to completing the rally with the same momentum that’s got me to the end of day three.
Rally Kazakhstan 2021
Stage 3 Provisional Classification
- Sam Sunderland (KTM) 3:38:18
- Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 3:40:26 + 0:02:08
- Ross Branch (Yamaha) 3:41:48 + 0:03:30
- Franco Caimi (Hero) 3:42:45 + 0:04:27
- Andrew Short (Yamaha) 3:44:47 + 0:06:29
- Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:44:56 + 0:06:38
Rally Kazakhstan 2021
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 3)
- Ross Branch (Yamaha) 9:45:46
- Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 9:52:13 + 0:06:27
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 9:53:08 + 0:07:22
- Sam Sunderland (KTM) 9:54:01 + 0:08:15
- Andrew Short (Yamaha) 10:04:25 + 0:18:39
- Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 10:17:24 + 0:31:38