Continuing his solid run of form in Argentina, Xavier de Soultrait secured a sixth-place result on a tough stage three of the Desafio Ruta 40 rally. Remaining third in the provisional overall standings, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider has his eyes set on the overall podium at the end of the week-long event on Thursday.
Contested in the sandy dunes around the city of Belén, stage three of the Desafio Ruta 40 was long and physically demanding. Well-prepared for the challenge Xavier completed the stage less than 10 minutes behind the day’s winner.
Returning to competition following the issues he faced on stage one, Adrien Van Beveren was determined to show what he is capable of. Enjoying a great pace from the get go, the Frenchman suffered a small mechanical issue a few kilometres before the refuelling point. Wrapping up the stage in ninth place, Adrien will be back for more tomorrow.
Suffering a fall a few kilometres before CP1, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rookie Franco Caimi was unable to finish the stage. Avoiding any injury the Argentinean will sit out the rest of the event.
Wednesday’s stage four will be the longest at this year’s Desafio Ruta 40. Taking competitors from Belén to Tafí del Valle it includes a timed special of 309km. The total distance to be covered for the day is a gruelling 535km.
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
6th Stage 3 / 3rd Overall
“I’m glad the hard work I’ve been putting during the last few months is paying off now. Today’s stage took place in the sand dunes of Belén and it was tough physically. It was a long and tiring day but everything went according to plan for me. I’m still third in the overall and that is the most important thing for now. This event is the perfect opportunity for us to test the latest version of our bike and get so more racing miles in tough conditions. It’s also a great chance for me to improve on my navigation. I’m hoping for a good day tomorrow. It’s going to be the last long stage of this rally and my plan is to push hard for a good result.”
Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
9th Stage 3 / 22nd Overall
“I had a great pace from the start of today’s stage and everything was going really well. It felt good to be back on my bike after the issues we had in the opening stage. My speed was great and I was fighting for the stage victory. Three kilometres before the refuelling point my bike stopped and I quickly realised there was a small issue with fuel not reaching the engine. It took me some time to fix the problem and when I got back on track I did my best to make up for the time lost. This rally has been a learning experience for us. Tomorrow we’ll race another long stage and I’m hoping for some better luck.”
Desafio Ruta 40 – Stage 3 – Provisional Classification
1. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 04:17:29
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 04:19:33, +02:04
3. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 04:19:37, +02:08
4. Michael Metge (FRA), Honda, 04:20:30, +03:01
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 04:20:34, +03:05
6. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 04:27:28, +09:59
9. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 04:26:36, +29:07
Desafio Ruta 40 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 3]
1. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 12:04:58
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 12:07:15, +02:17
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 12:34:16, +29:18
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 12:50:54, +45:56
5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 13:02:26, +57:28
6. Martin Duplessis (ARG), KTM, 13:23:47, +01:18:49
Race Schedule – Desafio Ruta 40 2017
Prologue | Aug 26 | San Juan | SS: 5.6km | Total: 26.74km
Stage 1 | Aug 27 | San Juan to Villa Unión | SS: 321.90km | Total: 512.51km
Stage 2 | Aug 28 | Villa Unión to Tinogasta | SS: 336.91km | Total: 437.36km
Stage 3 | Aug 29 | Tinogasta to Belén | SS: 303.97km | Total: 489.20km
Stage 4 | Aug 30 | Belén to Tafí del Valle | SS: 309.14km | Total: 535.84km
Stage 5 | Aug 31 | Tafí del Valle to Tucumán | SS: 180.70km | Total: 327,80km