Bringing the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s participation in the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship to a highly positive end, Xavier de Soultrait has secured third overall at the Desafio Ruta 40 Rally. Claiming a third-place result in the event’s fifth and last stage, Adrien Van Beveren wrapped up his week-long adventure in Argentina on a high note.
After five brutal stages and more than 2000km in the northern part of Argentina, the 2017 Desafio Ruta 40 has come to a close today in the city of Tucumán. Focused on making sure he stayed away from any costly mistakes, Xavier de Soultrait raced a cautious stage that saw the WR450F Rally mounted rider claim a ninth pace result in the event’s final stage.
Retaining his third place in the event’s overall standings, Xavier put Yamaha on the final podium of an international multi-stage event for the second time this season. Following his win at the Merzouga Rally in May and his top five result two weeks ago at the Atacama Rally, the Frenchman is making impressive progress ahead of the big annual challenge that is the Dakar Rally in January, 2018.
The event also ended on a high note for Xavier’s Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team partner Adrien Van Beveren. Securing a third-place result on the final day, Adrien earned a second consecutive top three stage result at this year’s Desafio Ruta 40.
Following their positive outing in Argentina, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team will now head to Peru to contest the Baja Inka Rally on September 14 to 17, 2017. With Aussie Rodney Faggotter joining the team for the first time this season, the Baja Inka will be the last big challenge for the four-man team ahead of the coming Dakar Rally.
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
9th Stage 5 / 3rd Overall
“It’s been a hard-earned podium result and I can’t thank my team for all their hard work during the last few days. The Desafio Ruta 40 has been a tough event for all and I’m glad we managed to wrap it up with one more positive result. I feel we’ve been making some good progress this year. After my victory at the Merzouga Rally and my top five result at the Atacama Rally, to get a top three result racing against the top rally racers in Argentina shows we’re making steps towards the right direction. I feel that I have improved in many aspects of my riding and my ability to navigate in challenging conditions. We’ve also put our bike to the test and now we know which exact points we need to work harder on. Probably the most important thing for me is that I took some great confidence in my riding and my speed ahead of the coming Dakar. We have one more event to contest in September and then we’re full steam ahead for the big annual event in January.”
Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
3rd Stage 5 / 19th Overall
“It was another good day for me and I’m really happy I wrapped up this rally with two top three stage results. Today I was the third rider to take the start of the special stage so I had to rely a lot on my navigation. In some places there were no lines from any leading riders and that was a good chance for me to further improve my navigation. I stayed focused on my road-book and everything went fine. Today we raced through some mountains and even went higher than 3.000m of altitude. The stage started with a 50km dry and sandy river and I really enjoyed racing my bike there. Overall, we wrap up this rally on a high note. Taking out the stages I was faced with mechanical issues I won the Prologue and got two more top three results and that is not bad at all. The speed is slowly coming back. This event has been a big learning experience for all of us and we will keep the hard work leading to the Dakar. Our next event is in Peru in a month’s time and I’m hoping we can keep improving on all the aspects of the bike, my speed and my navigational skills.”
Desafio Ruta 40 Stage 5 Provisional Classification
1. Michael Metge (FRA), Honda, 02:16:12
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 02:19:57, +03:45
3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 02:20:18, +04:06
4. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 02:21:34, +05:22
5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 02:21:54, +05:42
6. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 02:22:13, +06:01
9. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 02:26:34, +10:22
Desafio Ruta 40 Final Overall Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 19:13:24
2. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 19:26:16, +12:52
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 19:54:14, +40:40
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 20:10:28, +57:04
5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 20:16:19, +01:02:55
6. Martin Duplessis (ARG), KTM, 21:10:58, +01:57:34
19. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 74:04:59, +54:51:35
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