Going from strength to strength aboard his WR450F Rally machine, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider Franco Caimi secured an impressive third place result in a shortened stage two at the Atacama Rally 2017. Earning fifth on stage two, Franco’s teammate Xavier de Soultrait is currently third in the rally’s provisional overall standings.
Showing more of what he is capable of, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rookie Caimi enjoyed a blisteringly fast pace on stage two of the rally. However, following a crash halfway through the timed special race organisers decided to stop the stage at km 164. Completing the timed special less than a minute behind the stage winner, Caimi was well placed in third.
Racing a faultless stage two, Xavier de Soultrait solidified his position inside the top three in the rally’s overall standings. Fifth on stage two, the Frenchman is currently less than four minutes behind the rider in the provisional overall lead of the rally.
For Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren, the Frenchman enjoyed a steady pace to wrap up stage two in eighth place. Gradually getting back up to speed following his recent injury, Adrien is eager to continue improving in this year’s Atacama Rally.
Taking riders to the city of Mejillones, tomorrow’s stage three of the Atacama Rally is the second longest in this year’s event. Featuring a timed special of 349km, the total distance to be covered by all competitors is 487km.
Franco Caimi – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
3rd Stage 2 / 4th Overall
“I’m happy with my progress so far. Today’s stage two was shortened due to an accident but nevertheless it was a tough stage. For the first 50km navigation was pretty challenging and you have to be extra careful to avoid any mistakes. From then on there were some very fast tracks. It feels good to get a top three result for the day. The more we race the more I am getting used to my bike and I can push even harder. We’re now focusing on stage three. Tomorrow is going to be a long day and I’m more than ready for it.”
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
5th Stage 2 / 3rd Overall
“Everything went pretty well today. The first part of the special stage had some big dunes with deep sand. It was fun to ride and I enjoyed it. Then the rest had some fast bits and some rivers. It’s been raining a lot here these past few weeks and there’s water everywhere. I am happy with fifth for the day. I’m now third in the overall standings and that is really positive for the rest of this rally. I will keep doing my best for a good overall result.”
Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Team rider
8rth Stage 2 / 8th Overall
“It’s all going according to plan for me. I’m riding a steady race slowly getting to grips with the demanding navigation. It feels good to be back racing after six months off the bike and I feel that this event is a great preparation ahead of the Dakar in January. Today I did my own race. I tried not to follow other riders’ lines and remain focused on my road-book. There were some dangerous parts in the special stage and some places with loads of stones so it was important to avoid mistakes. Overall, this rally has been good training for me and I’m looking forward to the following stages.”
Atacama Rally 2017 – Stage 2 – Provisional Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 01:39:25
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 01:39:42, +00:17
3. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 01:40:03, +00:38
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 01:40:28, +01:03
5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 01:41:04, +01:39
6. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 01:41:36, +02:11
8. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 01:43:45, +04:20
Atacama Rally 2017 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 2]
1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 04:03:40
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 04:03:47, +00:07
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 04:07:34, +03:54
4. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 04:09:52, +06:12
5. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 04:09:55, +06:15
6. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 04:12:23, +08:43
8. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 04:17:07, +13:27
Race Schedule – Atacama Rally 2017
Prologue | Aug 13 | Copiapó | SS: 14.03km | Total: 60.32km
Stage 1 | Aug 14 | Copiapó to Copiapó | SS: 226.18km | Total: 272.47km
Stage 2 | Aug 15 | Copiapó to Tal Tal | SS: 308.0km | Total: 379.93km
Stage 3 | Aug 16 | Tal Tal to Mejillones | SS: 349.0km | Total: 487.27km
Stage 4 | Aug 17 | Mejillones to Iquique | SS: 375.0km | Total: 547.33km
Stage 5 | Aug 18 | Iquique to Iquique | SS: 158.27km | Total: 210.10km