With the sandy dunes of Peru being replaced by the fast tracks of Bolivia, Pablo Quintanilla put in a solid performance during today’s stage six of the 2018 Dakar Rally. Securing a strong sixth place result for the day, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider has moved back inside the top six in the event’s provisional overall standings.
Due to bad weather conditions, race organisers were forced to cancel the first part of the special stage, with the duration of the timed special being shortened to less than two hours for the top competitors. With rain creating a totally different atmosphere in the mountains of Bolivia, Pablo Quintanilla continues his steady climb back up the provisional leader board. With the first week of competition completed, the Chilean rally star is now less than 17 minutes behind the provisional overall leader.
Continuing to learn and improve, Pablo’s teammate Andrew Short brought his FR 450 Rally machine home in 28th position. The US racer is currently 22nd in the provisional overall standings of the rally.
Following a week of racing in South America, tomorrow Dakar Rally competitors will have the opportunity to relax and regroup ahead of the second week of racing. The Rest Day in La Paz will also be a perfect chance for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team engineers to thoroughly check and prepare the two FR 450 Rally machines ahead of the coming eight stages.
Pablo Quintanilla: “Today was a long stage, the liaison was especially tough – it was really cold and very wet in places. The special stage was very fast, and quite dangerous due to the deep water. I’m happy with my pace though and for me, it was important to place between fifth and 10th to get a good start position for the next stage. I only lost a couple of minutes from the leader so that’s good. The bike was awesome today and I’m feeling good so I look forward to the next stage.”
Andrew Short: “That was a tough day for me today, the terrain has changed a lot from the dunes of Peru. I had my first high-speed rally crash so I am glad to get that out of the way. I struggled a little with the speed of the stage with everything coming at me so fast. It was wet out there too and the tracks turned quite muddy in places. I think I prefer that over dust though, if it had been dry things would have been even more dangerous. Coming into La Paz it was amazing to see all the people and the atmosphere in the city so that was cool. It’s rest day now so I’ll enjoy that and then back on it for Saturday.”
2018 Dakar Rally – Stage 6 Provisional Classification
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 01:54:10
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 01:54:40
3. Toby Price (KTM) 01:54:40
4. Martin Duplessis (Honda) 01:55:23
5. Dani Oliveras (KTM) 01:56:05
6. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 01:56:10
28. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 02:04:39
2018 Dakar Rally – Provisional Overall Standings After Stage 6
1. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 16:33:20
2. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 16:35:17
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 16:37:10
4. Joan Barreda (Honda) 16:42:53
5. Toby Price (KTM) 16:42:59
6. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 16:50:02
22. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 17:53:30