Following his winning result last week at the Atacama Rally, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Pablo Quintanilla kicked off round four of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship by posting the ninth best time at the short Prologue of the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina.
Including a 5km-long special stage with no navigational challenges, the Prologue at this year’s Desafio Ruta 40 gave competitors a small taste of what’s to follow. Assigned with the demanding task of opening the tracks, Pablo opted to race a cautious stage avoiding risks.
Completing the Prologue in a total time of three minutes and 45 seconds, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rally star was just 10 seconds slower that the provisional Prologue winner. Kicking off the rally with a solid result, Pablo will be aiming for another podium topping performance this week in Argentina.
Currently placed second in the provisional 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship standings, the Chilean is just six points behind provisional series leader Sam Sunderland with two rounds to go.
Including a 321km-long timed special, stage one of the 2017 Desafio Ruta 40 will see competitors leave San Juan as they head towards the north and the city of Villa Unión.
Pablo Quintanilla: “Everything went well and I think we’ve made a good start to the rally. It’s going to be a long week with lots of challenges for all riders. I rode a bit cautiously in the Prologue as there was just so much to lose in case of a mistake. I was the first rider to start the stage so I had to be opening the tracks for people following me. The real race starts with the first special stage and this is what I’m focusing on. It’s going to be a long stage in mixed conditions and I’m looking forward to it.”
2017 Desafio Ruta 40 – Prologue Provisional Classification
1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 3:35
2. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 3:38
3. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 3:39
3. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 3:39
5. Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) 3:40
5. Michael Metge (Honda) 3:40
9. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:45