Reaching the halfway point of the two-day-long marathon stage without any issues, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing duo of Pablo Quintanilla and Andrew Short remain focused on their individual goals at this year’s Dakar Rally. Claiming a strong fifth place result today, Pablo managed to also secure a good starting position for tomorrow’s 498km-long timed special.

In less than a week Dakar Rally competitors have been asked to race in widely varying conditions. From the warm temperatures in the sandy Peruvian dunes, today they contested stage seven of the event in wet and cold conditions. Continuing his steady run in this year’s event, reigning Rally World Champion Pablo Quintanilla also makes sure that he remains within striking distance of the top of the leader board.

Claiming a fifth-place result for the day, Pablo is currently eighth in the provisional overall standings. With the race’s longest timed special coming tomorrow and a total of seven more stages to be contested in South America, the Chilean rally star is now 20 minutes behind the provisional overall leader.

For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew Short, this was the first Dakar marathon stage of his career in rally racing. Reaching the finish of the day in Uyuni without any issue, the US racer is currently placed 25th in the provisional overall standings.

With the second and final part of this first marathon stage taking place tomorrow, Dakar Rally racers will have to contest a 498km-long timed special on their way from Uyuni to Tupiza.

Daniel Trauner – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally team manager: “It was a hard and tough stage today and we are happy that both our riders have reached the marathon bivouac in Uyuni. The stage was long and had difficult navigation. On top of that, we had rain in the area and it was quite cold. Pablo did quite fine today and he has a good starting position for tomorrow. Tomorrow we have the longest special of the rally and it is good that Pablo will start from fifth position. We believe Pablo will be able to push and make up some time to the leaders tomorrow. There is still a lot of racing to be done and anything can happen. Pablo is strong physically and mentally and this is important at this point of the race. As for Andrew, it was his first marathon stage in the Dakar and he did well. He reached the finish of the stage and it will be important for him to continue as he has been riding and reach the finish of the marathon stage tomorrow.”

2018 Dakar Rally – Stage 7 Provisional Classification
1. Joan Barreda (Honda) 05:11:10
2. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 05:14:01
3. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 05:19:12
4. Toby Price (KTM) 05:19:53
5. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 05:20:03
6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 05:20:26

28. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 06:05:35

2018 Dakar Rally – Provisional Overall Standings After Stage 7
1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 21:49:18
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 21:52:32
3. Joan Barreda (Honda) 21:54:03
4. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 21:57:36
5. Toby Price (KTM) 22:02:52
6. Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) 22:05:57

8. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 22:10:05
25. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 23:59:05

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