Ensuring the best possible end to his week-long adventure in the dunes of Chile, Pablo Quintanilla has secured overall victory at the 2017 edition of the Atacama Rally. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider now sits just six points from the provisional lead of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, with two races to go.
Following a well-calculated plan of attack, Pablo took advantage of his good starting position to make up for time lost during yesterday’s stage four. Completing the 158km special in a total time of one hour and 35 minutes, the FR 450 Rally mounted rider regained the lead in the overall standings, going on to open up an eventual gap of more than two minutes to his closest rival.
Securing a fifth career victory at the Atacama Rally, Quintanilla has reduced the gap to the provisional leader of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship to six points.
Following a very short break, Pablo and the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action in the penultimate round of the series, the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina from August 25 to September 1, 2017.
Pablo Quintanilla: “This victory means a lot to me. After my injury in Qatar, I had such a tough month recovering. To return to competition here at my home round in Chile and take the win, it is such an incredible feeling. All through the event I felt fit and strong on the bike. My Husqvarna FR 450 Rally has been perfect every single day. I am glad that I have been able to close on Sam Sunderland in the championship. With two rounds remaining there is still everything to play for. It’s been a huge team effort and there are no words to thank each member of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna squad. They have been so supportive of me after coming back from my injury. I am proud that I could reward them with a win.”
2017 Atacama Rally – Stage 5 Provisional Classification
1. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 1:35:42
2. Ignacio Cornejo (KTM) 1:35:54
3. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 1:36:01
4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 1:38:07
5. Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) 1:41:29
6. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 1:42:45
2017 Atacama Rally – Final Overall Classification
1. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 12:53:49
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 12:56:12
3. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 13:05:40
4. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 13:17:04
5. Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) 13:27:35
6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 13:27:54