Claiming his second win from the three stages held so far in the 2019 Atacama Rally, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pablo Quintanilla has put in a dominant ride on day three of the event to reclaim the provisional overall lead. Teammate Andrew Short successfully completed the demanding stage in 10th.

Sixth fastest on Thursday’s stage two, Quintanilla made the most of his start position this morning and immediately began to push on the day’s timed special. Slowly reeling in the riders ahead as the stage progressed the Chilean star posted a time four minutes faster than the second-placed rider, Ricky Brabec. His performance was enough to elevate him back into the provisional rally lead with a four-minute 26-second advantage.

Continuing to find his rhythm on the fast, technical stages of the Atacama Rally, Andrew Short rode a safe, solid stage three to finish in 10th position and will enjoy an advantageous start position for Friday’s long route back to Copiapó. Hampered slightly by an issue with his GPS instruments, the American rider hopes to have the problem fixed for the remaining two days.

Totalling over 280 kilometres, Stage three of the Atacama rally marked the first half of the event’s marathon stage. With no outside assistance allowed at the temporary bivouac in Diego de Almagro, riders must maintain their own bikes and prepare them for stage four.

Riders face a long time in the saddle on Friday – stage four, the penultimate of the event, will see competitors cover a total distance of 426.68 kilometres, 353.92 of which is timed special, the longest of the rally.

Pela Renet – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team Manager: “I’m really happy with the performance of both Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders here in Chile. Pablo has really impressed on his return to racing and Andrew is becoming more and more confident on the fast Atacama stages. It’s been a bit of a mixed day today, Pablo has ridden very well and made up a lot of time on his competitors to retake the rally lead. Andrew, unfortunately, continues to have issues with his navigation equipment. The devices are only working intermittently and it’s causing Andrew to lose time. Hopefully the organisers can fix the problem and award him with some time lost. Looking ahead, we’re in a good position, the riders are both feeling good and hopefully can maintain their speed on the final two stages.”

Download high-res images from the 2019 Atacama Rally here. 

2019 Atacama Rally – Stage 3 Provisional Classification
1. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:23:03
2. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:27:01
3. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 3:27:09
4. Toby Price (KTM) 3:29:16
5. Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:29:51
6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 3:31:23

10. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 3:36:09

2019 Atacama Rally – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 3] 
1. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 9:04:48
2. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 9:09:14
3. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 9:13:32
4. Joan Barreda (Honda) 9:14:41
5. Toby Price (KTM) 9:15:49
6. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 9:17:49
7. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 9:26:04

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