Racing more than 4,000km in Peru and Bolivia, the duo of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders Pablo Quintanilla and Andrew Short now have their eyes set on the third and final part of the 2018 Dakar Rally – the final five days of competition in Argentina. Battling their way through eight challenging stages, the two FR 450 Rally mounted riders will look to climb even higher in the final overall standings as the event enters its final and most challenging phase.
Riding to Salta in groups following the cancellation of stage nine, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders enjoyed some well-deserved hours of relaxation ahead of the final part of the Dakar. Following the issues he had on stage eight, Pablo Quintanilla is currently 12th in the rally’s provisional overall standings. Looking ahead, the Chilean rally star is now eyeing some good stage results on Argentinean soil.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s rally rookie Andrew Short, this event has been a huge learning experience. Claiming his best stage result to date yesterday, the US racer is now focused on reaching the finish of the event on Saturday with a good position in the overall. Andrew is currently 23rd in the provisional standings.
Heading south and towards the city of Belén tomorrow, Dakar Rally competitors will contest a 373km-long timed special. Stage 10 of the 2018 Dakar Rally will bring racers one-step closer to the big finish in Córdoba on Saturday.
Pablo Quintanilla: “Following the issues I had yesterday, I am really happy I am still in the race to the finish. Coming into this year’s Dakar, my goal was obviously to fight for the win. We had some great stage results and I was inside the top eight and close to the group of leading riders until yesterday. Right now the podium might seem like a distant goal, but I will do my best for some good stage results. The race now enters one of its most difficult parts, but I know what I need to do to make some of the time I’ve lost.”
Andrew Short: “Since the start of the marathon stage we’ve had two long and exhausting days of racing, so it was good to take some time to relax today. For me this event is a life experience. Since its start I feel that I’ve learned a lot. I learned how to get faster in the deep sand while also navigating myself in the most tricky sections. I also learned how to retain a good pace in the fast sections, but compared to the riders in front I feel that there’s still a lot to improve there. Overall, I’m happy with my progress so far and I am looking forward to the coming stages of the rally.”
2018 Dakar Rally – Provisional Overall Standings After Stage 9
1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 27:22:03
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 27:22:25
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 27:28:37
4. Toby Price (KTM) 27:29:38
5. Joan Barreda (Honda) 27:30:04
6. Antoine Meo (KTM) 27:31:59
12. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 28:47:26
23. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 29:45:34