Entering the 2018 Desafio Inca Rally with the goal of further familiarising themselves with the demands of racing in the sand dunes of Peru, Pablo Quintanilla and Andrew Short have claimed a spot inside the top-six on stage one of the event. Making a strong start to the rally, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team duo look to continue gathering experience ahead of the coming Dakar Rally in January.

The highest placed Husqvarna rider in the opening stage of the Desafio Inca was Pablo Quintanilla, with the Chilean rally star securing a solid fifth on the opening day of racing in Peru. With his eyes set on earning valuable race time in conditions similar to the ones expected at the coming Dakar, Pablo will keep on battling for a good overall result in the remaining two stages of the event.

For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew Short, this 340km-long opening stage of the Desafio Inca provided the American with the opportunity to ride alongside and learn from the elite of international rally racers. Enjoying a strong day of racing aboard his FR 450 Rally, Andrew secured a sixth-place result on stage one of the rally.

Following a similar format to Friday’s stage one, the second day of the Desafio Inca will again feature two loops in the dunes outside the city of Ica. The distance to be covered on Saturday is 350km.

Pablo Quintanilla: “It’s been a good day. The stage was contested exclusively in the sand dunes around Ica and especially during the first loop navigation was quite tricky. There were lots of dunes, too many notes in the roadbook and some difficult to find waypoints. After the halfway mark, most of us were riding in groups and that was a different experience to what we’re used to in rally racing. Overall, this stage has been a good learning experience ahead of the coming Dakar. We are trying to get to know this unique part of the world a little bit more and learn how to race our bike effectively on these massive dunes.”

Andrew Short: “It was a good day for me and I enjoyed racing my bike in these conditions. I had a really good first loop, besides getting stuck for a bit in one of the early dunes. It was great to see and follow the pace of the top guys here in Peru. Even though this is just a preparation event for the coming Dakar, I feel that I learned a lot by racing alongside the best rally riders in the world. It was a good experience and I am looking forward to the rest of the event here in Peru.”

Download high-res images from the 2018 Desafio Inca Rally here.

2018 Desafio Inca Rally – Stage 1 Provisional Classification
1. Toby Price (KTM) 04:10:19
2. Franco Caimi (Yamaha) 04:10:49
3. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 04:12:20
4. Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 04:12:42
5. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 04:12:49
6. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 04:13:19

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