Torrential rain and deep mud on Stage 5 of Hellas Rally in Greece

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Tarrés Perfectly Placed after Strong Stage 5 Performance at Hellas Rally
The Yamaha Ténéré World Raid Team’s Pol Tarrés overcame torrential rain and deep mud on Stage 5 of the Hellas Rally in Greece to secure a fifth-place finish in the Moto category, win the M6 class, and put himself third overall in the general classification with just one day to go.
Stage 5 at the Hellas Rally returned to the more traditional loop specials after the “marathon” part of the race. It involved a 250km route, beginning and ending at the bivouac in Karpenisi via Lake Smokovo.
Tarrés started the day second in the general classification, less than eight minutes behind the overall leader, knowing that the fifth stage could be vital in deciding the race’s outcome, with only the 120km Stage 6 left on Sunday.
Torrential rain made an already challenging special even harder due to deep mud and slippery rocks, but Tarrés fought through it all on his twin-cylinder GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Raid. The Andorran never missed a beat with his navigation and backed up his consecutive podiums in the previous two stages with another superb ride. He stayed in touch with his rivals on single-cylinder 450cc machines throughout the special, despite the tricky conditions being more suited to their bikes, before finishing the stage fifth in the Moto category.
The 29-year-old also took the M6 class (650cc-1300cc multi-cylinder motorbikes) victory for the third stage in a row, finishing the special in three hours, 23 minutes, and 35.36 seconds, just eight minutes and 8.39 seconds behind the winner of the stage.
Such a strong ride means that after completing over 1330km so far, Tarrés is now third in the Moto general classification, with an overall time of nineteen hours, 49 minutes and 34.68 seconds, only eight minutes and 43.57 seconds off the overall leader with one stage to go, plus he has an almost 40-minute advantage over his nearest rival at the top of the M6 class standings.
The final stage at the 2023 Hellas Rally is a short 120km loop, from the bivouac to Gardiki and back, and with less than nine minutes separating the top three riders in the Moto category, everything is all to play for in the victory battle.
Stage 5 Results
General Classification after Stage 5
Pol Tarrés – P3 (3h 23m 35.36s)
Ténéré World Raid Team
“It was another good day for us, as it was important not to let my rivals open up a gap on me, and it was also tough. There was lots of deep mud at the start, which made it hard to push, and it was tricky just staying with the 450cc bikes. As the stage went on, I found my rhythm and started to feel more confident, and I was happy with my navigation. Finishing fifth today was great, as I was only a few seconds behind the riders in front of me in the general, and with just 120km to go, we can fight for the podium on the final stage. Now we need to stay focused and finish the rally in the strongest way possible.”
Marc Bourgeois
Ténéré World Raid Team – Team Manager
“Pol produced another great ride today, despite the awful weather. Everyone is tired, and having to ride in torrential rain and mud saps that energy, so he did great to finish in such a strong position. He navigated superbly again, which is great as he had to pick up a new style of roadbook for this rally, and it shows how quickly he can learn. We are third overall in the Moto general classification, and with one stage to go, this is a great position considering this is our first time racing in this type of terrain, so we look forward to the final stage.”
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