TOUGH DAKAR STAGE THREE FOR ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING

PABLO QUINTANILLA LIES EIGHTH OVERALL FOLLOWING SHORTENED THIRD DAY IN SAUDI ARABIA
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pablo Quintanilla has completed a notably difficult stage three of the 2020 Dakar Rally, finishing in a provisional 11th place. Following a fall during the previous day’s racing, Andrew Short was forced to make repairs to his Husqvarna FR 450 Rally, incurring a penalty of 30 minutes as a result.

Due to a technical problem that affected the GPS of all riders, the race stewards decided to modify the results recorded at the finishing line of the special. Instead, results for the stage were established using the times achieved at waypoint 53, after 389 km of the day’s stage.

Pablo Quintanilla put in a strong ride on day three of the event, despite a number of challenges affecting his rhythm on the technical terrain that has characterised much the rally so far. Stopping early on to aid a fellow competitor who had suffered a crash, Pablo got back into his stride and started to again make good progress through the canyons and rocky ravines. Reaching the refuelling area safely with only a small number of navigational mistakes, the Chilean rider then went on to be affected by the GPS issue. With the results rectified, Pablo now looks forward to Wednesday and stage four.

It was always going to be tough for Andrew Short to make up time on stage three – the second leg of the Super Marathon stage. After suffering a fall on Monday, the American’s road book navigation equipment was damaged and as such, the event organisers required it to be fixed before he was allowed to carry on. Although the repair took just minutes, Andrew incurred a 30-minute penalty for having to do so. The remainder of the stage went well for the former supercross star, riding carefully to conserve his tyres and FR 450 Rally, Short placed 37th and now lies 17th in the provisional overall standings.

Wednesday’s stage three of the Dakar will total 672 kilometres, including a timed special of 453. The mixed-terrain route will lead riders south from Neom before heading inland and the bivouac at Al-‘Ula.

Pablo Quintanilla: “It was a long, tough stage today. Early on I reached another rider who had crashed, so I stayed with him until he felt better. After something like that it’s always difficult to find your rhythm again but after a while I started to make good progress. Things were going well up until the refuelling but then we all struggled with the missing waypoint on the way to the finish. Overall, I’m happy with how I rode and it’s still only day three, so there’s a long way to go.”

Andrew Short: “After crashing yesterday and damaging the bike, the organisers insisted I had to fix it before carrying on so I had to cross the start line and then immediately stop to make repairs. After that the day went pretty well – the bike wasn’t perfect after my fall and I’m still feeling a little sore, but I was able to stick to a solid pace. To finish the day feels great after everything that happened, I struggled a lot with the missing waypoint that affected most of the riders, but to make up for it the scenery here has been amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen desert that looks like this. Hopefully we can get everything sorted now and press on again tomorrow.”

2020 Dakar Rally – Stage 3 Provisional Classification
1. Ricky Brabec, (Honda), 3:29:31
2. Jose Ignacio Cornejo, (Honda), 3:35:27
3. Kevin Benavides, (Honda), 3:36:53
4. Matthias Walkner, (KTM), 3:37:44
5. Toby Price, (KTM), 3:38:06
6. Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:38:35

11. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:48:04
37. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 4:21:17

2020 Dakar Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 3)
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 10:39:04
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 10:43:47
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 10:45:06
4. Joan Barreda (Honda) 10:50:06
5. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 10:50:23
6. Toby Price (KTM) 10:51:02

8. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 10:54:44
17. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 11:36:03

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