Making light work of a demanding day of rally racing in Argentina, Xavier de Soultrait secured third on stage two of the Desafio Ruta 40 rally. Moving up to third in the event’s overall standings, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider is currently 20 minutes behind the provisional overall leader with three stages to go.
Putting his experience to good use in a tough rally stage the Frenchman completed a mistake-free stage in a total time of four hours and five minutes. With the first part of today’s stage contested over stony, enduro-style trails Xavier made the most of the WR450F Rally’s abilities to tackle the tight and more extreme tracks.
The second fastest rider to complete the first part of the timed special, Xavier took a shot at the stage victory today. Losing some time in the second part of the special stage, the Frenchman settled for a very positive third on the day. Enjoying a good feeling aboard his bike, de Soultrait will look to take his momentum into the remaining three stages of this year’s Desafio Ruta 40.
Back on his WR450F Rally after a tough first full day of racing in Argentina, Xavier’s Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team partner Franco Caimi posted the eighth best time for the day. Unable to reach the finish of stage one, Franco took the start of today’s stage two determined to show what he’s capable of. Currently 19th in the provisional overall, he will look for some good stage results in the remaining three days of the rally.
Including a timed special of 303km, tomorrow’s stage three of the Desafio Ruta 40 will take competitors further north and towards the city of Belén.
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
3rd Stage 2 / 3rd Overall
“Today’s stage two was really tough and I’m very happy I got third. The first part of the stage had some pretty difficult navigation. There were lots of enduro-styled tracks with stones. Almost 10 kilometres into the special stage I saw a group of riders exit a river to the left. I followed the roadbook and stayed inside the river until I found the waypoint. A few kilometres later I realised there were just two riders in front of me. In the refuelling stop my team told me I was second so I decided to push even harder. Losing a bit of time in the dunes I completed the stage in third place. I’m now third in the overall and that is very important. I feel great on the bike at the moment and I can’t wait for the last three stages of this rally.”
Desafio Ruta 40 – Stage 2 – Provisional Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 03:56:14
2. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 03:59:33, +03:19
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 04:05:13, +08:59
4. Jonathan Barragan (ESP), KTM, 04:21:38, +25:24
5. Martin Duplessis (ARG), KTM, 04:23:42, +27:28
6. Daniel Nosiglia (BOL), KTM, 04.27.13, +30.59
8. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 04.37.20, +41.06
Desafio Ruta 40 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 2]
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 07:46:41
2. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 07:47:29, +00:48
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 08:06:48, +20:07
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 08:31:21, +44:40
5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 08:39:49, +53:08
6. Martin Duplessis (ARG), KTM, 08:43:57, +57:16
19. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 26.51.02, +19.04.21
Race Schedule – Desafio Ruta 40 2017
Prologue | Aug 26 | San Juan | SS: 5.6km | Total: 26.74km
Stage 1 | Aug 27 | San Juan to Villa Unión | SS: 321.90km | Total: 512.51km
Stage 2 | Aug 28 | Villa Unión to Tinogasta | SS: 336.91km | Total: 437.36km
Stage 3 | Aug 29 | Tinogasta to Belén | SS: 303.97km | Total: 489.20km
Stage 4 | Aug 30 | Belén to Tafí del Valle | SS: 309.14km | Total: 535.84km
Stage 5 | Aug 31 | Tafí del Valle to Tucumán | SS: 180.70km | Total: 327,80km