At the end of a challenging day for the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team, the trio of Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait and Franco Caimi have successfully made it to the finish of a gruelling stage four of the Atacama Rally 2017. Overcoming everything that was thrown at them, they will all look to wrap up this rally on a high note during tomorrow’s fifth and final stage in the Chilean dunes.
Gradually getting back up to speed following injury, Adrien Van Beveren was the team’s best performing rider today, getting a strong seventh place result. Enjoying a very good first part of the special stage, the Frenchman saw all the hard work he’s been putting in since the start of the rally finally paying off. Gaining a spot in the provisional overall standings, Adrien is currently seventh with one stage to go.
Adrien’s Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team partner Xavier de Soultrait was unable to show his true speed in this 375km-long stage four. Battling through demanding navigation and a few small mistakes, Xavier had to settle for an eighth place result on the penultimate stage of the rally.
Enjoying a blisteringly fast pace in the first part of the special stage, Franco Caimi suffered a small mechanical issue that removed any chances for the Argentinean to get a good result. Eventually making it to the finish of the day Franco claimed an 11th place result, which dropped him to ninth in the provisional overall standings.
Taking place on Friday, the fifth and final stage of the Atacama Rally 2017 will see riders complete a 210km-long circular route around Iquique.
Adrien Van Beveren – Yamalube Yamaha Official Team rider
7th Stage 4 / 7th Overall
“My pace in the opening part of the special stage was quite good and I’m really happy about it. It shows that we took the right decision to come and race the Atacama Rally. Everything was going well for me until halfway through the special when the base holding my GPS broke because of the excessive vibrations. I tried to fix it with the tools I had on my bike but then shortly after the GPS collapsed again. It’s been a learning experience and I’m glad I reached the finish of the stage without getting seriously lost. The good thing is that I already feel a lot better on my bike. I will continue the hard work with the goal to be 100% ready for the Dakar in January.”
Xavier de Soultrait – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
8th Stage 4 / 6th Overall
“My plan was to start the day more on the cautious side. I knew it would be a long stage and I wanted to remain focused until its end. Overall, I am not satisfied with my speed today. Navigation was so demanding it was almost impossible not to make mistakes. I can see other riders are a lot more familiar with this type of road-book and this is surely an advantage for them. As for us, we are here to learn and this is exactly what we’re doing. I’m hoping to wrap up this rally with a good result on the final stage tomorrow.”
Franco Caimi – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider
11th Stage 4 / 9th Overall
“I started the special stage really well and was able to make some good passes, but things didn’t go our way today. Right after the refuelling point I had a small mechanical issue that was not allowing my engine to perform at full power. That happened 30km before the finish of the special and then we had another 200km to reach the finish of the day. We need to take the positives out of this experience. Things like that happen to everybody and in a way it’s good that it happened now. We will investigate the issue and do our very best with the team not to allow it to happen again.”
Atacama Rally 2017 – Stage 4 – Provisional Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 03:52:56
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 03:55:44, +02:48
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 03:56:09, +03:13
4. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 03:56:59, +04:03
5. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 03:57:35, +04:39
6. Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), KTM, 04:02:06, +09:10
7. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 04:05:55, +12:59
8. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 04:13:24, +20:28
11. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 04:52:50, +59:54
Atacama Rally 2017 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 4]
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 11:18:05
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 11:18:02, +00:02
3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 11:29:36, +11:31
4. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 11:29:39, +11:34
5. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 11:34:16, +16:11
6. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 11:46:06, +28:01
7. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 12:00:45, +42:40
9. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 12:33:18, +1:15:13
Race Schedule – Atacama Rally 2017
Prologue | Aug 13 | Copiapó | SS: 14.03km | Total: 60.32km
Stage 1 | Aug 14 | Copiapó to Copiapó | SS: 226.18km | Total: 272.47km
Stage 2 | Aug 15 | Copiapó to Taltal | SS: 308.0km | Total: 379.93km
Stage 3 | Aug 16 | Tal Tal to Mejillones | SS: 349.0km | Total: 487.27km
Stage 4 | Aug 17 | Mejillones to Iquique | SS: 375.0km | Total: 547.33km
Stage 5 | Aug 18 | Iquique to Iquique | SS: 158.27km | Total: 210.10km