ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING RALLY STAR SHARES CROSS-COUNTRY RALLIES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH TWO ROUNDS TO GO
At the end of a challenging week of racing in Chile, Pablo Quintanilla has claimed a solid third place result at the 2018 Atacama Rally. Collecting valuable points, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rally star is now tied on points at the top of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship standings. Pablo’s teammate Andrew Short secured a spot inside the top-10 in the final standings.
Once again demonstrating his potential in demanding multi-stage rallies, Quintanilla has been a force to be reckoned with throughout the 2018 edition of the Atacama Rally. Runner-up in the event’s first full rally stage, the Chilean secured victory on stage three and another strong third place result on Saturday’s fifth and final stage.
Now sharing the exact same amount of points at the top of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship standings with Kevin Benavides, Quintanilla remains focused on the goal of defending his title for a third consecutive season.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew Short, the 2018 Atacama Rally has been a big learning experience. Taking his time to get familiar with the demanding terrain and challenging racing conditions in Chile, the American kept improving as the race went on. With his best result being a ninth place on a demanding stage four, Andrew collected a promising 10th place in the event’s final standings.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team will return to action at the penultimate round of the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina on August 25/31.
Pablo Quintanilla: “I felt good throughout the week and I’m happy with third overall. Following my small injury a few weeks ago, the goal entering this event was to get back my confidence and that is exactly what I did. I won a stage and lead the overall until my mistake on stage four. I’m satisfied with third at this race, but the most important thing is that I’m back on the right track and I can keep on pushing hard for the World Championship. I want to thank all the members of our team for all their hard work during the week and I am confident we will come back stronger next week in Argentina.”
Andrew Short: “It was my first Atacama Rally and it was a big eye opener. I felt really good on my bike from start to finish and overall, I enjoyed this event. The course was demanding and I felt I made some big improvements with my race pace during the week. I learned a lot and was able to adjust my speed to complete the event on a high note. I feel that I finished a lot better than I started and this is motivating for the future. I made some improvements over the week here in Chile and for the races to come hopefully I can close the gap to the leading riders even more.”
2018 Atacama Rally – Stage 5 Provisional Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 01:40:10
2. Toby Price (KTM) 01:41:28
3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 01:42:10
4. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 01:42:38
5. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 01:43:38
6. Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 01:43:59
11. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 01:51:18
2018 Atacama Rally – Overall Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 14:19:39
2. Toby Price (KTM) 14:24:04
3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 14:25:06
4. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 14:30:00
5. Franco Caimi (Yamaha) 14:42:26
6. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 14:43:11
10. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 15:23:28