Aktau, Kazakhstan, June, 2021.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally had a good run at the Rally Kazakhstan today with all three riders posting good results in Stage 3.
Moving past the issues faced yesterday, the Team delivered a solid stage with Franco Caimi leading the charge and achieving a fourth-place finish. Sebastian Buhler and Joaquim Rodrigues also had a better day finishing in seventh and eighth positions respectively.
All riders found good rhythm during this stage. Joaquim, however, continued to be challenged by terrain in rally, especially when trying to maintain high speeds. While Buhler made a few navigation errors. Yet, overall, all three riders delivered good performances.
Today was the longest special stage of the rally and the second leg of the Marathon stage. As has been the trend so far, the stage consisted of many high-speed bumpy sections, followed by some demanding sections on a rocky descent from the plateau. The last 10 kms were in the dunes, with the stage finish situated atop a dune.
Tomorrow will be another long stage, comprising 308 kms of racing and over 260 kms of liaison. The stage is set to open in the valleys, then moving into a wadi before leading onto the steppe plains. This would be followed by alternating dunes and sandy tracks, ending with some well-defined tracks, and a liaison back to the bivouac at Aktau.
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally:“Today was a long stage, and again a very fast stage with broken pistes. I was not comfortable at maintaining high speeds on these kinds of tracks. I also made two navigation errors and lost some time. Due to the penalty yesterday, our main goal now is to get the bike to the final finish line."
Franco Caimi, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally:“Today was another fast stage, and I had fun on the bike and really enjoyed the stage. There were a few places that were dangerous due to the speed, and were also physically tough. I got lost a little during the last 30 km in the dunes, but I was able to find the right route again. I am happy that I could finish the stage safely, and happy to put yesterday's problems behind us. The target is to keep building on our strengths and come back stronger each day.”
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally:“Today was a much better day compared to the previous two. I am getting into a good rhythm now, and I enjoyed riding today. I made a small navigation mistake close to the finish and lost some time, but overall, I am happy and feeling better with my performance.”
Provisional Stage 3 rankings
1. Sam Sunderland Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 3h 38m 18s
2. Adrien van Beveren Monster Energy Yamaha Rally +02m 08s
3. Ross Branch Monster Energy Yamaha Rally +03m 30s
4. Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally +04m 27s
7. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally +06m 42s
8. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally +08m 28s
Provisional Overall rankings after Stage 3
1. Ross Branch Monster Energy Yamaha Rally 9h 45m 46s
2. Adrien van Beveren Monster Energy Yamaha Rally +6m 27s
3. Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +7m 22s
8. Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally +7hr 36m 16s
9. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally +7hr 39m 32s
10. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally +7hr 44m 10s