Gorno-Altaysk, Russia, July 2021.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally completed the marathon stage of the Silk Way Rally today with all three riders arriving at the bivouac at Gorno-Altaysk inside the top 10 rankings.
The riders enjoyed the stage today, needing to focus less on navigation as they had ridden the same stage yesterday. Sebastian Buhler finished the stage in fourth place. Franco Caimi got stuck in a river a couple of times but was able to complete the stage without any further complications. He finished the stage in the fifth position, but the lost time meant he lost a position in the overall rankings and dropped to third overall.
Joaquim Rodrigues, whose engine had flooded yesterday, also had a much better day today. He rode carefully to prevent any further damage to the engine. The bike also held up well, allowing him to finish the stage in the eighth position.
Today was a repeat of yesterday’s stage, with an added 31 kms, bringing the length of the special section to 164 kms. It consisted of the same rocky climb, fast stretches and water crossings that the riders experienced yesterday. The added challenge today was how the terrain had deteriorated after the trucks ran on the same tracks in yesterday’s stage. The marathon stage was wrapped up with a mammoth 470 kms liaison back to Gorno-Altaysk, reuniting the riders with their assistance crews.
Tomorrow’s stage will be a loop around Gorno-Altaysk, following the same route that was covered in the second stage of the rally. On the arrival of the riders in the bivouac, the event will conclude with the Podium ceremonies, crowning the winner of the 2021 edition of the Silk Way Rally.
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally:“Today was much better than yesterday. I was a little worried about the engine after it had flooded yesterday, but the bike held up really well and allowed me to complete the stage without any problems. We have just one day to go, and as always we will give our best.”
Franco Caimi, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally:“I am happy to be back in the bivouac after the marathon stage. I had a tough day today, getting stuck in a river twice and losing a lot of time. Other than that, I enjoyed the stage, even though the routes were destroyed after having the trucks run here yesterday. Tomorrow is the last day in the rally, and I'm looking forward to a good stage.”
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally:“Today’s stage had less navigation since we had already done the stage once yesterday. In spite of a few stones and dangers, it was a fun stage to ride. We have completed the marathon stage, and we only have one more day to go, so I am excited for tomorrow.”
Provisional Stage 4 Standings
1 Daniel Sanders GasGas Factory Racing 01h 23 m 05s
2 Skyler Howes Rockstar Energy Husqvarna + 01m 06s
3 Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing + 01m 28s
4 Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 02m 01s
5 Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 04m 41s
8 Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 07m 26s
Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 4
1 Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 05h 13m 57s
2 Skyler Howes Rockstar Energy Husqvarna + 04m 47s
3 Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 05m 36s
4 Daniel Sanders GasGas Factory Racing + 08m 35s
5 Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 08m 45s
9 Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 1h 19m 05s