The competitors of the Silkway Rally braced themselves for a long day of riding as the stage 3 went underway today, covering a total of 691 kms, including the 243km special section.
For Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders it was a day for consolidation as the stage offered high speed riding, challenging navigation, dangerous ravines and river beds.
Both Paulo Goncalves and Oriol Mena decided to play it safe and brought the bikes across the finish line to bring one more stage in the books for the team.
Mena continued with his momentum from yesterday to deliver another strong stage finish at 8th place. Paulo lost some time in getting out of a deep hole, right at the start of the stage and opted for a more conservative approach after that to finish the stage 3 in 10th place. In the overall standings, Paulo stands at 5th position and Oriol at 6th position at the conclusion of the Stage 3.
The stage 3 took the rally into the heart of the Mongolian landscape that challenged the riders with tricky navigation riddled with path crossings and parallel tracks. Some bit of uphill riding and twisty but fast tracks added to the difficulty for the riders as they arrived at the Ulaanbaatar bivouac.
Paulo Goncalves (Comp #4): « I didn’t have a great start today as my bike got stuck in a big hole just after 2 kms into the stage and I lost some time getting out of there. After that I did not feel that confident about pushing hard so I decided to keep it steady. I lost some time today but what is important that I crossed the finish line and got my bike safely to the bivouac. It’s still early stages in the rally, so I will continue to keep my focus on taking it one day at a time. »
Oriol Mena (Comp #25): « I felt good riding today and enjoyed the Mongolian terrain. I had a small issue with my road book equipment but other than that no issues. Happy to finish another stage today and looking forward to continue in the same way in the next stages. »
Provisional Rankings of the Stage 3
1. Kevin Benavides, Monster Energy Honda, 02h 28m 14s
2. Joan Barreda, Monster Energy Honda, +30s
3. Luciano Benavides, Redbull KTM, +54s
8. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +06m 34s
10. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +08m 09s…
Overall Rankings at the end of the Stage 3
1. Kevin Benavides, Monster Energy Honda, 05h 20m 42s
2. Joan Barreda, Monster Energy Honda, +03m 09s
3. Luciano Benavides, Redbull KTM, +04m 19s
5. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +09m 28s
6. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +09m 37s…