The first day of the 2 day Marathon stage of the Silkway Rally finished today from UlaanBaatar region, taking the competitors on a massive special stage of a 470 kms loop starting and ending near the Ulaanbaatar bivouac. Being a marathon stage, the riders will be left tonight on their own devices to attend to themselves and their bikes without any assistance from their service crews.
Today’s strategy for Hero MotoSports Team Rally was all about keeping their heads down and reaching the marathon bivouac safely, executed perfectly by Oriol Mena and Paulo Goncalves, as they finished the stage in 8th and 9th positions respectively. Both Paulo and Mena, fully aware of the absence of any support from their service crew for tonight, rode with caution, ensuring that they won’t have to deal with any major worries with their bikes on their own.
After delivering another solid performance, Oriol Mena made his way into the Top 5 in the overall rankings at 5th place, while Paulo Goncalves, decided to exercise more restraint in the marathon stage to finish in the 8th place.
On the cards today was a superfast stage with riders averaging about 110 km/h on the clock, trying to overcome the challenges of dry creek beds, low hills and endless steppe roads of Mongolia. Competitors had to drive through stony plateaus, between picturesque rocks and salty lakes. The second half of the route offered some beautiful landscapes on a track across stony pyramids and rocks but with hard navigation and high speed tracks on the steppe roads.
Oriol Mena (Comp No: 25): « Today was a very fast stage, may be even the fastest I have done so far. I did quite well overall except for a small mistake in one point. Happy to see the back of the longest special stage and reach the marathon bivouac safely. Looking forward to the next stage now. »
Paulo Goncalves (Comp No: 4): « It was a long day with 470km to be done on very fast tacks. The bike worked really well and I had no problems at all today. I am feeling good and ready about the next stage and will keep pushing myself to better and better. »
Provisional Rankings of the Stage 4
1. Sam Sunderland, RedBull KTM, 04h 15m19s
2. Luciano Benavides, Redbull KTM, +03m 46s
3. Joan Barreda, Monster Energy Honda, +04m 57s
8. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +10m 09s
9. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +11m 49s…
Overall Rankings at the end of the Stage 4
1. Sam Sunderland, RedBull KTM, 09h 38m 55s
2. Luciano Benavides, Redbull KTM, +05m 11s
3. Joan Barreda, Monster Energy Honda, +05m 12s
5. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +16m 52s
8. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +18m 23s…