– Both riders of Hero MotoSports Team Rally in the Top 5 at the half way mark
The second day of the 2 day Marathon stage of the Silkway Rally began today from UlaanBaatar, taking the competitors on a 365km run including 337 kms of special stage, to reunite with their assistance crew at Mandalgovi bivouac, marking the end of the Marathon stage.
Seizing the opportunity right from the start, Paulo Goncalves rode fast and hard today to gain some of the time he had lost in the previous 2 stages, catching up with the riders in the front. His blazing effort in today’s stage rewarded him with another stage podium with a 3rd place finish. As a result he also moved several place up in the overall rankings to 4th place, regaining his spot in the Top 5. Oriol Mena too had a solid day, as he tamed another very fast stage with a 9th place finish in the stage 5, and in the process, retained his overall 5th position in the Top 5.
At the half way mark of the Silkway Rally Hero MotoSports team Rally finds itself in a strong position, with both the riders in Top 5, thanks to some fantastic and consistent performances by both Paulo Goncalves and Oriol Mena.
The fifth stage was set along Mongolia’s signature tracks: hills, steppes, off-road driving and many parallel paths, which required the competitors to pay attention to the navigation. Leading the riders into the mountains, the stage offered long fast twisty sections mainly made up of broken piste and stony sections.
Paulo Goncalves (Comp #4): « So happy to finish the second day of the marathon without any problems. It was a long marathon stage with 800kms being covered over 2 days, so I feel great to see it behind me. I got into a good rhythm today and felt confident on the Mongolian terrain so decided to push myself a little bit. We are in a good position at the end of the 5 stages but we have 5 more in front of us so my focus will be to finish them well for the team. »
Oriol Mena (Comp #25): « I made a good run in the 2nd day of the marathon stage today with no navigation mistakes. It was again a very fast stage so I decided not to push too hard today and save it for the 2nd half of the rally. The bike is performing so well, the team is doing an amazing job and I am feeling really good, winning confidence with every passing day. Now one more day over and one day less to arrive at China. »
Provisional Rankings of the Stage 5
1. Sam Sunderland, RedBull KTM, 03h 05m 31s
2. Kevin Benavides, Monster Energy Honda, +01m 33s
3. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +02m 47s
4. Xavier De Soultrait, Yamaha Rally Team, +06m 59s
9. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +09m 10s…
Overall Rankings at the end of the Stage 5
1. Sam Sunderland, RedBull KTM, 12h 44m 26s
2. Luciano Benavides, RedBull KTM, +13m 44s
3. Kevin Benavides, Monster Energy Honda, +18m 18s
4. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +21m 10s
5. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +26m 02s…