Monster Energy Hona Team : Van Beveren takes second place and we continue to lead in the general standings with Tosha

Tosha Schareina held onto the overall lead after the second stage of Rally Raid Portugal as all the Monster Energy Honda Team riders continued to battle the mixed conditions over the 166 kms of the Grândola loop. This third round of the World Rally Raid Championship is completely different from everything competitors normally experience in the wild expanses of desert with mud, narrow tracks and fog making the stages extra difficult.

Yesterday’s stage winner, Tosha Schareina was the lead out man and put in a solid performance on a stage that combined hard terrain, sand and a lack of visibility. He set the sixth fastest time and still sits at the top in the overall standings with nearly three minutes in hand.

After a delayed start due to fog, another winner of the day was Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren following an unfortunate 12 minute penalty yesterday. He put in an amazing ride through the muddy conditions to finish in second place today, just over a minute behind stage winner Sebastian Bühler, which he knows very well as he lives and trains in this area.

Skyler Howes struggled with the morning fog and a couple of mistakes with the road book, but by the time the sun had appeared the American had put his earlier errors behind him to take advantage of the fast sandy tracks and make up some positions to finish the stage in fifth to keep himself in podium contention overall.

With very different conditions to the Dakar to tackle, Pablo Quintanilla was still looking to find his rhythm on the second day and completed the day in seventh. He’ll be looking to move back up the rankings on his Honda CRF450 RALLY on tomorrow’s stage. Tomorrow, the team will face the marathon stage, which will end in Badajoz. In this stage, the mechanics will have a limited time during the service of just three hours to work on the bikes, adding a new layer of challenge to the competition. It is the longest stage of the Rally Raid Portugal.

Despite these challenging conditions, the Monster Energy Honda Team’s new CRF 450RALLY bike proved its exceptional ability, adapting perfectly to a different environment than the hot temperatures and sandy desert terrain.

Ruben Faria – General Manager : « Adrien, who yesterday had a problem with the 12 minute penalty and had to start in 14th position today, had a great day in second position, Skyler, regardless of not being his home terrain, had a great special stage too.
« Tosha had a great day despite having to open and continues to lead the rally.
« Pablo in spite of not finding the pace has done a good race. »

Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « It was a bit more open but with a lot of mud and water in several parts of the special.
« For me it is very different to what I am used to in the desert but it is what it is. So I’m trying to understand the terrain as well as possible but it’s difficult for me.
« There are a lot of tricky narrow tracks but you have to look on the bright side and we didn’t suffer any damage. »

Skyler Howes #10 : « It was a super fun stage and I tried to push a bit harder on the tracks because I felt pretty good on the bike.
« We are still in 3rd place overall, which is pretty good.
« I’m in a good starting position for tomorrow’s marathon stage and I’ll try to play my cards right.
« Tomorrow will be a long day and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. »

Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « It was a good day, I like this terrain, unfortunately I had the penalty yesterday because I had a good race on the bike but I made a mistake that I paid dearly.
« We are still giving our best and enjoying every kilometre of the Rally of Portugal and today I was able to get a good result to make up for yesterday’s mistake. »

Tosha Schareina #68 : « It was a tough day for me, I had to open the stage from start to finish, the beginning was difficult with very little visibility, but I think that in the final part of the special I gave a lot of gas.
« I think I’m in a good position for tomorrow’s start and to keep the lead. »

Rider Standings
2. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 01:49:08…
5. Howes Skyler – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 01:50:37
6. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 01:50:47…
10. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 01:52:57…