Rally Raid de Portugal Monster Energy Honda Team : Tosha dominates marathon stage to Badajoz

The Monster Energy Honda Team is proving its dominance at the Rally Raid de Portugal, reaching the halfway point of the competition and leading the overall for every day so far.

Tosha, who leads the overall standings, showed his mastery of the track by cutting almost a minute and a half off Sebastian Buhler after the refueling to take first place on the special and extend his overall lead. Adrien, coming off the back of a good last two stages, struggled to find his rhythm and finished in 4th place. Skyler Howes came in 7th but still holds third place in the general standings, only 3 minutes and 16 seconds behind Frenchman Van Beveren who is in 4th place. However, Pablo Quintanilla has not been able to find the right spot on Portuguese territory but the Chilean never gives up, today he finished in 10th position.

On the third stage where they crossed the border into Spain, the drivers faced an epic day of rallying. With a special stage of 374 km and over 600 km in total, the marathon stage started from the picturesque Portuguese town of Grândola to Badajoz, where the mechanics worked to the limit on the bikes in the 3-hour service, today it was very important that the riders damaged the bike as little as possible so that after the service it is in the best possible condition to face stage 4, which returns tomorrow to the town of Grândola.

Today’s route covered varied terrain, from firm ground to technical sections with plenty of puddles. In contrast to the previous stages, this time the drivers had to deal with less sand but they did have to deal with more broken terrain during the last 100 km as the cars went over the track earlier, something that is always the other way around.

Tosha, who leads the overall standings, showed his mastery of the track by cutting almost a minute and a half off Sebastian Buhler after the refueling to take first place on the special and extend his lead in the overall standings.

The towns of Salvaterra de Magos, Almeirim, Chamusca, Abrantes and Maçao served as a stage for the Portuguese fans to show their great love for the world of motor racing on this exciting day, which not only tested the physical and mental endurance of the drivers, but also their technical and strategic skills.

Ruben Faria – General Manager : « We arrived in Spain, Badajoz, today was a different day with a varied terrain. At the beginning I thought that Buhler would take the stage because of the terrain and the time he was setting, but Tosha pushed hard in the second part of the stage, which makes me a bit more confident because tomorrow is a terrain that Sebastian knows less and Tosha can increase the gap. Adrien has been pretty good in the second part of the stage, if it wasn’t for that penalty on the first day he would be in the war.
« I’m happy with Skyler’s performance, but today he suffered a crash that caused him to lose some time. Pablo also fell in a puddle and is not able to show his talent.
« We just have to attack these last two days and keep doing the same. »

Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « I’m giving my 100%, sometimes it’s hard to explain how a race is going with the water and mud. I’m trying to give it everything I’ve got kilometre by kilometre and it’s hard to see how I’m enjoying myself but I can’t find the rhythm. »

Skyler Howes #10 : « The day started very well and around kilometre 220 there was a lot of dust, I could not see very well and I forgot rule number 1 which is that you should not drive fast if there is no visibility and I had a big accident, fortunately the airbag saved me and I was able to continue without problems, but I lost 3 minutes very valuable. »

Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « Long day, but this is rally is what we like.
« The corners were not very visible, but I decided to use the tactic that the Portuguese riders are doing and I gave as much gas as I could to aquaplaning.
« The last 100 km were very technical in the mountains and I felt much better and I found my rhythm. »

Tosha Schareina #68 : « The first part of the stage was very fast and the others were faster, but in the second part of the race I pushed a bit harder and I managed to take the lead and hold on until the end. It’s not easy to ride fast in this race but I’m happy with the level we rode at. »

Rider Standings
1. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 3:28:03…
5. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 3:34:50…
8. Howes Skyler – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 3:37:16…
11. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 3:39:06…