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Husqvarna Motorcycles – Dakar Rally Stage Ten

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Rockstar Energy Husqvarna factory rider Pablo Quintanilla underlined his riding skills and tenacity on the second day of the second marathon stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally to nurse his bike safely to the finish with a damaged rear tire. Despite the problem, Quintanilla still managed to finish sixth in the stage and hold position at fourth overall during what were some of the hardest riding conditions of the competition so far.

Riders are not allowed any team support over the two-day marathon stages and must manage repairs and maintenance themselves. The two days of hard, off-piste riding and at times, extreme heat made this a difficult balance. The first day of the marathon also saw just 12 riders, including Quintanilla, complete the set distance, while for the bulk of the field the stage was called off because of extreme heat at the second control point. In effect this meant that the riders who completed the whole distance rode some 62mi more on Tuesday.

Reflecting on his marathon experience, Quintanilla said: “Yesterday was a really tough day. The heat was incredible. I tried to do good navigation and not to make many mistakes and I think we had a really good stage. Today was different. I started in a good position to push and recover some time but I realized I had a problem with the rear tires. I tried to slow it down, and to keep calm and I lost some time at the end of the stage. There was a big hole in the tyre, so it was really dangerous. I knew it might mean the end of the rally if I hit a stone, so I tried to be calm and close off the gas a little bit.”

Quintanilla’s patience paid dividends even though he ended the stage just short of ten minutes behind the day’s winner Stefan Svitko of Slovakia. While Australia’s Toby Price now has a substantial overall lead with three days left to ride, Quintanilla is still in a group of five riders who all have a good chance of contesting the remaining two podium places.

Meanwhile Husqvarna-supported rider Jacopo Cerutti continues to deliver impressive results and on Wednesday moved into 13th position overall after an impressive 13th place finish in the stage. It was his best day so far in his debut Dakar ride.

On Thursday riders travel from La Rioja to San Juan over another 442mi, which will include 268mi. Although coming to the end of an incredibly strenuous 5,592mi ride, they will need strength and maximum concentration to tackle more challenging terrain and navigation.

Dakar Rally Stage 10
Total distance 349mi, timed special cut to 152mi following thunderstorms
Second half of second marathon stage

Stage Results (Provisional)
1. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, 4 hours 2 minutes 23 seconds
2, Kevin Benavides (ARG), + 2 minutes 54 seconds
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM,  + 5.47

4. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda + 6.01
5. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, +7.43
6. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, + 9.55
13. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA), Husqvarna + 31:19

Provisional Standings after 10 of 13 stages
1. Price, 34 hours 49 minutes 4 seconds
2. Svitko, + 23.12
3. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, + 34:15
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, + 42.49
14. Cerutti, 3:20.07

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