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Paulo Gonçalves Leadership the Morocco Rally

Comunicato in Inglese


A terrific Paulo Gonçalves on the Honda CRF450 RALLY takes the Stage and the Leadership   

TEAM HRC continues to lead the Morocco Rally. In a 298 km second stage, including 240 against the clock, 'Speedy' Gonçalves carved out an amazing victory that places hims at the top of the leaderboard. The other TEAM HRC riders put in fine performances too, with Sam Sunderland third and Joan Barreda in fifth.

Another day, another type of rally. After the sand and dunes of yesterday’s opening stage, today saw an entire day of rocky mountain terrain with a lot of navigation. Joan Barreda started out first and rode a fine race, although this allowed the other riders to follow his tracks and thus gain time. His colleague TEAM HRC rider Paulo Gonçalves, seemed at ease on his Honda CRF450 RALLY and kept up the consistency in the first leg, before pushing hard in the later stages. Around Zagora he was practically unbeatable. Gonçalves finds himself leading in the overall standings after two days of rally.

British rider Sam Sunderland also put in a fine performance, overcoming a slight navigational error early on in the special and finishing in third. Joan Barreda’s fifth place leaves him behind Gonçalves in the overall standings. A good all-round team effort.

The tough rocky terrain suited much less Argentine Javier Pizzolito, who is looking forward again to the sand and dunes, where he hopes to better today’s seventh place.

Finally, Hélder Rodrigues, who set out from fourth position suffered an electronic failure some fifteen km from the end of the stage.


Paulo Goncalves       1st       2:50'22       TEAM HRC

It was a mountain and rocky stage with a lot of navigation. I think I did well trying to stay on course. The Honda CRF450 RALLY never ceases to amaze me. In the hard terrain the traction is very important and it’s been great to see how it handles the curves. Let’s see how the next four days play out in this tough rally.


Sam Sunderland       3rd       +2'09       TEAM HRC

A very tough one today with loads of navigation and a lot of rocks. I kept up a great speed until the end after I had a small error near the start. I lost a little time but after was able to push hard. I navigated well and I’m happy.


Joan Barreda       5th       +3'45       TEAM HRC

I’m very pleased. Having two fast riders like Marc and Paulo behind pushing all day, means that I’ve got to be happy with the result. There was a lot of difficult navigation and I had to mark out the route up front. Tomorrow I start behind them so hopefully I’ll catch up and we can stay together.


Javier Pizzolito       7th       +6'52       TEAM HRC

We’ve finished a really hard, complicated stage with a lot of rocks. I’m getting used to that type of terrain now. It’s been a very positive stage and the idea was to not lose time. I think if I keep up this pace I should be able to make it up among the leaders.