Rallye

Quintanilla leads Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge going into final stage

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Rockstar Energy Husqvarna factory riders Pela Renet and Pablo Quintanilla both delivered a strong result in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on Wednesday with Renet of France taking a career first rally stage win and Quintanilla taking control of the overall standings going into the final day.

Renet, who moved from world championship-level enduro racing at the end of last season to join the team‰Ûªs newly formed rally squad was of course delighted with his result: ‰ÛÏWhen they told me at the refuelling stop that I was doing a good time I just kept it going and it worked. In any case I‰Ûªm really happy about it.‰Û
Stage four winner Pela Renet
Meanwhile Quintanilla, the winner of stage two took the overall lead over his two potential rivals for the final victory, Australia‰Ûªs Toby Price and British rider Sam Sunderland. He heads off on Thursday with a 2 minute 45 second advantage over second placed Price. Sunderland will also be snapping at his tailpipe as he trails by only 2.47.

Wednesday was however all about tactics. The first riders out each day carve very visible tracks in the sand dunes that are easy to follow, so navigation is not the same major issue that it is in other international events. Quintanilla is well aware of the task ahead and also knows that with the leading three riders so close together in the overall rankings, tactics will certainly play a big role in the final outcome.

Although there will initially be riders ahead of the lead trio, Quintanilla will be first of them to start. ‰ÛÏI will go with everything to hunt down those who open the track, but the others will do the same. The rally is still open and we have to wait to see what happens,‰Û
Toby Price sits 2.45 seconds behind Pablo Quintanilla in second overall with one stage to go.
Results Stage Four Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2016
1. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, 3 hours 42.39
2. Jose Florimo Corneja (CHI), KTM, +4.0
3. Mo Al Balooshi (UAE), KTM, +6.11
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, +8.21
5. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +11.26
5. Txomin Arana Cobeaga (ESP), Husqvarna 4.04

Standings after Stage Four (of five)
1. Quintanilla, 15 hours 27.22
2. Price, +2.45
3. Sunderland, +2.47 seconds
4. Balooshi, +26.01
5. Renet, +29.30

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