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Quintanilla Takes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge lead On Stage Two

Toby Price Endures a Tough Day in the Desert

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Quintanilla Takes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge lead On Stage Two
With two of the five special stages out of the way, Pablo Quintanilla is currently leading the rally‰Ûªs overall standings by one minute and eight seconds from his closest rival Sam Sunderland.
Following a well calculated plan of attack, Pablo Quintanilla has won the second timed special of the 2018 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge to place himself at the top of the event‰Ûªs provisional overall standings.

Featuring a total of 372km, tomorrow‰Ûªs stage includes a 281km long timed special in the big dunes of the United Arab Emirates.

The Chilean rider is a little over one minute ahead in the overall with three stages still to be contested in the dunes of UAE. Stage one winner Toby Price endured a tough day with the Australian coming away with a 30 minute deficit following a big crash and resulting bike problems. Honda's Kevin Benavides was second on the stage with Dakar winner Matthias Walkner third. In the Overall standings Sam Sunderland climbed to second with Benavides third

The fifth rider to take the start of Monday‰Ûªs 287km long timed special, FR 450 Rally mounted Quintanilla made the most of his good starting position. Avoiding any mistakes, the reigning FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion enjoyed a great pace throughout the stage to eventually put in the best time for the day.

"It wasn‰Ûªt an easy stage today but I‰Ûªm satisfied with the final result," Quintanilla said. "There were many dunes and temperatures were quite high in that area. Most of the timed special was in an off-piste section and that made navigation a lot more difficult. I had a good starting position in the morning and took full advantage of it to make up the time lost yesterday.

"I felt really good in the dunes today, I was fast and had a good race pace from start to finish of the timed special. It was a good stage for me. The plan for tomorrow is to do exactly what I did in stage one. As the first rider to take the start, I want to avoid any navigational mistakes and remain fast throughout the timed special. I feel good at the moment on my bike and I‰Ûªm looking forward to one more good stage tomorrow.‰Û
Quintanilla Takes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge lead On Stage Two
Kevin Benavides has continued to shine as the leading rider of the Monster Energy Honda Teamwith second onstage and now moves tho third overall.
Second on stage, Monster Energy Honda Team's Kevin Benavides continued to shine on stage two. The Argentine rider upped the pace, narrowing the gap with the riders ahead and clawing back precious time dropped in the opening stage yesterday.

"Today was better than yesterday, with more pace and better sensations," Benavides said. "I felt better reading the terrain in this complicated desert, where it is difficult to ride well without taking risks. We all arrived together, pushing hard. It was a 100% dune stage, which was quite fun on the bike, that hasn‰Ûªt caused any problems. We continue to get more kilometres under the belt.
Quintanilla Takes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge lead On Stage Two
Matthias Walkner has moved up to fourth in the overall standings with a strong third place on stage two, Photo: Marcin Kin
Setting off third, Red Bull KTM Factory Racings Matthias Walkner made the most of his advantageous start position. The Austrian managed to catch team-mate Sunderland towards the end of the stage and the pair raced together to the finish. Crossing the line together, Walkner would ultimately place third, with Sunderland two places behind in fifth.

"That was another good day for me. My goal from the start was to catch the guys in front," Walkner explained. "I caught them quite late in the stage, which shows their pace, but the main thing was to gain those valuable minutes. I‰Ûªm fourth overall now which is encouraging for the rest of this rally. My feeling on the bike is good and I‰Ûªm starting to get more comfortable. I am really enjoying the rally, it‰Ûªs been great so far and tomorrow I will do my best to move up the order a little more.‰Û
Quintanilla Takes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge lead On Stage Two
Sam Sunderland was fifth on stage but has moved into second overall with a five minute deficit to leader Pablo Quintanilla. Photo: Marcin Kin
Sam Sunderland retained his runner-up position in the provisional overall standings with fifth on stage. The Brit in now just over one-minute behind the leader, Pablo Quintanilla.

"Although the results don‰Ûªt look that good on paper, this race is always strategic and whenever you start at the front, you lose time on riders behind you," Sunderland explained. "I caught Toby quite early on and was able to push quite hard today. I was feeling great on the bike and keeping to a good pace. Normally the guys behind catch you quite fast, but today I wasn‰Ûªt caught until the 240km marker ‰ÛÒ that is really encouraging and shows my speed on the stage. Tomorrow I will set off fifth and my plan is to push hard again and catch the guys in front.‰Û
Quintanilla Takes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge lead On Stage Two
Toby Price had a big crash today and as a result ended up with a blocked fuel line that had to be fixed in the desert. The repairs costing the Australian 30 minutes. Photo: Marcin Kin
After his win on Sunday‰Ûªs stage, Toby Price was the first rider away from the line early this morning. With no tracks to follow, the 2016 Dakar Rally Champion had the difficult task of being the first to navigate the route and find his own way through the dunes.

Messed up today, had a huge get off and crashed hard, then causing that case out off the dune to smash the bash plate into the fuel pump on the front tank and having to repair this on track! I got kissed by an angel today honestly! It was a good one and saw a lot of blue sky and a long time floating
Toby Price - Social Media
A crash caused an issue with the fuel line on Price‰Ûªs KTM 450 RALLY. Despite the off, and taking some time to remedy the problem, the Australian managed to successfully complete the stage in 11th place and will aim to chase down the leaders tomorrow.

"The morning went really well, opening the stage was tricky but I felt good and the bike was perfect," Price recalled. "Sam caught me around the 65km mark and we rode together for a fair bit at a nice comfortable pace.

"Unfortunately, not so far after the refuel I had a crash ‰ÛÒ it was quite a big one but thankfully I wasn‰Ûªt hurt. I had an issue then with the bash-plate on the bike. It had been bent back so it damaged the fuel line. I had no choice but to stop and fix it and ended up losing over 30 minutes. I am feeling a little stiff and sore now, but I‰Ûªm ready for tomorrow. Hopefully I can claw some time back on the front-runners.‰Û
Quintanilla Takes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge lead On Stage Two
Toby Price faces a tough challenge to rebound from a tough second stage. Photo: Marcin Kin

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