Team HRC’s Paulo Gonçalves finished the second stage of the Desert Challenge in third place and Joan Barreda likewise repeated yesterday’s fourth place. Hélder Rodrigues crossed the line in seventh after starting out from way behind.
The second stage went as planned with the three riders on the Honda CRF450 RALLYs arriving at the halfway point with no major mishaps. After days in which practically every rider had experienced tough moments, today it was all about keeping up the pace without jeopardizing rider safety. The route across the sand was not a heavily technical one although in the second special there was the constant threat of running into some hidden hazard. The second part of the course was made up of various banks of dunes requiring some navigation before drawing to a close in Qasr Al Sarab.
Paulo Gonçalves started out in third place and was able to keep up a fine rhythm to finish once again in a podium position. Joan Barreda was forced to stop after the refuelling to check that his Honda CRF450 RALLY was running correctly and dropped a few minutes. In spite of stopping he managed to finish in fourth just behind his Honda team-mate.
Hélder Rodrigues started from 26th position after suffering a set-back that caused him to lose a lot of time. The Team HRC rider battled his way back into sixth place in the stage and tomorrow it should be back to business as usual.