april 02, 2017 - Honda Racing

Gonçalves and Benavides start in Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy #honda Team get the #fimcrosscountryralliesworldchampionship underway in Abu Dhabi with the Super Special at the Yas Marina Circuit.
A curtain-raiser of just over two kilometres of Super Special marked the opening of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge at the Yas Marina Circuit this afternoon and decided the starting order for tomorrow’s first full stage. The track proved to be a slippery, hazardous affair and given that the surface had caused a few falls and skids, many of the riders decided to take it easy and minimize risks.
Portuguese rider Paulo Gonçalves was the first of the Monster Energy #honda Team duo to cross the line, some 5.3 seconds behind the day’s winner Sam Sunderland.
Kevin Benavides came home tucked in behind with a marginally greater time, just eight seconds adrift of Sunderland in eighth place. The Argentinean rider is back in action after over three months out due to a right hand injury. The promising young rider will use the event to progressively get back into the swing of #racing after the lengthy hiatus.
The first fifteen finishers will be able to choose the starting order for the first stage and, as is habitual, the first finishers are likely to choose to attack from the rear of the field tomorrow. The #honda CRF450 RALLY riders will start out from around the twentieth position.
Tomorrow, competitors get to tackle the first full stage which will take place entirely in the Liwa. On the agenda are 276.59 kilometres of timed special in a total stage of 418.96 km. The Qsar Al Sarab bivouac situated in the Liwa oasis will be home to the riders for the forthcoming days.

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