KRKA 2018

link.png QCCR : Al Attiyah vince la tappa e passa in testa


Nasser QCCRCi sono Nasser Al Attiyah (Toyota) e Sam Sunderland (Ktm) attualmente in testa al Qatar Cross Country Rally, dopo tre giorni di gara con due tappe lunghe e un prologo. Al termine della gara, valevole per i due Mondiali Cross Country, FIA e FIM mancano ancora due tappe.

A vincere la tappa di oggi, la seconda lunga della gara in Qatar con i suoi 353 km, sono stati Nasser Al Attiyah, Matthias Walkner e Rafal Sonik e per nessuno dei tre le cose ieri erano andate altrettanto bene, tanto è vero che stamattina erano partiti da posizioni più arretrate. Ecco spiegato in parte il loro successo di giornata, legato comunque anche ad una strategia di gara, soprattutto nel caso delle auto. Ieri a vincere la prima vera lunga tappa era stata la Mini X Raid di Kuba  Przygonski  che oggi invece ha avuto qualche problemino ed è rimasto più indietro. Innanzitutto va detto che stamattina un fastidioso e fitto vento di sabbia ha rivoluzionato non poco la tappa e ne sanno qualche cosa i piloti che soprattutto nelle fasi iniziali della speciale hanno fatto molta fatica a trovare la giusta direzione.  Al Attiyah che partiva sesto ha recuperato posizione su posizione e già al primo CP aveva passato tre avversari, recuperando diversi minuti ed approfittando però – bisogna dirlo – anche dei problemi degli altri. Se la Mini di Przygonski si insabbiava e quella di Al Rajhi invece danneggiava in una buca la parte anteriore sinistra, finendo poi anche con una foratura, la Toyota di Al Attiyah invece procedeva alla grande e sul traguardo arrivava per prima con dieci minuti di vantaggio sul suo avversario numero uno, Al Qassimi, su Peugeot DKR 3008 che in classifica assoluta risale così in quinta posizione. Terza posizione oggi per uno dei piloti di casa, Mohammed Abu Issa che regala un podio di tappa alla Mini – l'unico – e precede l'altra Toyota, quella del 'novellino', nei rally raid si intende, Leeroy Poulter  che ora occupa la seconda piazza assoluta davanti alle due Mini, quella di Abu Issa e quella del polacco.
Fra le moto Sam Sunderland (Ktm), vincitore della tappa di ieri, è partito per primo ed è rimasto in quella stessa posizione per quasi tutta la speciale, arrivando per primo anche al rifornimento. L'unico a tenere il suo ritmo è stato Paulo Goncalves (Honda) che lo ha poi passato nel finale mentre l'austriaco della Ktm Walkner,  che ha seguito, per sua stessa ammissione, la traccia di Sunderland fino al rifornimento, si è poi perso quando si è ritrovato costretto a navigare da solo. Nonostante questo e visto che partiva indietro ha vinto la speciale ed il primo a sorprendersene sul traguardo è stato proprio lui : “Non avevo capito di aver vinto la speciale. Certo devo ammettere che partire indietro, sesto oggi, mi ha aiutato parecchio anche se era veramente una tappa difficile, per il vento di sabbia che rendeva le cose complicate, direi quasi al limite della sicurezza. Ci sono stati dei momenti in cui non riuscivo neanche a vedere dove andavo. Sam ha fatto un grande lavoro prima del rifornimento, lasciando una bella traccia profonda, ma dopo è diventato più difficile navigare e ho rallentato un po', abbassando il ritmo”. Nella classifica assoluta Sunderland conserva la sua leadership con poco meno di 7' di vantaggio sul portoghese della Honda che a sua volta precede per tre minuti l'austriaco vincitore oggi. Interessanti le posizioni di partenza per domani visto che Walkner parte davanti ma Paulo Goncalves, secondo, cercherà di andarsene, lasciando più indietro gli avversari. Sunderland partirà quarto, dietro anche a Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) che in classifica generale è quarto davanti all'altra Honda, quella di Kevin Benavides.
La tappa di domani, la penultima, sarà lunga complessivamente 461 chilometri con una speciale da 337 km. I piloti affronteranno un primo trasferimento di 27 chilometri e mezzo prima di entrare in speciale, per uscirne poi a 96 chilometri e mezzo dal bivacco. Partenza del primo alle 7 di domani mattina.

 

English Version

LOSAIL (Qatar): Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, Austria’s Matthias Walkner and Poland’s Rafal Sonik claimed victories in the third stage of the Qatar Cross-Country Rally, but Al-Attiyah, Dubai-based Briton Sam Sunderland and Sonik held the overall advantages in the car, motorcycle and quad categories after a windy day’s action in the Qatar deserts.
The day’s stage of 353.02km started near Sealine, passed the Inland Sea and then meandered across to the west coast before heading north to an eventual finish at Mekaines. Al-Attiyah attacked through the early sand dunes and began to eat into Yazeed Al-Rajhi’s virtual stage lead. The Saudi had moved to the top of the rankings when overnight leader Jakub Przygonski lost time in the sand.
Al-Attiyah continued to dominate throughout the day and, when Al-Rajhi withdrew from the stage after 277km following suspension damage in a ditch, the Qatari stormed to the top of the leader board and now holds an advantage of 3min 23.7sec over Toyota team-mate Leeroy Poulter, the South African making his first appearance in the Middle East.
Al-Attiyah said: “The car is working very well and we do our job and our target to win the stage. Now we are leading and try to keep going like this. The wind made it not easy and we had a small mistake in the dunes and we lose around three minutes. But we came back strong.”
“We broke the front left in a ditch and tried to drive the stage slowly, step-by-step, but then we decided to (pull) out,” said Al-Rajhi, who arrived in Losail with a Mini sporting a puncture and broken front-left suspension. “It got worse and worse. We see tomorrow what our start position will be and we will push.”
Abu Dhabi Racing’s Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi carded the second quickest time to move up to fifth overall behind third-placed Qatari Mohammed Abu Issa and Przygonski. Dutchman Erik van Loon was sixth in a third Toyota Hilux run by Overdrive Racing.
KTM Red Bull Factory Team rider Sunderland made a storming start from the front in the motorcycle category and stayed well ahead of his rivals through the first two checkpoints. But his pursuers managed to close in over the faster sections as the stage progressed and Austrian Matthias Walkner claimed the stage win and moved up to third overall.
Walkner said: “I realise now that I won the stage. Sure, it helps a bit when you start at the back. It was so windy out there and almost on the limits for the safety reasons. Sometimes you did not see any piste or nothing. It was really hard, but I am happy that I make up for the time loss yesterday. The dunes were okay because Sam did a great job to leave the lines to follow. But, after the refuelling, it was getting really difficult with the navigation and I slow down a lot.”
Sunderland continues to lead outright by 6min 28.9sec from Monster Energy Honda team rider Paulo Gonçalves. Pablo Quintanilla of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team holds fourth and Honda’s Kevin Benavides is fifth. Ride to Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Balooshi holds eighth place. 
“I saw that I was a bit too fast this morning and I had to ease it off a bit for the strategy,” said Sunderland. “I didn’t want to take any risks or make any big mistakes with the navigation because it is so easy to happen. It’s strange now with this one being four days. It makes it different again. We will see how it pans out. It was very difficult to see this morning to be honest. You could not see the ends of the dunes or the bumps. There was a really high wind today.” 
Gonçalves was upbeat after his second place: ”I did another good stage. There were sand dunes at the beginning and then we arrived at the fast stony tracks. Before refuelling, Sam push a lot and I cannot catch him. Then he did a mistake and I start to open the track. I am happy. The bike ran perfectly. We have two days more and a long race in front.”
Alexis Hernandez lost his quad lead when he was penalised for missing two waypoints and the Peruvian slipped to second after day three behind the day’s stage winner Rafal Sonik.
Qatar’s Adel Abdulla lost his T2 category lead in the sand dunes south of Sealine and that opened the door for Abu Dhabi Racing’s Mansour Al-Helai to claim the stage win and move ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Saeidan in the standings. The duo are 12th and 13th overall. Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Harqan is third.
“From the first 20km from the start, the temperature of the engine went up and we stopped to try and fix it,” said Adel Abdulla. “The fan had broken. Problems are chasing me from the beginning of the season. I tried my best not to miss any waypoints. You never know. There are still two long days to go.”
Saudi Arabia’s Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi finished the shorter non-FIM section on his Yamaha quad for a second day, with fellow countryman Sultan Al-Masood running behind.
Saudi driver Khaled Al-Feraihi was the unofficial winner of the day’s National Baja stage that finished at PC2, after 152.5km. Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Harqan was second and Mohammed Al-Mannai held third. Emirati driver Abdullah Al-Ketbi was hospitalised after an accident just five kilometres into the day’s National Baja stage. His co-driver Rashed Al-Ketbi was not hurt in the incident.
Thursday – as it happened
Sam Sunderland led his rivals into the second of the desert stages with a lead of 9min 32.9sec over Paulo Gonçalves. Alexis Hernandez had ridden the closing stages of the previous day’s special alongside Polish rival Rafal Sonik in the quads, but the Peruvian was given a 40-minute time penalty by the FIM Jury at the meeting on Wednesday night for missing two waypoints and that dropped him behind Sonik and Kees Koolen in the standings.
Vendetta Racing’s David McBride and David Mabbs reached Losail in 12th and 16th overall, but the Dubai-based duo decided to sit out the second desert stage to recover in time to tackle the last two days. “It was really heavy out there, my body is hammered and I’ll miss one day to get ready for tomorrow,” said Mabbs. McBride added: “It was really tough, especially at the start, and the rocks really take their toll. The sand here is fine and soft and not like the UAE. Here you have no control of the bike. But you can miss one stage and still score points.
In the car category, Jakub Przygonski opened the road in his Mini All4 Racing and held a lead of 1min 25sec over Yazeed Al-Rajhi, with local favourite Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah in sixth.
Sunderland took no prisoners from the start and managed to find a potent pace through the dunes and the opening two passage controls. He only ceded a handful of seconds to Gonçalves through PC1 and managed to pull away from the Portuguese through PC2. Only Walkner could get anywhere near the Briton, but he was over one and a half minutes adrift at PC2.
Al-Attiyah was also on a charge and the Qatari overtook three cars before the first checkpoint and shaved over seven minutes off Al-Rajhi’s overnight advantage. Przygonski ceded over 13 minutes in the sand dunes and Al-Qassimi was running strongly and second quickest in the stage. Al-Attiyah shaved another minute of Al-Rajhi’s lead through PC2
Gonçalves managed to catch Sunderland over the faster tracks before the third passage control and finished the stage with the second fastest time. The stage win fell to Walkner, but Sunderland maintained his overall lead.
When Al-Rajhi damaged his Mini All4 Racing in a ditch, it left the track clear for Al-Attiyah to claim the stage win and snatch the outright lead with Al-Qassimi finishing second on the day.
Tomorrow (Friday), the fourth stage of 338.05km begins off the Dukhan Highway and heads west before running through the south-west of the country and then right up the west coast to a finish in the very north of Qatar at the Al-Shamal stadium, the home venue for Qatar Stars League team Al-Shamal SC. There are many kilometres in this stage that have never been used before in the FIA World Cup round.
 
2017 Qatar Cross-Country Rally – classifica di tappa
Auto - FIA
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA)            Toyota Hilux Overdrive                3hr 26min 53sec
2. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE)/Khaled Al-Kendi (ARE) Peugeot 3008 DKR                     3hr 36min 07sec
3. Mohammed Abu Issa (QAT)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Mini All4 Racing                      3hr 36min 30sec
4. Leeroy Poulter (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota Hilux                                   3hr 36min 58sec
5. Jakub Przygonski (POL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) Mini All4 Racing                                    3hr 44min 10sec
6. Erik Van Loon (NLD)/Wouter Rosegaar (NLD) Toyota Hilux Overdrive                 3hr 47min 39sec
 
Moto
1. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM 450 Rally                                                                             4hr 01min 25sec
2. Paolo Gonçalves (PRT) Honda 450 CRF Rally                                                                    4hr 04min 39sec
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) Husqvarna 450 Rally                                                                   4hr 07min 31sec
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 Rally                                                                                                4hr 07min 43sec
5. Pierre Alexander Renet (FRA)               Husqvarna 450 Rally                                                       4hr 09min 29sec
6.. Kevin Benavides (ARG) Honda 450 CRF Rally                                                                 4hr 10min 30sec
7. Antoine Meo (FRA) KTM 450 Rally                                                                                       4hr 32min 50sec
 
Quad - FIM
1. Rafal Sonik (POL) Yamaha YFM 700 R                                                                                  5hr 10min 57sec
2. Alexis Hernandez (PER) Yamaha Raptor 700R                                                                 5hr 13min 28sec
3. Rodolfo Schippers (GUA) Yamaha Raptor 700R                                                              5hr 17min 29sec
4. Kees Koolen (NLD) Barren Racer One 690                                                                        5hr 20min 58sec
 
2017 Qatar Cross-Country Rally – classifica assoluta
Auto - FIA
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA)            Toyota Hilux Overdrive                7hr 03min 28.1sec
2. Leeroy Poulter (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota Hilux                                   7hr 06min 51.8sec
3. Mohammed Abu Issa (QAT)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Mini All4 Racing                      7hr 07min 58.1sec
4. Jakub Przygonski (POL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) Mini All4 Racing                                    7hr 08min 25.0sec
5. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE)/Khaled Al-Kendi (ARE) Peugeot 3008 DKR                     7hr 13min 36.5sec
6. Erik Van Loon (NLD)/Wouter Rosegaar (NLD) Toyota Hilux Overdrive                 7hr 15min 53.4sec
7. Martin Prokop (CZE)/Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford F-150 Evo                                           7hr 43min 10.3sec
8. Aron Domzala (POL)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Toyota Hilux Overdrive      7hr 57min 10.4sec
 
Moto
1. Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 Rally                                         7hr 55min 44.2sec
2. Paolo Gonçalves (PRT) Honda 450 CRF Rally                             8hr 02min 13.1sec
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM 450 Rally                                           8hr 05min 31.8sec
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) Husqvarna 450 Rally                               8hr 08min 26.0sec
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG) Honda 450 CRF Rally                             8hr 08min 45.6sec
6. Pierre Alexander Renet (FRA)               Husqvarna 450 Rally      8hr 10min 44.8sec
7. Antoine Meo (FRA) KTM 450 Rally                                                   8hr 57min 19.9sec
8. Mohammed Al-Balooshi (ARE) KTM 450 Rally Replica              9hr 35min 58.5sec
9. Maciej Giemza (POL) KTM 450 Rally Replica                           9hr 56min 36.1sec
 
Quads - FIM
1. Rafal Sonik (POL) Yamaha YFM 700 R                                     10hr 18min 03.1sec
2. Kees Koolen (NLD) Barren Racer One 690                             10hr 49min 49.3sec
3. Alexis Hernandez (PER) Yamaha Raptor 700R                      10hr 54min 22.0sec
4. Rodolfo Schippers (GUA) Yamaha Raptor 700R                    11hr 13min 27.6sec