Heading home a strong entry of 104 competitors, KTM’s Chaleco Lopez grabbed an early one minute and 49 second lead in the six-day rally. Making short work of the 402km stage of muddy and slippery tracks, Lopez secured an early advantage over runner up Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM).
As the first rider to open the stage, Despres made a cautious and somewhat strategic start to the rally. Finishing second to Lopez now allows the KTM to follow the fresh tracks set by the Chilean on stage 2.
Poland’s Jacub Przyigonski ended his day in third, albeit some four minutes behind of the leader.
Making his debut ride in rally competition, KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak enjoyed his first taste of road book navigation to finish fourth.
Rounding out the top five, Argentina’s Mauricio Gomez (Yamaha) finished just over one-minute behind Blazusiak.
Stage One: Iguazu-Posadas (Argentina)
1, Chaleco López, Chile, KTM 4 hours 12.30
2, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, at 1 minute 49 seconds
3, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM at 4.12
4, Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM at 13.30
5, Mauricio Gomez, Argentina, Yamaha at 14.38
6, Jeremias Israel, Chile, Honda at 18.29
7, Juan c. Salvatierra Bolivia, Honda at 33.12
8, Pablo Rodriguez, Argentina, Honda at 39.08
9, Javier Pizzolito, Argentina, Honda at 41.08
10, Juan Cruz Ortiz, Argentina, Yamaha at 46.05