Sam Sunderland KTM 450 RALLY Qatar 2017

Photo Credit: Marcin Kin

Sam Sunderland set the pace on the opening stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally in Qatar to take an early lead in the race.

Following Tuesday’s short prologue, Sunderland got down to business in in the 334-kilometre long stage saw him take a 10-minute lead over Honda’s Paolo Goncalves.

“Starting from the back, the plan was to try to push and catch the guys,” told Sunderland. “But it was tricky. 

“There was a lot of navigation and I had to try to change the mentality from the last rally in Abu Dhabi to this kind of terrain with all of its stones, and a lot of changes in direction.”

Honda made it a 2-3 on the day with Kevin Benavides coming home third.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna factory riders Pablo Quintanilla and Pela Renet rode to a fourth and a fifth place

The rally is made up of four desert stages and finishes on Saturday.

 

kevin benavides qatar rally 1200

Photo Credit: Honda Pro Racing

 

Results Stage 1 Sealine Cross-Country Rally 2017

1. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 4:31.90 min

2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, +6:90 sec

3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +8.30

4. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, +10.90

5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, +14:70

 

Results Stage 2 Sealine Cross-Country Rally 2017

1. Sunderland, 3:43:21 h

2. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +9:25 min

3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, +10:08

4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, +12:34

5. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, +13:12

6. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, +16:07

7. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, +36:37

8. Giemza, +52.38

9. Mohammad Al Balooshi (ARE), KTM +55.13

 

Standings Sealine Cross-Country Rally 2017 after 2 of 5 stages

1. Sunderland, 3:48:01.20 h

2. Goncalves, +9:32.90 min

3. Benavides, +10:14.40

4. Quintanilla, +12:53.80

5. Renet, +13:14.60

6. Walkner, +16:05.60

7. Meo, +36:28.70

8. Giemza, +53:13.90

9. Al Balooshi, +56:01.13