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Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider Oriol Mena secured his debut stage win in the Silk Way Rally, in Dalanzadgad, Mongolia. The sixth and final stage saw the riders traverse 411km of grueling terrain and harsh weather putting both the rider and the machine to test. Unfortunately, his teammate, Paulo Goncalves could not complete the stage due to a mechanical failure on his bike. Red Bull KTM Factory Team’s Sam Sunderland still leads the overall standings, followed by Oriol Mena. The third place on the leaderboard is held by Sunderland’s teammate, Luciano Benavides.
Rally leader Sam Sunderland maintained a good lead from his closest rival Luciano Benavides as he took a wrong turn and lost his way at the beginning of the race, losing considerable time in the process. Even Sam did the same thing but checking his compass, quickly realised his mistake, gaining over 23 minutes. Polish rider Adam Tomiczek also pushed hard and secured his first podium, finishing only 16 seconds behind the race leader. Stage six was the final stage of the Silk Way Rally in Mongolia and the competition will now advance to China.
About his first stage win, Oriol Mena said, “Yesterday when I was going through the road book on the right side they put, I think, 3000 metres take compass heading 270 and I found really well the way, even if the other ones don’t find it. I feel good today, bike is good, and so I am happy. Unfortunately at km 50 / 60 Paulo Goncalves had a mechanical problem. I stopped to help him but we couldn’t find the solution so I decided to go.”
Overall rankings at the end of stage five:
1. Sam Sunderland – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing– 15:02:50
2. Oriol Mena – Hero MotoSports Team Rally– 15:24:00
3. Luciano Benavides – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing– 15:44:17
4. Andrew Short – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing– 16:20:25
5. Franco Caimi – Yamaha Rally Team– 16:50:44