Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides both posted podium finishes at the end of a lengthy special stage on day two of the Qatar Rally as the first differences in the field begin to emerge.
It was a tough day out for the Monster Energy Honda Team riders who had to face a long, gruelling slog through the Qatari desert. With more than 330 kilometres of complicated special stage to face, it turned out to be a day for the more proficient navigators of the field. Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides set off this morning amid the first half of the starting order, which had been decided in yesterday’s Super Special stage. The duo managed to keep a strong pace over the entire course of the day.
Portuguese rider Paulo Gonçalves had a trouble-free stage aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY on a day that left very little margin for error. Paulo posted the day’s second best time and now lies in second place in the general standings too.
Monster Energy Honda Team companion, Argentinean Kevin Benavides, maintained a similar rhythm to his Portuguese team-mate to finish the special a minute and a half behind.
Tomorrow, Thursday, sees the longest day of the competition. The odometer will be signalling 503 kilometres by the close of the day, which will include some 353 km against the clock.