Following a strong ride on stage six of the 2020 Dakar Rally, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pablo Quintanilla heads into the event’s rest day as the provisional overall runner-up. Teammate Andrew Short stopped to support another rider, completing the stage in 24th. The American lies 12th overall with six days left to race.
As the second rider to enter the day’s timed special, Pablo Quintanilla soon found himself at the front and winding his own way through the 477 kilometres of dunes. With navigation not as demanding as previous days, it was the length of the stage that tested riders the most. Using his vast experience, the Chilean carried good speed throughout the special, completing the tiring route in fourth place. With all competitors now set to enjoy a well-earned rest day, Pablo will go into the second half of the event as the provisional overall runner-up.
Andrew Short also put in an excellent performance on the gruelling special. Pushing hard and enjoying the sandy conditions, Andrew chose to stop and assist his friend Toby Price. Andrew completed the stage in 24th position, just 35 minutes down on the day’s winner. Placing 12th overall at the rally’s halfway point, the American, who already has two Dakar finishes under his belt, remains focused on successfully completing the 2020 Dakar Rally.
All competitors will now enjoy a well-earned rest day in Riyadh before continuing on Sunday with the 741-kilometre stage seven
Pablo Quintanilla: “I’m really happy with my performance today and with my position in the standings before the rest day. The stage was really tough for the guys at the front as we knew we would be finding the line for the whole way. We were able to set a solid pace and I didn’t lose so much time, which was good. The stage was really fast with long caps between camel grass and dunes. Towards the final 50 kilometres my body was really starting to feel tired. I’m looking forward to the rest day now and then hopefully I can have a good second half to the rally.”
Andrew Short: “It was certainly a very different day for me today. I was really fast at the beginning of the stage – I started third and was able to push right away to try and catch my teammate in front of me. Things were going really good, the sand was a lot of fun to ride. About 50 kilometres from the end I stopped to help Toby. In situations like today you have to think quickly, I figured I was an hour down already in the overall after a tough couple of stages early on, so I helped my friend. Overall, I’m happy because I rode really well today and was able to mix it with the top guys. Some rest tomorrow will be good, and then it’s all systems go for the second half of the race.”
2020 Dakar Rally – Stage 6 Provisional Classification
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 4:36:28
2. Joan Barreda (Honda) 4:38:02 +1:34
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 4:39:13 +2:45
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 4:41:23 +4:55
5. Luciano Benavides (KTM) 4:41:30 +5:02
6. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 4:41:44 +5:16
24. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 5:11:34 +35:06
2020 Dakar Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 6)
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 23:43:47
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 24:04:43 +20:56
3. Toby Price (KTM) 24:09:26 +25:39
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 24:09:28 +25:41
5. Joan Barreda (Honda) 24:16:45 +32:58
6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 24:17:26 +33:39
12. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 25:20:26 +1:36:39
Source: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing press release