Lesotho provides spectacular setting as Wade Young wins a third Roof of Africa.

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Wade Young overcame three days of brutal racing to win the 50th edition of the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ – the Motul Roof of Africa in Lesotho.

The South African raced into the history books after claiming his third victory in the event, leading home fellow countryman Travis Teasdale and British legend Graham Jarvis.

Young said: “To get back on the top of the Hard Enduro podium and do it at home in the 50th edition of the Roof of Africa is very special.

“It’s been a tough three days of hard racing. Travis kept me honest all week. I managed to break him on one of the climbs and kept it together until the end.”

Riders had to navigate isolated mountain trails and contend with a mixture of rocky terrain and unpredictable weather conditions including blisteringly hot sunshine one day, and unseasonably heavy snowfall the next.

The epic race brought a close to the Red Bull Hard Enduro season with Jarvis, who was aiming for a fifth Roof of Africa title, winning the overall World Series.

He said: “With the riding so fast it was tough to catch the leaders. They had a big lead and were just better than me on the open fast stuff this year.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium and with consistent wins this year ending 2017 as the overall champion is the icing on the cake.”

Sandra Gomez also entered the record books by bringing her Husqvarna home in 30th place to become the highest ever female finisher in the history of the race.

Provisional Results — 2017 Roof of Africa
1. Wade Young (Sherco) 10:41:28
2. Travis Teasdale (KTM) 10:52:34
3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 11:04:06
4. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha) 11:06:36
5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 11:13:15

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing welcome Andrew Short

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Husqvarna Motorcycles are pleased to announce the signing of Andrew Short, with the American joining the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally team with immediate effect. Turning a new page in his illustrious career, the former US SX and MX racer is set to pilot Husqvarna’s FR 450 Rally machine throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

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Nicolas Fuchs finished seventh in the Rally of Poland

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N
ico Fuchs, rally driver member of the Peru Adventure program, ended his participation at Rally Poland in a big way, getting the 7th place in the general standings. The Peruvian athlete, who was timed at 6h18m17s, won three of the four specials on the last day that was run last Sunday.

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Orlando Terranova wins the Desafío Ruta 40

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Orlando ‘Orly’ Terranova and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue crossed the finish podium in Tucuman in their MINI ALL4 Racing as winners of the event. The two Argentineans prevailed in each of the five special stages and in the prologue. The Desafío Ruta 40 Norte took the field – according to the road’s name – across the northern part of Argentina’s national route 40 that is located in the western part of the country, from San Juan to Tucuman.

The competitors had to cope with the most different kinds of terrains, for example with the famous dunes of Fiambala. But the teams also had to demonstrate their skills on rocky roads, in the heights and at temperatures between 0° and 30° Celsius. Furthermore, a demanding navigation turned the rally into a true challenge. The one-week event proved to be a very good preparation for the season finale – the Dakar Rally. 

Terranova and Graue took the lead right away and defended it throughout the event. After their win in the prologue, they also won all the other stages without having to cope with any major problems. “The rally was more difficult than expected,” Terranova reveals. “85 percent of the route was off-road terrain and tackling it was anything but easy. Furthermore, we crossed several dunes that represented virgin soil for us. At the same time, Ronnie and I used the opportunity to improve our collaboration in the car. The rally was a great preparation for the Dakar. X-raid and the MINI worked perfectly on all the six days." 

The next rally that will be contested by Team X-raid will be the ‘Rallye du Maroc’ in early October.

Pablo Quintanilla moves into Cross-Country Rallies World Championship lead

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Pablo Quintanilla has moved to the top of the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship standings after claiming a fourth-place overall result at the Desafio Ruta 40 rally in Argentina. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider now enjoys a four-point advantage over his closest rival with one race still to be contested this season. 

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Paulo Gonçalves takes the overall leadership from team-mate Kevin Benavides

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Monster Energy Honda Team holds strong at the head of the overall standings as the Desafío Ruta 40 arrives at its halfway point. Today was the turn of Paulo Gonçalves to win the stage, trading places at the top of the leader board with team-mate Kevin Benavides – fifth on the day – who drops to second overall.

Paulo Gonçalves has established himself as the new race leader of the Desafío Ruta 40. The Portuguese rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team performed notably in the Belén desert area, showing deft riding and navigation skills during the 300 kilometre special stage. The course featured many off-piste sand sections as well as some kilometres of dunes.

Gonçalves took the start some three minutes after team-mate Kevin Benavides in the third stage, whom he caught up close to kilometre 40 when the Argentinean found himself without a GPS signal. In a fine team effort, the pair managed to hold a swift pace together, enough to guarantee the win for the Portuguese ace and fifth place for the younger sidekick who succeeded in limiting the damage of having had to wait for his team-mate. In the general standings the duo swaps first and second position, with Paulo the new leader, 2’17” ahead of Kevin.

It was a stunning performance too for the rest of the Honda CRF450 RALLY crew, Ricky Brabec and Michael Metge both proving to be very nippy off-piste whilst displaying considerable navigating prowess too. Brabec scored the day’s third fastest time as Metge posted fourth just a minute off his team-mate. The entire Monster Energy Honda Team, who had grafted hard and long yesterday to have the bikes in tip-top condition for today, are now back at the bivouac poised to take up the action tomorrow.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) sees the fourth and penultimate stage of this gruelling Desafío Ruta 40, which heads out from Belén and finishes in Tafí del Valle, in the Tucumán province. In store are 300 kilometres of perplexing navigation, with some 220 kilometres of liaison sections. Only the truly tough will make it through such a punishing day’s racing which will, once again, feature some very trial-style terrain, dried river-beds and high-speed mountain tracks that reach altitudes of up to 3000 metres above sea-level.

Paulo Goncalves: “Today we had another very difficult stage with 300 kilometres of off-piste including sandy river-beds where you could go quite fast. Then we had a few kilometres in the dunes, which were very soft and it was pretty complicated. I am very happy with the work today, as I caught up with Kevin at kilometre 40 and I ended up opening the track, arriving with very good pace and I even won the special. We must continue along this same line.”

Sam Sunderland drops out of Desafio Ruta 40

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Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner overcame navigational issues today to complete a very tough stage two of the 2017 Desafio Ruta 40 rally in 10th place. Team-mate Sam Sunderland crashed out of the stage after pushing hard to make up lost time after similar issues put him behind. Sunderland, who topped stage one, was forced to retire after he suffered a concussion.

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