Atacama Rally Stage 4: Price and Quintanilla side by side

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Today, no dunes but a fairly fast Special made up of trails with some fesh fesh that can hide the presence of stones, as Argentina’s Kevin Benavides (Honda) discovered to his cost at km 70.

In a bend, he came out a little wide and while he was looking at his road book, he struck a stone that sent him flying. _“My bike fell on top of me!”, he explains, “and I thought I was in bad shape, as I could hardly breathe, but I managed to finish the Special and take 5th place.”_

His team mate Paulo Gonçalves won this penultimate stage of the Atacama Rally by a hair’s breadth, with a lead of 20 seconds over Toby Price (KTM) and 25 seconds over Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) who is now 26 seconds behind the Australian overall. _“I rode the first part of the special calmly”, says Paulo Gonçalves”, as I didn’t want to risk crashing a third time. After the refuelling and the start of the second special, I became more confident. I felt really good on the bike and went on the offensive!”_

The priority for Pablo Quintanilla is the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship title: _“Tomorrow, I am starting behind Toby”, says the man from Chile, so I can win the race if I catch him up, but my main objective is the World Championship and I shan’t be taking any silly risks.”

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Sam Sunderland (KTM), who came 4th, was a bit more cheerful than on the previous days: _“It was a great day but I made a few navigation mistakes this morning.”_

Benavides (Honda) was fifth followed by Matthias Walkner (KTM): _“I’d have liked to finish in the top three”, says the young man from Austria, but I am still short of confidence. It’s my first race since the Dakar and I need to get some riding in.”_

Brabec (Honda) took 7th followed by Caimi (Honda), Pela Renet (Husqvarna), Laia Sanz (KTM), Ignacio Cornejo (KTM), Felipe Prohens (KTM) and Daniel Gouet (KTM), who lost his card and took a 5' penalty. In quad, Rafal Sonik is on his own...

4th Stage: Bahia Inglesa - Bahia Inglesa
Roadsection: 40.13 km – Special 1: 142.60 km – Roadsection: 70.92 km – Special 2: 124.37 km – Roadsection: 64.51 km – Total: 442.53 km.**

Results Stage 4 (of 5)
1. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +2.29.35 h
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +0.20 sec
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, +0.25 sec
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +3.33 m
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, +4.46
9. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, +12.24

Standings after Stage 4
1. Price 10:49.21 h
2. Quintanilla +0.26
3. Goncalves +6.24
4. Benavides +8.34
5. Walkner +33.01
11. Renet 1:29.51 h