Sardegna Rally Stage 2: Arborea - Arborea
Cerutti still in control of bikes, De Souday fastest in quads, De Seynes/Liparoti leading the SSV category.
Stage 2: High tension loop Arborea - Arborea Total distance 212,0Km PS1 74,23 - PS2 55,84
On the second day of racing in the wilderness of stunning Sardinia some of the steepest up-hills and down-hills of the planet Enduro challenged the 44 fearless competitors from 8 nations. In the loop stage starting and finishing in Arborea the riders had to engage all their skill and experience to the maximum as the pace and surface changed constantly.
Today's stage was actually much shorter compared to the first one, but shorter doesn't mean always easier. "However, the shorter stage means that you will can actually jump into the pool after a very dusty stage," said Antonello Chiara , one of the rally organizers, at yesterday's briefing.
"I am not scared to admit that initially I felt a bit disappointed by the fact that many factory teams didn't join us this year. Yesterday I changed my mind. I witnessed to the tough fight between the competitors and evidently this year Sardegna Rally Race attracted many enduro and rally-raid stars of the future. I am truly amazed by performances of Oriol Mena, Jacopo Cerutti, Maurizio Gerini, Andrea Mancini, Mirko Pavan ... I wish I could list them all! I am also truly happy that we managed to introduce the the Side by Side category this year. I've been always thinking that Sardegna is a perfect place to do that." added Antonello Chiara
Stage 2: facts and quotes
A total of 212 km was cut by two special stages (of 74,23 and 55,84 km respectively) for riders and quad riders, while the SSVs only faced the first speed test of the day. The stage was caracterized by pure blood enduro racing, steep up-hills, tricky down-hills, flying rocks and a healthy dose of navigation.
In the category of bikes Jacopo Cerutti extended his overall lead by 4 minutes. A 28-year old rider dominated also in the first special and, at this point of the race, confidently tops the classification. "The stage was quite tough, high temperatures and heat, but fortunately all went well, even if I made a minor mistake at the end of the second stage," said the happy winner. The second-placed rider of the first leg Oriol Mena Valdearcos did a minor navigational error and slipped down the slope, but still managed to finish in fourth. Alessando Botturi , winner of the Sardegna Rally race 2014, won the second special stage, helped Oriol Mena out of troubles and ended the day in second. The third man of the day is Andrea Mancini , finishing the stage in third place, while for the 3rd of the first leg, Maurizio Gerini, is out of competition due to a mechanical failure.
It was quite a day for Sebastien Souday , the fastest of the quads, followed by Rafal Sonik and Kamil Wisniewski. Reaching the finish line after a very demanding stage, Rafal Sonik commented: "The first special stage today was pretty pleasant, because the UTVs were going together with us, so we knew that the track would be a little wider, at least enough for the quad. For the second special stage I knew instantly that it would be very tough, very tricky and very narrow, as the UTVs didn't go. It's very challenging race but that's Sardinia Rally Race!"
The French team De Seynes/Liparoti took over command of the SSV category, as Enrico Ercolani and Paolo Politino , after some adventures with the first two wheels and a flat tyre, stands in second place.
OVERALL STAGE 2 (unofficial)
1. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA) Husqvarna 2h35.55.50
4. Alessandro Botturi (ITA) Yamaha 2h37.37.85
5. Andrea Mancini (ITA) Beta 2h42.11.27
2. Oriol Mena (SPA) Honda 2h45.32.68
9. Cristian Espana Munoz (SPA) KTM 2h47.11.37
6. Omar Chiatti (ITA) Yamaha 2h49.02.36
7. Mirko Pavan (ITA) 2h49.56.58
8. Luigi Martelozzo (ITA) Husqvarna 2h51.01.60
9. Txomin Arana (SPA) Yamaha 2h51.37.55