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Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team riders #hlderrodrigues and #adrienvanbeveren started the 2016 Sealine Cross Country Rally today in Doha, Qatar. The first stage consisted of a 410-kilometer journey to and from the Losail International Circuit, of which 226 kilometers were timed and counted for the stage rankings. Today's first leg was a good introduction to this challenging second Cross-Country Rally competition, known for its rocky terrain, sweltering heat and fast routes full of navigational challenges.
For the Sealine Cross Country Rally kick-off the riders departed 'on line', like seen on regular motocross competitions, allowing for high speeds and fast pace right from the start.
Hélder Rodrigues was eager to tackle the second FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship #event and race authentic rally stages. For the first special, he rode cautiously to assure himself a solid place within the leading group, without taking any risks and avoiding some traps that prevented a few of his rivals from arriving at the finish line. However at ten kilometres from the end of the first timed stage, Rodrigues stopped to assist a competitor who had crashed. This cost him approximately 30 minutes, which he got credited for by the SCCR race organisers, once he arrived at the bivouac. The Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally rider thus ended up sixth in the rankings for today's stage.
Adrien Van Beveren, who made his return to competition this morning, got off to a good start. The Frenchman was among the frontrunners on the first kilometres, maintaining a strong pace in the top 5. After good test runs over the weekend, the young rider was looking forward to the race's kick-off and felt ready and confident to take on the new season. Unfortunately, he was held back by a minor technical issue a few kilometres after he rode through a pool of water on a part of the track where other competitors got trapped. This unfortunate #event prevented him from finishing where he had hoped. Van Beveren eventually was forced to go back to the bivouac to fix his #wr450frally with the consequence of receiving a penalty. He finished the day in 16th place in the overall classification. The #yamaharacing mechanics are working on fine-tuning the bike for when the young rally talent will appear on tomorrow's second start line as determined as ever.
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