Paulo Goncalves (Team HRC)

2016 Dakar Rally: Motorcycle division stage 8, Goncalves of Honda falls at sand hill, loses Rank 2 spot

It’s already the second half of the 2016 Dakar Rally. The Stage 8 was conducted from Salta to Belén in Argentina, a 767km distance, on January 11, 2016.

Stage 8 is composed of two types of roads. The first half of it is a dirt road, and the second half is a hill of very fine sand, in which the temperature is significantly high as well. It also has a 394km SS.

Team HRC’s Paulo Goncalves, who finished the first part of the rally in overall top rank in the motorcycle category, started Stage 8 as the third in the position. He rode at a comfortable pace during the start of the race and was leading in the ranking. He raced for about 30 seconds to one minute ahead from KTM Factory Team’s Toby Price (an Australian rider), who’s also battling to be top in the rank, and finished the first half of the stage with a 55-second lead.

However, Goncalves surprisingly fell down on a bad rocky road from the sand hill during the start of the latter half of the stage. It caused damage to the navigation panel of the CRF450 Rally. He recovered and rode on with his best pace while carefully handling the broken navigation panel. He finished the stage at rank 2, and the result turned 180 degrees as Price led with a lap time of 5:17 minutes, giving a 3:12 minute difference from Goncalves’ achievement. Goncalves wasn’t able to achieve the top rank.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)