Desafio Ruta 40 ends with positive overall results for Team HRC

Javier Pizzolito - Desafio Ruta 40 2013The 2013 Desafio Ruta 40 drew to close today with the final 136km special stage taking the riders on a circular route starting and ending in San Juan. Team HRC’s Javier Pizzolito – who has ridden consistently well throughout his home rally – remained in control today and crossed the line in fourth, 13m02s behind eventual race winner Kurt Caselli, placing him an impressive fourth in the final results.

With five successful and mistake-free stages under his belt, team-mate Helder Rodrigues was just one second behind rally leader Francisco Lopez going into today’s race. Unfortunately, the Portuguese rider crashed on a fast turn just 12km in. He re-mounted and battled on for a further 8km, but was eventually forced to retire, experiencing a lot of pain and with damage to the instruments on his CRF450 Rally.

Rodrigues was taken by ambulance to hospital with minor injuries, including a hematoma on his hip. Despite the disappointing end to Rodrigues’s race, the Team HRC crew leave Argentina in a positive frame of mind having secured two stage victories and a podium, as well as a much deserved fourth place for Pizzolito, aboard a faultless Honda CRF450 Rally.

Javier Pizzolito #7:
I am sorry for Helder because I think he could have won this rally, but I am pleased to hear that he has no major injuries. I did my best and I am very happy with my race overall. I did not expect to finish in such good position. I also won the rally for the Argentinean championship race, which I am now leading. I’m looking forward to the Morocco rally with the new bike at the end of October.

Helder Rodrigues #3:
I crashed hard after 12km in a fast turn. The front wheel slid and I couldn’t stay on the bike. I tried to start again, but I was in too much pain with my hip and all instruments on the bike were broken due to the crash. I’m really disappointed because I did my best in this race and I proved to be fast and ready to win. The bike was going good for the entire race and the team did a perfect job. I’m now looking forward to the rest of the season, from the Pharaons Rally and onwards.

Martino Bianchi – General Manager Team HRC Rally:
It was an eventful end to the race. I’m relieved that Helder did not get badly injured in his crash. It’s a disappointing end for him but he proved to be fast and competitive for the win, so we are pleased about that. We came to this race to test the bike and riders’ performance and I am happy with the results. Both riders proved to be fast, securing two stage victories and one podium between them, and the bike didn’t have any problems at all in what is a very demanding race. The team has worked incredibly well together and we’re leaving in good spirits. Now we have some intense work ahead of us in order to be prepared for our next races: the Pharaons and Morocco rallies in September and October.

Special stage 6 results:  
1.       Caselli (KTM)
2.       Lopez (KTM) +1m18s
3.       Goncalves (Speedbrain) +2m39s
4.       Pizzolito (Team HRC) +7m18s
5.       Coma (KTM) 7m30s
DNF   Rodrigues (Team HRC)

Overall results:
1.       Caselli (KTM)
2.       Lopez (KTM) +43s
3.       Coma (KTM) +10m53s
3.       Pizzolito (Team HRC) +13m02s
4.       Casteau (Yamaha) +15m41s
6.       Goncalves (Speedbrain) at 17m46s
DNF  Rodrigues (Team HRC)

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