Baja Oeste 2023: Reis and Maio are national champions at Baja Oeste de Portugal

Baja Oeste 2023: Reis and Maio are national champions at Baja Oeste de Portugal

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Tiago Reis wins the car race

  • Bruno Santos makes his debut in Oeste with victory on motorcycles
  • Maio takes second and wins eighth national title
  • Tomás Paulo is the outright winner in the quads
  • João Monteiro wins in Oeste and moves to the top of the championship



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The weekend of competition with the Baja Oeste de Portugal was one of decisions. Tiago Reis/Valter Cardoso, in the cars, and António Maio, in the motorcycles, leave Cadaval, the city that was the nerve center of the event this year, as national TT champions. But while the winners in the cars were the driver and co-driver of the Toyota Hilux 587, the big winner in the motorcycles was Bruno Santos, who made his debut in the race on his Husqvarna. In the quads, it was Tomás Paulo who won, while in the SSVs, João Monteiro and Nuno Morais took victory and thus moved into the lead of the championship.

In the cars, the large crowd, which was not intimidated by the unusually high temperatures for this time of year, witnessed a close battle between the fastest drivers in the T1+ and T3 classes. In this respect, and after a great drive by Pedro Carvalho and Romeu Martins - who ended up falling by the wayside due to the engine of their Can Am Maverick X3 overheating - it was the Tiago Reis/Valter Cardoso duo who prevailed. The Hilux team didn't even need to win this stage of the championship, but they secured the title with another victory.

"I said from the first day that we had to approach this race with great caution because the punctures in previous years have been dramatic. Our aim was not to puncture and so we had to go in cautiously to achieve the final goal. That's what we did. Today we continued with that attitude, without making any mistakes. We weren't worried about whether we were first or second. We wanted to manage and that's what we did," said the winner of the Baja Oeste de Portugal.

João Ramos and Jorge Carvalho knew they wouldn't have it easy in Cadaval, but they gave it their all until the last kilometer. Second place was still not enough to prevent them from deciding the title in favor of their opponents.

While the first two positions were occupied by T1+ cars, third place went to Ricardo Sousa and Jorge Brandão - BRP Can Am Maverick X3. The team was always fighting for the top spots and outperformed Nuno Madeira/José Janela, who had to settle for fourth place. Armindo Araújo and Luís Ramalho also stood out. The BRP Can Am Maverick X3 team was very late in the first sector due to a puncture and missed out on the podium. But on the last stage, the driver and co-driver showed great pace and won the sector.

In T8, Nuno Matos and Ricardo Claro (Opel Mokka Proto) returned to the category to win again, while Rui Sousa and Carlos Silva (Isuzu D-Max) were the best in T2. Rui Farinha and Rui Pita (BRP Can Am Maverick 3) won in T4.

Baja Oeste AUTO ID 0820




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Santos wins even with penalty

Being the best in the prologue and the second selective sector ensured that Bruno Santos, who made his debut in the Baja Oeste de Portugal - he missed the first two editions due to injury - won the race organized by Escuderia Castelo Branco. The Husqvarna rider still set the best time in the first selective sector, but lost that status due to a one-minute penalty for exceeding the speed limit in an area with a 30 km/h limit.

Despite this setback, Bruno Santos entered the final day of competition with a strong desire to achieve the victory he so desperately wanted. And that's exactly what he managed to achieve after almost 150 kilometers of SS2. The rider had António Maio as his main opponent. However, the Yamaha man had come to the western region with a different purpose: to become national champion. If he did, it would be the eighth title of his career, and all he had to do was finish in the top ten. So Maio went into the final day managing his pace. He gave up around a minute to Santos in the sector. As a result, he fell to second place, but the main objective was guaranteed. António Maio was thus crowned national TT champion for the eighth time.

Third place also changed during the final competitive sector. Bernardo Megre left the service park in that position but, despite having secured victory in his class, he ended up falling to fourth place, in exchange for Fábio Magalhães, who thus secured a podium finish.

"This is my region. I live near here. I'm very happy because I managed to win. I started by being fastest in the prologue. In the first sector, I was fastest again but lost the lead due to a penalty. I never stopped believing and today, in the second selective sector, I managed to make up the time lost to António Maio. We had a very interesting duel and the sector went very well for me. I'm very happy because this is my first victory after recovering from an injury," explained Bruno Santos in the closed park.



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Tomás Paulo was the best of the quads

The quads race was won by Tomás Paulo who, in the end, left all the competition more than five minutes behind. A brief look at the classification table is, however, misleading because the story of the Baja Oeste de Portugal for the quads had, on the first two days of competition, another dominator, João Vale. He arrived at the end of the first stage in command of the standings, a position he lost due to penalties for speeding in several areas with limits. The driver ended up not starting the final stage and Tomás Paulo, who had inherited victory in the first selective sector, saw the door to victory open. Even so, the Yamaha rider didn't let up. He won the final sector and thus sealed a victory that had become very clear.

Fernando Cardoso, also on a Yamaha, closed out his participation in the Baja Oeste de Portugal, while Rafael Carvalho made sure that the Japanese brand took all the podium places by coming third. With this result, Carvalho moved closer to the championship lead.

Baja Oeste day2 ID FMP 0097


SSV - National

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Monteiro wins and climbs to first in the SSV championship

João Monteiro and Nuno Morais won the Baja Oeste de Portugal in the SSV category. Driver and co-driver had a very clear objective for the Baja Oeste de Portugal. The Can Am X3 XRS team knew that it was essential to stay ahead of the then championship leaders, Roberto Borrego and André Lopes (Can Am X3) in order to remain in the fight for the national title. When they had problems, Monteiro and Morais seized the opportunity and pushed even harder. With a tremendous performance in the first selective sector, they jumped to the front of the race and never left. Pedro Santinho Mendes and Mário Falé Ourives (Bombardier Can Am) were the fastest SSV riders, but they didn't manage to reach the top spot. That was reserved for the new championship leaders.

Tiago Guerreiro and Daniel Silva ( complete the top three, but more than 11 minutes behind the front-runners.


Baja Oeste SSV ID FMP 0065


Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version published on (Source: Escuderia de Castelo Branco / Baja Oeste)

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