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Monte Gordo Sand Experience 2023: Sun, Emotion and Crowds Set The Scene On The Monte Gordo Sand Experience’s First Races
Yentel Martens (Bikes) and Keveen Rochereau (Quads) were the day’s winners
The Algarve woke up with sunshine to welcome the Monte Gordo Sand Experience’s first edition and the last and decisive round of the new FIM Sand Races World Cup. Under a great crowd aligned along the beach, the event started at 11.00 am with the bike’s first race, where there was a huge focus on the fight for the title between Todd Kellett (Yamaha) and Yentel Mertens (Honda). Kellett was the early leader but was soon passed by Martens, who went on to win, leaving the title decision for tomorrow. Kellett was second, with Daymond Martens (Honda) closing the overall podium. Among the other competitors who did the one hour and a half of race, Belgian Amandine Verstappen (Yamaha) among the ladies, with Frenchman Christophe Brucker (KTM) being the fastest on the veterans’ side, while on MJ2 Belgian Tias Callens (Yamaha) was fastest. On Doubles, Portuguese Gilberto and Mário Jordão (KTM) were the fastest among the three finishers.
On the classes that did only half of the race (45 minutes), within the youngest competitors, on the MJ1 class, Matheo Gerat (KTM) from France won, while on the Vintage bikes (produced up to 1996), Frenchman Felix Faure (Honda) was the winner on the MV1 class, while on the MV3, the fastest was portuguese David Megre, being also the fastest overall Vintage.
On the photo: Yentel Martens ©Imagens Desportivas
Yentel Martens the winner, concluded that “it was nice, made a good start despite being passed by Todd [Kellett]. Then I passed him, kept my cool, pushed the racing rhythm, and all went well, including the pit stop. I’m very happy to win. It’s a nice circuit with good sand, and I liked the technical part the most since it was not getting much bumpy along the race. I’m happy that there are now more sand races in Europe like this one. I hope it continues; it’s a very good place to stay.”
Regarding the quads, who started at 01.30pm, the first leader was Frenchman Pablo Violet, who got the holeshot and kept the lead for most of the race, being passed on the final stages by fellow countryman Keveen Rochereau, who manage to get away on a final part of the race marked with dificulties on overlaping the slower competitors. Also from France was the winner on the Veterans class, Axel Dutrie, and in the ladies class, Nathanaelle Abgrall. Changing continents on the class winners, argentinean Vito Ferrari brought his KTM home to clinch the win on the Junior class.
Rochereau on his win: “it was a nice fight with Violet, when I was able to recover my early disadvantage. It’s a good track with great sand, and for being great in the next few years, it should enlarge the limits a bit and create jumps, but even so, it’s a top track. It’s my first victory with such an enthusiastic crowd; it will be a great souvenir and also a birthday present for my girlfriend.".
On the photo: Keveen Rochereau ©Imagens Desportivas
Tomorrow will be the second and final day of sand racing action in Monte Gordo, with bikes starting at noon and quads at 02.30pm, with the podium ceremony being scheduled for 04.30pm.
Results available: http://live.cronobandeira.com/
Source: ACP Motorsport / A2 Comunicação
Photos: Rally-Raid Network / Imagens Desportivas