António Maio in Yamaha on motorcycles, João Vale also in Yamaha in Quad and the duo Roberto Borrego/Nuno Abrantes in Can-Am in SSV were the big winners of Baja Oeste de Portugal, the fourth stage of the Portuguese Off-Road Championship 2022.
ANOTHER TRIUMPH FOR ANTÓNIO MAIO
The competition organized by Escuderia Castelo Branco saw the Portuguese champion António Maio in Yamaha impose himself in the prologue spending 4.5s less than Gustavo Gaudência on Honda. Third position for Martim Ventura on Yamaha at 1 .2s from the runner-up.
For the second stage, the competitors faced two selective sectors of 144 and 82 km. The stage started badly for one of the candidates for the first position with Gustavo Gaudêncio stopping for more than 40 minutes to solve a technical problem. Winner of the opening stage and in SS1, the champion António Maio maintained the lead of the race with a 1m29s advantage over Martim Ventura who won in the second stage of the day.
On the third day of the race, the competitors faced a selective sector with 161 km. It was a very lively fight in the motorcycle competition with António Maio winning the last stage with a 15s advantage over Martim Ventura who in this race proved to be closer to the rhythm of the Portuguese champion. Martin still won among the Juniors.
The third position went to Micael Simão, on a GasGas, being the fastest in the TT3 Class, thus achieving the first podium of his career. Fourth place went to Fábio Magalhães in Honda, the winner of the TT1 Class.
Diogo Pais on Yamaha won promotion and consolidated class leadership at the Portuguese Championship. Pedro Bianchi Prata, on Honda, returned to triumphs in competitions, winning among the veterans.
Mário Patrão, debuting an electric motorcycle, completed the two sectors that were intended for his motorcycle in this race, having been pleasantly surprised and very satisfied with this pioneering experience in Portugal.
JOÃO VALE WITH NEW VICTORY IN THE QUADS
In the Quad competition, the championship leader João Vale, on Yamaha, prevailed in the prologue, having spent 4s less than the Portuguese runner-up Luís Fernandes on an identical bike.
The following day, Luís Fernandes quit the race, due to a fall, when he was the second on the track. In the 144 km of SS1, João Vale was the fastest ahead of the Spaniard Teo Viñaras and with Fernando Cardoso in the third position.
On the last day of the race, Teo Viñaras, who didn’t complete SS2, returned to the competition and was the fastest of the day, 11s ahead of João Vale who won the race comfortably. Fernando Cardoso was second, also winning the promotion class. The young Rafael Carvalho occupied the third position, winning among the juniors. Sixth place for José Galhofas, first among the veterans. Vera Cabrita continues to enchant. A debutant in the championship, this was the fourth consecutive race that she finished.
ROBERTO BORREGO ADDS ANOTHER VICTORY AMONG THE SSV
In SSV, the duel between Gonçalo Guerreiro and Roberto Borrego remains hot with the Portuguese champion adding the second consecutive triumph after the championship leader started having problems at 80 km from the end of a race with almost 400 timed kilometers.
Leaving for this race in the lead of the championship, Gonçalo Guerreiro started by being the fastest in the prologue held next to Kartódromo do Bombarral. He spent 3.3s less than the former motorcycle world champion Hélder Rodrigues, that was debuting a new machine.
At the end of the second stage, Gonçalo Guerreiro remained ahead of the race. However, two different riders won the day's stages. Herlander Araújo was the fastest in SS1 while João Monteiro, very late in the initial stage, triumphed in the next stage. The second position in the race was then occupied by Herlander Araújo with 24.5s more than the leader and 46s ahead of Roberto Borrego.
Baja Oeste de Portugal was completed with a selective sector with 161 km. After remaining in the lead in the race until km 80, Gonçalo Guerreiro had a terrible end on the stage.
With several riders fighting for victory on the stage, it would be the Portuguese champion, Roberto Borrego, to celebrate a fair and deserved victory that puts him in the lead of the championship. Hélder Rodrigues and Sergio Batista finished SS3 in second and third. These two riders climbed to the final absolute podium in reverse order with Sérgio Batista winning among the veterans.
In the stock class, the dominance was absolute on the part of Polaris which saw three of its riders reach the podium. The prologue started with José Garcia being the fastest ahead of José Morgado. João Conde led after SS2 and at the end of the second day of the race, it was Nelson Saramago who was in front of the race. In the last 161 km, Nelson Saramago confirmed the victory ahead of João Conde and António Gil
The duo formed by Octávio and Miguel Martins was the big winner of the Yamaha YXZ1000R Cup in Baja Oeste de Portugal, a race that marked the start of the 2022 season of this competition promoted by Yamaha Motor Portugal.
Mário Franco, accompanied by Tânia Diogo, was the winner of the prologue while Luís Caseiro, navigated by João Azeiteiro, stood out by leading after the second day of the race. The 161 km on the last day of the race ended up dictating the withdrawal of both Luís Caseiro and Mário Franco.
Although the winner of the final stage was the Belgian Gilles Verleyen, a heavy penalty didn’t allow him to go beyond second place. Thus, Octávio Martins, a rookie in this competition, was crowned the big winner of this race.
AFONSO FONSECA WINS THE "MINI-BAJA"
In the Mini Baja, now called Rui Ventura Trophy in memory of a great promoter of these youth groups and who recently left us, Simão Almeida on Quad and Domingos Cunha on bikes reached the best times in the prologue.
The following day, however, the two-wheel drivers would prove to be the fastest. Afonso Fonseca, Domingos Cunha ended separated by 44s and were first and second in the Mini TT2 Class. Simão Almeida was the third fastest and won among the Quads. Next positions for Manuel Amaral, Lourenço Lebre and António Feliciano. Bernardo Caiado won the Mini TT3 Class. Among the smallest of the Mini TT1 Class, Luís Brandão won.
The Mini Baja is a special category, where the youngest riders can start their career in sport, racing by their owns or acompanied by one adult who follows them during the stages.
The Portuguese Off-Road Championship continues with Baja de Loulé, which takes place in the Algarve between the 27th and 29th of May.
PORTUGUESE CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER BAJA TT OESTE PORTUGAL
Moto: 1st António Maio (Yamaha), 109 points; 2nd Micael Simão (GasGas), 53; 3rd Daniel Jordão (Husqvarna), 51; 4th Martim Ventura and Fábio Magalhães (Honda), 50; 6th Gustavo Gaudencio (Honda), 43.
Quad: 1st João Vale (Yamaha), 98 points; 2nd Rafael Carvalho (Yamaha), 69; 3rd Fernando Cardoso (Yamaha), 62; 4th Ricardo Rodrigues, 39; 4th Luís Fernandes (Yamaha), 31.