Atacama Rally 2019: Atacama Rally – the reunion!

Atacama Rally 2019: Atacama Rally – the reunion!

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Three FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champions will return to action at the Atacama Rally after several months of recovery from injury.

Toby Price (KTM) is the current world number one and winner of the 2019 Dakar, Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) was a double World Champion in 2016 and 2017 and Matthias Walkner (KTM) was the 2015 World Champion. 
For the first time since the 2019 Dakar, the three friends return to competition to compete against Sam Sunderland (KTM), who leads the FIM World Championship standings with 83 points, ahead of Andrew Short (56 pts). Junior rider Luciano Benavides is tied with his brother Kevin on 51 points. 

The rally offers a route of 1,685km, of which 1,346km are made up of competitive selective sections, over five days. There is also a Prologue, a Marathon bivouac and no assistance will be allowed to the refueling point, meaning the same tyre will be needed for the whole day. During the week, there will be little time for rest.

The route offers sandy tracks and gigantic dunes and the 24 motorcycle riders and nine quad entrants will feast on beautiful desert terrain, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains.

In addition to Sam Sunderland (KTM) - who will defend his current leading position - Toby Price (KTM), Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) and Matthias Walkner (KTM) will also face competition from the likes of Andrew Short (Husqvarna) and Luciano Benavides (KTM).

Honda has also entered a strong team with Kevin Benavides, Joan Barreda, Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo, Ricky Brabec and the South African rider Aaron Mare,** who has entered as an ‘unofficial’ rider with a view to a possible collaboration in the future. 

The group of 16 FIM-registered motorcycle riders is completed by eight South Americans, including Tomas de Gavardo - who recently won the Junior category of the FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup - and his cousin Felipe Prohens.

In the quad category in the FIM World Championship, Rafal Sonik (Yamaha) will be alone running against the likes of Luis Barahona (Yamaha) and seven other Chilean riders. 


Source FIM official press release

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