Rali dos Sertoes 2021: Adrien Metge seals Sertões Victory in Moto, Maneul Andujar tops the quads and Torres/Arena the SSV
The third round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship took place in Brazil on a route between Tamandaré and Tibau do Sul and offered a beautiful and diverse challenge over stony and sandy terrain, rolling tracks and magnificent landscapes.
It was also a difficult route because of the location. Unfortunately, because of logistical issues created by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, few riders were able to participate and the last stage was cancelled af**ter torrential rain inundated the region.
Adrien Metge (Yamaha) led the motorcycle category from the Prologue to the end of the rally. However, the Frenchman experienced GPS issues on the first stage and over-speeding cost him a 16-minute time penalty and he finished the section in ninth. The Yamaha rider then went on to win all the stages, with the exception of the last one, that fell to Gregorio Caselani (Honda).
On SS6, however, Metge almost didn’t finish when his engine gave signs of weakness and gave in at the end of the special. Fortunately, team-mate Tulio Malta – who had started far behind after experiencing a problem on stage five – was able to tow him to the bivouac.
Jean de Azevedo (Honda), for his part, made a comeback at the handlebars of a Honda and demonstrated that he had lost none of his ability to finish second overall, ahead of Bissinho Zavatti (Honda), Tulio Malta (Yamaha) and Gregorio Caselani (Honda).
Ricardo Martins (Yamaha) fell on the fourth stage and was forced to retire with fractured ribs.
With all the aforementioned riders registered in Rally2, Metge thus won Rallye dos Sertões and the Rally2 category, while the victory in RallyeGP went to Caselani.
In the quad category, Argentina’s Manuel Andujar (Yamaha) had championship points in his sights and kept his only opponent, Rafal Sonik (Yamaha), at a safe distance. In the seventh stage, leader Marcelo Madeiros fell and could not finish the special. The Argentinean therefore took the lead and claimed the laurels, with Sonik finishing second.
In the SSV section, Leandro Torres, navigated by Joao Arena, won the FIM SSV category at the wheel of a Polaris, ahead of his son Thiago Torres, co-driven by Eduardo Shiga.
Photos Victor Euleuterio