Pizzolito Leads Ruta 40 After Stage Three Win
Team HRC celebrated its second victory of the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina when Javier Pizzolito secured the first stage win of his career. Problems for Marc Coma push him back to seventh.
Enjoying a perfect stage in the soft sandy terrain, Pizzolito won the stage by almost six minutes from Chaleco Lopez (KTM).
“I am so happy to win today,” told Pizzolito. “It’s my first world championship stage victory so it means a lot to me. I felt in control throughout the stage and even though I had a small crash, I was still able to win, so perhaps without that the margin would have been even greater.”
Starting the stage in third position, Speedbrain’s Paulo Goncalves ended it in third behind Pizzolito and Lopez. His result moves him up to second position in the rally. Behind Goncalves, Yamaha’s David Casteu edged out stage one winner Helder Rodrigues (Honda) to take fourth place.
There was drama for KTM’s Marc Coma when he was forced to stop midway through the stage due to a fuel pressure fault. Stopping 360km into the stage, Coma was able to fix the issue with the help of teammate Kurt Caselli. Losing over ten minutes in the ordeal, Coma drops to seventh overall in the rally and now sits almost 15 minutes behind race leader Pizzolito.
“After finishing second on stage two I had a problem on stage three with the fuel pressure. It forced me to stop at kilometre 360. Luckily, Kurt arrived and with his help I was able to finish the stage – but with a much lower rate. It’s a shame as I was completing a good special and hoped gain time.
“But we will not stop fighting. The mechanics are already working hard to analyze where the problem occurred and we’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
Results – Stage Three Desafio Ruta 40
1. Javier Pizzolito (Honda) 6:01:41 hrs
2. Chaleco Lopez (KTM) +00:05:46
3. Paulo Goncalves (Speedbrain) +00:07:10
4. David Casteu (Yamaha) +00:10:37
5. Helder Rodrigues (Honda) +00:11:32
Overall standings after Stage 3:
1. Javier Pizzolito (Honda) 11:02:53 hrs
2. Paulo Goncalves (Speedbrain) +00:03:51
3. Chaleco Lopez (KTM) +00:04:01
4. Helder Rodrigues (Honda) +00:06:09
5. David Casteu (Yamaha) +00:10:31
6. Kurt Caselli (KTM) +00:11:23
7. Marc Coma (KTM) +00:14:51