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17/01/2018

Torrot's GasGas Rally Team riders make it through a tough navigational test

Johnny Aubert finishes twelfth and Jonathan Barragán, eighteenth, in one of the most complicated stages in terms of orientation. Cristian España finishes fortieth.

After the cancellation of the stage of the previous day, Torrot's GasGas Rally Team riders have managed to navigate a demanding tenth special of 373 kilometers, with a beginning in sand and a labyrinthine end between river passes made even worse by high temperatures.

Johnny Aubert and Jonathan Barragán have successfully overcome one of the most difficult stages in terms of navigation. The French and Spanish riders have finished in the twelfth and eighteenth positions, respectively, once the penalty of 15 minutes has been applied for changing the engine - a measure to avoid breakdowns and ensure a fresh engine in this final stage of the rally. The French rider is still in tenth overall while Spanish rider is sixteenth. His teammate, Cristian España, finished in fortieth and ranks thirty-eighth overall.

Tomorrow morning, the riders will compete the Super Fiambalá special. At this twelveth stage the start will mix the ten best classified motorcycles, cars and trucks according to today's times.

GOVANNI SALA:
"Today has been a very complicated stage because of the route and navigation. The terrain was very complicated, the sand of the rivers was very soft due to the rain and also, they were very wide, hundreds of meters, so sometimes it was very difficult to find the CAP. There have been many riders that have got lost, fortunately ours rode a very good stage and that has allowed Johnny [Aubert] and Jonathan [Barragán] to finish very well and gain positions, at the same time taking care of the bike and the mechanics. Cristian [España] had to return almost 15 kilometers to mark a way point and that made him lose a lot of time.

Yesterday, together with the mechanical team, we decided to change the engines despite the penalty involved. There are still many kilometers to ride in soft sand and heat, a bad combination for the engines, so we decided to change them to avoid risks and to make sure.

Tomorrow another marathon stage begins and it will be very complicated because of sand and navigation. And the position where it ends will be very important, since the Super Fiambalá special takes place the next day, with motorcycles, cars and trucks leaving together, so being ahead will be important to avoid the dust of the other participants."

JONATHAN BARRAGÁN:
"We have finished a very complicated day.  In today's stage, on the 30th kilometer, I had a rather bad fall in which I lost a lot of time. Afterwards I was able to recover and in general I am very happy with the stage. It has been very hard today. The goal is to finish. Now I see myself with the group and each time I want more, but I won't get tempted. For me it is the first Dakar and the goal is to finish. I still have to give my maximum in the four remaining stages. The marathon stage tomorrow will be very hard."

JOHNNY AUBERT:
"We have got through the tenth day of competition and it has been really difficult for navigation. It was also very hard and with a lot of off-road track but finally it was a great day for me. Also for Jonathan [Barragan] who has navigated very well, he only had one fall but nothing serious. We have arrived in Bethlehem and we finished the day in a good position, I am very happy with the work of the team. We have to continue like this in the last four days of competition."

CHRISTIAN ESPAÑA:
"Today's day was very hard and difficult and, after overcoming it, tomorrow we have the marathon stage for the bikes. I started the day at a very good pace, overtaking riders, but an error in the navigation made me have to go back to mark a waypoint. But we have managed to get there and that is the most important thing. Now I have to prepare the bike for the marathon stage."

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