PABLO QUINTANILLA CROWNED 2017 FIM CROSS-COUNTRY RALLIES WORLD CHAMPION
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Pablo Quintanilla has won the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship at the final round of the series in Morocco. Successfully defending the title he won in 2016, the FR 450 Rally mounted rider wrapped up the 2017 OiLibya Morocco Rally with a top six result in the event’s final overall standings.
Putting in one more solid performance today in the dunes of Morocco, Pablo posted the fourth fastest time in the first 163km-long timed special stage to go on and finish the event with the sixth best time in the short final special. With race organisers opting to re-instate a 20-minute penalty handed to Pablo on day two, the Chilean rider wrapped up the 2017 Morocco Rally with sixth in the event’s final standings.
Collecting the points needed to secure the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, Pablo has secured a second consecutive rally championship for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team.
Moving up two spots in the event’s final standings, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew Short rounded out the 2017 Morocco Rally in 14th position. Putting in another steady performance today in the dunes of Africa, the former MX and SX star has made notable progress in his very first multi-stage international rally event.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rally squad will return to action in January 2018, with the 2018 edition of the prestigious Dakar Rally taking place in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
Pablo Quintanilla: “I’m over the moon with securing this title. This year’s Morocco Rally has been a tough one and with all the incidents on day two I had to dig really deep to defend my championship. I did my best to remain focused until the end as my main goal was to be world champion again. Everything went well and I never lost my focus. Overall, I felt very strong racing here in Morocco. I felt strong with my navigation and the bike, and this is very important for the coming Dakar Rally. I just want to thank all the members of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team for their hard work and dedication. We’ve all worked really hard during the season and this title is the best reward for all the sacrifices.”
Andrew Short: “My main goals coming into the Morocco Rally was to finish, stay safe and learn. I’m happy to say I’ve managed to achieve all of them. Looking forward now I feel that I have to learn a lot in a short amount of time to be where I want to be and be competitive. On one hand I’m very happy, on the other hand I know I need to keep working hard to get where I want to be. I’m very thankful for the team and appreciative of all the resources they have been giving me. I really enjoy the rally community and the race and everything that went along with it. It was a good week here in Morocco.”
2017 OiLibya Morocco Rally – Final Standings
1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 10:03:49
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 10:17:31
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 10:20:47
4. Antoine Meo (KTM) 10:22:16
5. Joan Pedrero (Sherco) 10:26:17
6. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 10:41:11
14. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 11:37:32
2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – Final Standings
1. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 100pts
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 97pts
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 94pts
4. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 85pts
5. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 84pts