Very much a day of re-adjusting to rally competition following the many months away from competition, stage one delivered tough navigation and tricky way points, ensuring all riders were made to focus on their navigation intently. Despite a small mistake during yesterday’s short prologue, Adrien van Beveren came though stage one in impressive form to make a solid start to his Andalucia Rally campaign. Like many riders, needing a little time to settle into his rhythm while focusing on the demanding navigation, van Beveren went on to post the fifth fastest time of the day.
Less than one-minute behind van Beveren and in sixth place on stage one, Franco Caimi navigated his WR450F Rally to a time of 3:27:52 to begin his Andalucia Rally in positive fashion. Pleased with the set-up of his Yamaha on the slippery terrain, Franco avoided navigational errors to set himself up well for stage two – the second longest of the event.
Third fastest Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Official Team rider was Ross Branch. Enjoying his time at the front of the field following his top-three fastest time during the event’s opening prologue, in starting among the first competitors to leave the start of stage one Ross rode together with Dakar Rally winner Toby Price, gaining valuable experience while also keeping a watchful eye on his navigation. Branch posted the day’s 13th fastest time and sits a little over 11 minutes down on the day's fastest rider but with a good start position for tomorrow’s stage two.
Right behind Branch, Jamie McCanney completed a largely mistake free day to finish 14th overall, a little over one-minute behind his team-mate. Pleased with his performance, in starting further back in the entry than his team-mates McCanney had to deal with a lot of dust kicked up from the riders ahead of him on the Spanish trails. Also missing a way point roughly 10 kilometres from the finish Jamie picked up a penalty, which further hampered his result.
Looking forward to his return to competition, Andrew Short endured a frustrating day despite the American quickly finding a good rhythm. Making a number of small mistakes he placed 16th fastest, completing the stage without any major issues and ready to attack stage two.