Stage four of Rally Kazakhstan proved to be highly positive for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team with all racers completing the special stage with a strong result. The sandy terrain found on the penultimate stage was to the liking of Ross, Adrien, and Andrew, with each rider now looking ahead to the final day of racing.
Taking another key step forward towards the event’s finish line, Ross Branch placed fourth on stage four of Rally Kazakhstan. Opting to focus on his navigation, to ensure a solid result on the 309km special, Ross’ strategy paid off and he will enter tomorrow’s final stage with a healthy lead of just over four minutes in the overall provisional classification.
As the second rider to enter stage four, Adrien Van Beveren quickly moved forwards to open the special after just three kilometres. Remaining as the leading rider through to the end of the stage and despite leaving clear wheel tracks in the sandy soil for the chasing riders to follow, the Frenchman lost very little time due to his impressive navigational skills. Going on to complete the special as the fifth fastest rider, with just one stage remaining Van Beveren sits third in the overall provisional classification with a comfortable margin over the riders behind him.
Andrew Short found his flow on the sandy stage four. The motocross style conditions favoured the American as he began to make up time on the leading riders in a bid to move up the overall leaderboard. Frustratingly, a big crash resulted in a broken navigational tower, which left the 38-year-old without a roadbook to follow. Unharmed by the crash, Short followed the lines left by the leading riders to complete the stage in 11th, maintaining his fifth-place ranking in the provisional standings.
Tomorrow’s final 267-kilometre stage provides one last challenging day in the saddle for all competitors. Beginning on sandy terrain, the fast, hardpack conditions found early on in the rally will return. After riders reach the 158km mark, speeds will decrease with rocky plateaus and technical descents providing a distinct change of pace. Accurate navigation is essential in order to successfully complete Rally Kazakhstan.