Stage three, the second and final leg of the event’s marathon stage provided a serious physical test for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally team riders. The longest special of the event at 332 kilometres, it featured mixed terrain including desert tracks, hardpack conditions, and rolling sand dunes, which required full focus from all riders with Ross, Adrien, and Andrew, going on to post impressive results for the third day running.
As the fourth rider to enter today’s third stage of Rally Kazakhstan, Ross Branch had the unenviable task of opening the stage with the other leading riders. Unfazed by the task in front of him, Ross focused on himself, brought his navigational skills to the fore and completed the stage as the third fastest rider. After three consecutive stage results inside the top four, Branch now sits on top of the overall provisional classification with a near six-and-a-half-minute lead.
Adrien Van Beveren claimed his best stage result of the rally so far with a second-place finish on stage three. Much like his teammate Ross Branch, the Frenchman rode his own race and put his navigational skills to good use to secure his impressive runner-up result. Van Beveren’s strong form and consistency this week has elevated him to second place in the provisional standings for a Yamaha 1-2.
The super-consistent Andrew Short placed fifth on stage three to maintain his fifth-place ranking in this year’s Rally Kazakhstan. After successfully completing the marathon stage on his Yamaha WR450F Rally, the American picked up an unfortunate time penalty when he went off course due to a minor navigational area, just before a refuelling station. Nevertheless, Andrew has created a comfortable margin over the riders behind him as he enters tomorrow’s penultimate stage.
Tomorrow’s stage four features a 309km special. Early on, riders will work their way through a rocky, narrow canyon before high-speed sections form a large part of the stage. The conditions then change to sandy soil where accurate navigation is essential, especially for Adrien and Ross who will be the second and third riders to enter the special. Upon completion of the penultimate stage, just one more day of racing separates the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team from the event’s finish line on Sunday.