André Rodrigues and Eric Steichen win in Loulé
André Rodrigues, accompanied by Ricardo Porto Nunes and Eric Steichen, both entered by Franco Sport in the Baja Loulé, were the winners of the second stage of the Portuguese Yamaha YXZ1000R Cup, which is being held alongside the Portuguese Off Road Championship. The Baja Loulé, which crossed the tracks of Loulé, Tavira and Alcoutim, was played over 250 timed kilometers divided by a prologue and three selective sections with just over 80 kilometers each.
The Open category, which featured eight Yamaha teams, had Mário Franco and Nuno Matias Guilherme as the first leaders after a victory in the prologue ahead of the all-female team Dorothee Ferreira and Sandra Loureiro. António Ferreira and Tiago Dias ended in third place closely with just 0,4s time difference.
In the first day of the race, the classification suffered a profound change as the pair Nuno and Paula Gameiro finished the day in the lead with 10 seconds of advantage over José and Pedro Manescas. The third place was secured by André Rodrigues/Ricardo Porto Nunes, who finished just 22s behind the leaders of the race.
On the second day, and although Mário Franco returned to the victories by being the fastest in SS2, it was the trainer of the eagle Vitória who prevailed in the general classification. The rider of the Yamaha 320 headed for the final section with an advantage of 2m15s to Nuno Gameiro. A position that remained having André Rodrigues been the fastest in SS3. In second place was the pair Nuno and Paula Gameiro that finished 3m50s behind the winners. Third sport was taken by José and Pedro Manescas, who maintain the leadership of the Yamaha Cup at equal points with the winners of this Baja Loulé 2019.
Three other teams managed to finish this race. Fernando Pinheiro/ Bernardo Miguel in 4th and the veterans António Ferreira with Tiago Dias in sixt, both registered by Vaz Racing Team. António Resina de Carvalho, who recently returned to competition, with Tiago Martins finished in fifth place.
The Stock category had two teams competing and Eric Steichen stood out. Franco Sport's French driver triumphed in all the selective sectors and extended his lead over the junior duo João Franco / Pedro Inácio who were also registered by Franco Sport, and ended the race with a difference of 27m30s to the winner of the class.
For the Yamaha Motor Portugal team, this race was another success: "The initial races of 2019 bring to the YXZ1000R Cup the animation that was desired. Among the various teams we already see a high level of preparation and professionalism. At the same time, we find a competition that puts drivers and identical machines face-to-face, allowing a real differentiation for the performance of the drivers", said Luís Figueiredo Marketing Manager (PV) of YAMAHA Portugal.
The next round of the Yamaha YXZ1000R Cup will be held in Abrantes and Gavião when the Raid Ferraria organized by Clube da Ferraria will take place on April 27th and 28th.