Laia Sanz 7th Overall after Stage 6 Silk Way Rally

Laia Sanz 7th Overall after Stage 6 Silk Way Rally

Laia Sanz has produced solid performance racing 2019 Silk Way Rally, gaining increase of points over fellow competitors to stand 7th Overall after Stage 6 of 10, heading across Mongolia-China border for Stage 7 tomorrow.

Laia Sanz Silk Way Rally Stage 3

In what was ‘put in at deep end’ having to lead out the Bike class in Stage 1, Sanz was not all that comfortable as the Rally began from Irkutsk, East Siberia on July 6th saying:

I had to lead out first. It has been a new experience and it has cost me a bit, but I am happy to have arrived safely at the bivouac’.

‘Like it or not, when you open the track you do not have as much confidence, not because it was difficult to navigate, which it was not, but because when there are other pilots in front of you it is easier to guess if there are more complicated parts of the route’.

Stage 2 ventured through the tricky forest terrain of pot-holed tracks and rocks- a vast cry for Rally riders from the desert sands of Dakar earlier in the year. With speed reduced to minimise costly mistakes, KTM’s 450 Rally rider finished top 10.

Today 2nd stage of the Silk Way Rally. Tracks were very dangerous and I was cautious. I thought I did a bad result, but in the end it was much better than expected (P10 and P11 Overall)’.

Laia Sanz Silk Way Rally Stage 4

Leaving the Silk Way Rally route in Russia behind, Stage 3 entered different and varying terrain of Mongolia with open road and plains increasing speed and race-pace for all riders, marking Sanz just below top 10 at end of leg.

Finishing Stage 3 in the Silk Way Rally with a P13 and also P13 Overall. We tested some things on the bike to keep improving day by day’.

Starting from Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator, Stage 4 comprised of a looping route on the city’s outskirts, covering over 470 kms against the clock. Once complete, all riders had to leave bikes in parc ferme where only riders could carry out necessary mechanics.

Very happy today with my stage 4 of the #SilkWayRally. P11 and P11 Overall with very good sensations, although I felt bad after eating in the refuelling and I had to make an emergency stop that made me lose some time πŸ†˜πŸ˜–πŸš½

The second part of the marathon stage raced over steep inclines- mountainous stretches which climbed to 1,600 metres above sea level-proving equally demanding where total 337kms was covered. Laia certainly relished the conditions climbing in standings and setting herself up for tricky Stage 6 leg.

Laia and Honda rider Kevin Benavides who lost valuable time due to navigation error during Stage 6

‘Good feeling today at stage 5⃣ of the Silk Way Rally!! Very happy with the pace, times and the result: P8⃣ and P9⃣ in Overall. More and more comfortable with my KTM Factory Racing!! Thanks to the team for the great job! πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ’.

Day 6: Friday July 12th proved game-changer for some, most notably Stage 5 Overall leader Kevin Benavides succumbing to navigation difficulties, losing 20 minutes and dropping to 13th position. With some 408.17 kms to race against the clock, Laia picked up the momentum gained from previous Stages completing leg in 5th position and rounding out 7th Overall in standings.

Very happy with the 5th place in Stage 6 of the #SilkWayRally (P7 Overall). There was a bit of chaos after the refuelling at a difficult navigation point where I didn’t lose much time. But some riders have lost more’.

‘The road-books give us indications that can have several possible interpretations and sometimes they are not totally perfect. When we get lost, we have to accept that this is part of this sport’.

‘In fact, navigation is one of the aspects that should be key, as it has always been. Navigation makes Rally’s have the adventure element which attracts us all’.

Crossing into China, tomorrow, Stages 7-10 will be final decider. Up-date on finish.

Words: Sharon Cox.



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