Al Attiyah leads the pack at Sealine Rally

Sport360 staff 03:10 22/04/2015
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Inside the top 10: The UAE’s Balooshi.

Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah, Spain’s Marc Coma and Poland’s Rafal Sonik lead the Sealine Cross-Country Rally after a 398.88km competitive section in the west and south of Doha.

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Car, motorcycle and quad stage victories on the day fell to Al Attiyah, Austrian KTM rider Matthias Walkner and Sonik. Al Attiyah, Coma and Sonik now head their respective categories by 13min 03sec, 2min 03sec and 58 seconds.

It was a very long stage. I started sixth and tried to catch everybody and did that at 160km,” said Coma. Walkner was pleased with his stage performance and the win.

“It was quite okay. (Jordi) Viladoms did a really good job and made the navigation work. Now we have to work hard again tomorrow.”

The UAE’s Mohammed Al Balooshi is sixth overall going into today’s third stage. 

Balooshi experienced technical difficulties with this navigation equipment yesterday, and said: “After a harsh landing, my GPS malfunctioned and my navigation got seriously compromised because I was only able to use the roadbook which has very small writing, so the fall in speed became really dramatic.

“I rode in these very disadvantageous conditions for almost all of the first section until I had to stop to try to repair it. I was lucky I could put it back to work but had already lost a lot of time.”

In the cars category, Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi was the early leader of the second stage, but Al Attiyah eventually won the stage.

Al Rajhi’s goal at the start of the event was second overall and the Saudi performed admirably to set the second quickest time and retain second place, although he also stopped on two occasions to change wheels.

“One slow puncture,” said Al Rajhi. “We tried to carry on, but every 10km the pressure was going down and we had to change. Then, we got another one 180km from the end and had to stop and change. But second place was the target, so I am quite happy.”

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