THE FOURTH STAGE OF THE RALLY OF TUNISIA, CHALECO KEEPS FOCUSED AND FINISHES ONLY THIRTEEN SECONDS FROM THE STAGE WINNER, MARC COMA. IN THE GENERAL CLASSIFICATION, THE CHILEAN HAS TWENTY THREE MINUTES OVER PRZYGONSKI AND THE SPANISH CHAMPION.
THE FOURTH STAGE OF THE RALLY OF TUNISIA, CHALECO KEEPS FOCUSED AND FINISHES ONLY THIRTEEN SECONDS FROM THE STAGE WINNER, MARC COMA. IN THE GENERAL CLASSIFICATION, THE CHILEAN HAS TWENTY THREE MINUTES OVER PRZYGONSKI AND THE SPANISH CHAMPION. TOMORROW, THE PENULTIMATE STAGE OF THE RALLY WITH 180 KM
KSAR GHILANE -- "The longest day" was called the fourth stage of the Rally of Tunisia that started heading north from Nekrif to the small oasis of Ksar Ghilane. A brief connection followed by the special section of 280 km, fast in the first part, crossing amazing landscapes like the canyon of Oum Zougar. Then, sand and small dunes, the oil pipe to get to the second past and the hardest due to the soft sand.
Lopez started third from the bivouac of Nekrif this morning, and he joined Rodrigues at CP1 and then he has launched a persecution to reach Coma. Right before CP2, the Portuguese left the stage due to a broke fork, so "Chaleco" arrived alone to the refueling, only one minute behind Marc Coma.
From here on Lopez added the "turbo" and, despite a fall on dangerous small dune - which made him lost about thirty seconds - and at CP3 he took back almost all the advantage from the Spanish. "Chaleco" and his Aprilia RXV 4.5 arrived to the finish in Ksar Ghilane with a total time of 3h10'52, only thirteen seconds higher than that of Marc Coma, who won the stage.
Lopez is in a desirable position, since he has lost virtually nothing from the excellent Spanish rider and tomorrow he will start behind Coma. But most important, Lopez has further increased the advantage over other rivals. With Rodriguez out of the game, "Chaleco" is on top of the general classification, more than 23 minutes ahead of Polish Jakub Przygonski and Marc Coma is third. His main rival in the 450 class is David Casteu, 33 minutes away.
The stage of tomorrow, with 180 km selective section, will be a loop around Ksar Ghilane, and the dunes of the "Grand Erg Oriental" will add some more action to the race.
Francisco Lopez: "It was a perfect stage, hard, stony in the first part, then, lots of oueds to go through before the refueling and the beginning of the dunes. You had to be careful with navigation because there were many dangers at the same time. After the refueling I fell in a small dune, nothing bad, but I lost some seconds. Then, I stayed focused and I lost a few seconds over Coma."
-source: Team Giofil Aprilia Racing