On Thursday, the racers in Abu Dhabi had to cover the longest distance of this competition in one day. Having covered more than a hundred kilometers before the start, the participants had a speed section of 308 kilometers, which stretched through dunes of various sizes and shapes. Fog in the morning delayed the start by two hours, making the day even longer, but the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team finished with smiles on their faces and said it was one of the best days of racing.
"We got up early today because we had to drive for more than an hour to the start. In the morning there was a fog and the start was postponed for two hours for safety reasons, so the day started rather gloomy, but when we started driving and the sun came out, everything changed. It was a very good ride, Antanas and I rode together almost the whole way - sometimes one led, sometimes the other, thus allowing each other to rest. I had to drive in the dunes “against the hair” - climb up the steep walls and go down the sloping side. Although it was the longest speed stage, I liked it the most so far", said Adomas Gančierius after the finish.
According to the preliminary results, the athlete finished third today, 18 minutes behind Laisvydas Kancius, and almost 40 minutes ahead of his main rival, with whom he is fighting for third place. In the general standings, A. Gančierius maintains the third position in the quad standings. Speaking about tomorrow, the member of the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team said that they will ride calmly in order to successfully reach the finish line.
Antanas Kanopkinas, who returned to the bivouac, was also happy with the day's speed section: "We drove through the dunes like waves, overcoming one after another, without any problems and without any surprises. After a little rest, I would love to go again - a very good speed section."
It is true that, although the athlete successfully passed the speed stage, the mechanics will have to repair a slightly cracked rear shock absorber bracket, but this, according to them, is an easily resolved detail.
On Friday, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge caravan will turn back towards the city of Abu Dhabi, where the event will close and the awards ceremony will take place. Athletes will start early and have to overcome a 206 kilometer speed stage and more than 160 kilometers of crossings on public roads.