Pablo Quintanilla has once again won the FIM’s Cross-Country Rallies championship.
It was a bit of a tough start for the year for Quintanilla, as he was widely expected to challenge for the win at January’s Dakar rally. He ended up withdrawing on Stage 10, but since then, he’s taken his factory Husqvarna to the top of the FIM series standings with solid performances at events around the world; he finished sixth in the OiLibya Morocco Rally, and that was good enough to clinch first overall for him this year, with 100 points.
It’s always interesting to see who’s at the top of the Cross-Countries series, because it’s a good indication of who will be hot at Dakar. This year, Kevin Benavides finished second for Honda (97 points), and seems to be showing he might be ready for the big show at Dakar, instead of his previous gig on the South American satellite squad. KTM’s always-steady Matthias Walkner had 94 points, reliable Honda footsoldier Paulo Goncalves had 85 points, and Sam Sunderland took his KTM to 84 points.