x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Dani Sordo wheels toward second win for Citroen

Abu Dhabi Citroen’s Dani Sordo will fight for his second victory of the season on Sunday, when the final leg of Rally Spain takes place.

Team Abu Dhabi's Dani Sordo of Spain and co-driver Carolos del Barrio have their Citroen in position to challenge for the win at the Rally Spain. Jaume Sellart / EPA
Team Abu Dhabi's Dani Sordo of Spain and co-driver Carolos del Barrio have their Citroen in position to challenge for the win at the Rally Spain. Jaume Sellart / EPA

Abu Dhabi Citroen’s Dani Sordo will fight for his second victory of the season on Sunday, when the final leg of Rally Spain takes place.

The Spaniard, who has already won Rally Germany, his first success in the World Rally Championship (WRC), will begin Sunday’s final six stages just 1.2 seconds adrift of Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala.

Sordo, who conceded he had slowed late in Saturday’s second leg to ensure he was not leading, said starting second will give him an advantage as Latvala will have to go first on the gravel stages and consequently will have less grip than the cars which will go after him.

“I lost a little bit at the end so I will be in a better position,” he told wrc.com. “All I can do is try my best tomorrow. The tactics really started yesterday and they have gone OK, I’m happy. Can I win? I hope so. I will do my best.”

Sebastian Ogier, who has already won the WRC title, remains an outside hope for victory, starting in fourth, 46.5 seconds behind his teammate Latvala after suffering a puncture.

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi was happier with his pace as the Emirati finished 13th, more than eight minutes off the lead, after acknowledging he had found Friday’s three night stages difficult.

“What I thought were damp patches didn’t really help me get into the swing of things on the first two stages last night,” said the Abu Dhabi Citroen driver. “But I was more aggressive on the third stage and that helped me to get closer to the pace of the leading drivers.

“I then asked the team to soften the set-up a little so that I feel more confident.”

Mohammed Al Mutawaa, driving in the WRC3 junior category, was 22nd overall and second in his class, while fellow Emirati Mohammed Al Sahlawi, who is making his WRC debut in the WRC3 series, was down in 43rd.

Sunday’s final leg will comprise six stages, covering 140 kilometres.

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MOTO GP: Lorenzo shows he is not done with title fight yet

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Jorge Lorenzo put himself in the ideal spot to keep his MotoGP title defence hopes alive by claiming pole position for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The Spaniard must ensure that championship rival Marc Marquez, who starts second, does not outscore him by eight points, to keep the fight going to the final round in Spain next month.

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UAE ROTAX MAX: Pakenham Walsh, Babington and Al Qassemi all take honours in Dubai

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Piers Pakenham Walsh acknowledged he had to work hard to enjoy success in the DD2 class of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Championship at Dubai Autodrome.

Pakenham Walsh overcame problems to come out on top in the first final on Friday as he passed Oliver George to claim his first success in the series.

He said: “We qualified second, but slipped down to third in the heat and then second again in the pre-final. I made a good move halfway through the final, then I managed to stay in the lead and take the win.”

Sean Babington won the Max Seniors category, while Walid Al Qassemi came out on top in the Max Masters, with Maurits Knopjes winning the DD2 Masters.

Pascal Pook triumphed in the Junior Masters, Shehab Al Hamsi was the victor in the Micro Max class, as he won all three races, and there was also a hat-trick of wins for Tehmur Chohan in the Mini Max competition.

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