Silk Way Rally 2021: Stage 2 Reaction

Quotes from the top ten riders after stage two of the 2021 Silk Way Rally

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Stage two of the 2021 Silk Way Rally is now finished and Daniel Sanders took his maiden cross-country rally victory on-board the GASGAS Factory machine.

Reaction from the main protagonists following a challenging, diverse test can be read below.

Daniel Sanders – GASGAS Factory Racing – 1st

“It’s my first ever stage win for GASGAS and also my first ever win in the world championship, so this is pretty cool! It was good, I had good fun on today’s stage. It was quite fast for the first 50km before we entered the forest. It was pretty dense in there so visibility wasn’t so good, but fortunately the route followed a track for the most part and I just focused on the dangers. It was a little bit like a fast enduro test, which is something that I’m used to, and I really enjoyed it. I’ll lead out tomorrow and it looks like navigation will be really important, but I’m excited about the challenge ahead and look forward to going racing again.”

Image: Yamaha Motor Europe

Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha2nd

“Another really good day and the stage was just awesome. It was like a motocross track for half of it as it was rough, fast, and really good fun. It’s great to move into the [overall] lead and I’m feeling fit and strong. There’s still a long way to the end and I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings. My bike has been working perfectly so far and the support from my team and the fans here in Russia has been amazing.”

Skyler Howes – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna – 3rd

“Stage two was really good fun, and it was great to see some fans out there cheering us on. There wasn’t much in the way of navigation today, it was a pretty fast stage on pretty fast roads. Through the trees there were a lot of big mud holes and ruts, as well as a lot of vegetation. It made the special quite interesting to go from a really fast pace early on to picking your lines through the more technical stuff. I enjoyed the whole stage and it’s been really cool to rip through Russia like this – my result was good too. Only eight more days left!”

Image: RallyZone

Matthias Walkner – Red Bull KTM – 4th

“That was one of the nicest stages I have ridden. We spent a lot of time in the forest, but the terrain changed a lot – sometimes it was sandy, sometimes it was stony – it was also quite fast. With some big holes and bumps, along with water-filled ruts, it was very technical in places too, but good fun to ride. You had to take a few risks to keep to a good pace, but overall I enjoyed it. There wasn’t much in the way of navigation, and so I decided it would be difficult to make up a lot of time on such a short special and just kept a good rhythm to the finish. Tomorrow’s stage is still quite short and then we travel into Mongolia tomorrow, which I’m really looking forward to. It looks like things will become a lot tougher from there.”

Joaquim Rodrigues – Hero MotoSports – 5th

“The stage today started with really fast tracks before we entered the forests. Those forest sections were really dangerous, with bumps that could not be seen easily due to the grass. The final part had a lot of fast sections with undulations and water, and I had a few close calls there. Overall, it was a good stage.”

Image: Hero MotoSports

Sebastian Buhler – Hero MotoSports – 6th

“The stage today was very different from what we normally encounter during rallies, due to the trees and dark mud. I did not make any navigation mistakes and I tried to push a little today. I think I did a good job because the timings are really close. Overall, it was a positive day for me, and we still have many days to go.”

Franco Caimi – Hero MotoSports – 7th

“I am happy with the stage today and with a seventh position. Opening the stage helped me in building my confidence of navigating by myself, without any tracks to follow. Still, I did not lose too much time from the leader, so it puts me in a good place for the rest of the rally. I just want to continue this good performance, and I will try to improve each day”

Image: RallyZone

Luciano Benavides – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna – 8th

“It was a good stage for me today. I felt good in the faster open pistes near the start. The bike performed really well there too, which is very encouraging. Then we headed into the forest, which is the sort of terrain I struggle with the most, over a lot of bumps and through the ruts. I decided it was best to stay safe and not risk having any crashes, so maybe lost a little time on the leaders towards the end, but on such a short stage it wasn’t too bad. We have stage three tomorrow, where we then head across the border and then the longer stages start, so I’m really looking forward to that.”

Image: Yamaha Motor Europe

Andrew Short – Monster Energy Yamaha – 9th

“It was a fun stage today. At the start the atmosphere was amazing with lots of fans around, which we haven’t really had for a long time. The middle of the stage was awesome as the route went through a forest and it was like an enduro section. It was definitely my favourite part of the rally so far. Overall, another solid result for me to build from as we head into day three.”

Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha – 10th

“Today’s stage was really varied with sand, forests, mud, and fast roads. It was quite rough and technical in places and I enjoyed it a lot. I felt great on the bike and I focused on riding without mistakes today as you could lose a lot of time with a crash or mistake, especially in the forest. I thought I was on the pace, but I was a little bit off, which is a shame, so perhaps I was a little too cautious. Overall, I’m still in fourth, my bike is good, and there is a long way to go.”

Words: Daniel Blackham Lead Image: RallyZone