A week after the end of the Atacama Rally, Rafał Sonik stood at the starting line of the next round of the FIM World Championship. This time, the six-time winner of the FIM World Cup entered the competition in the Desafio Ruta 40. The Polish racer won fourth place in the prologue of this challenging cross-country race.
„When I entered the Atacama Rally after a 7-month long break, I didn’t know what I’d be able to achieve. It turned out, I was ready to go back to professional racing. Although I haven’t been at my fullest potential yet, I was able to compete so well that I took the podium and gained my first points in this year’s FIM World Championship. It was a highly motivating experience, especially before the Desafio Ruta 40,” said Sonik.
The Argentinian round of the cross-country rallies is one of the most challenging in the FIM championships. The decisive factors include not only a difficult and diverse terrain but also navigational challenges, diurnal temperature variation, and competing against the fastest quad drivers in the world.
„The Desafio Ruta 40 is the only raid of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship which I haven’t been able to win yet. It will be difficult to change it during this edition for I’m aware that my rehabilitation process will last for at least a few more months. I would definitely like to compete for a place on the podium for sure,” admitted the Polish racer.
During the warm-up round, the only Polish competitor found himself 4th, barely 21 seconds after the leader. Nicolas Cavigliasso was first, followed by Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli and Aleksander Maksimow.
On Monday, the participants are to face a 573-kilometer stretch from San Miguel to Belén, including 286 km of the SS. The cavalcade of riders will have to cross a number of dry riverbeds, having to rely on their navigational skills to win.
Prologue results (FIM):
1. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) 6.01
2. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +0.17
3. Aleksander Maksimow (RUS) +0.19
4. Rafał Sonik (POL) +0.21
5. Pablo Copetti (ARG) +0.34
6. Gaston Gonzalez (ARG) +0.38
7. Nicolas Robledo (COL) +0.51
8. Ricardo Amaya (COL) +1.26