The fifth part of the Silk Way Rally has brought similar results to the preceding stage. The trucks kept after the group of motorcyclists and quad riders who had to press hard to stay away. Aleksander Maksimow relentlessly pushed forward but Rafał Sonik stood the pressure. Keeping a strong and steady tempo allowed him to win another special stage in the rally.
The second part of the marathon stage always demands more caution from the participants. The vehicles, which undergo only basic maintenance service, are more prone to breakdowns. However, this time, Sonik’s Yamaha Raptor performed perfectly. „I think that after the oil and air filter change plus some basic tuning, I could make it through another whole day of a marathon stage. It just proves that my quad is very well-prepared,” asserted the leader of the Silk Way Rally, obviously proud of his tech team.
During the second part of the 337km special stage, several slower motorbikes and quads had to make way to the passing trucks and cars and the cloud of dust they left behind. „After yesterday, we knew what was coming, but today there were two additional challenging factors, the sun and the wind. From my past experiences, especially from the rallies in Sardinia, I know that when it gets windy and the temperature is increasing, it may seem better but, at the same time, it feels like your brain is being blown away by the wind,” smiled Sonik, visibly worn out. „It means that you are not able to think clearly which leads to silly mistakes. Today, for example, I began at full speed and only later I realized I still had 300m of a low-speed limit zone. I will most likely be penalized for it, which will decrease my lead over Maksimow. Luckily, I still have a significant time advantage from the previous days.”
„SuperSonik” crossed the finish line sweaty and heated. After four hours of driving across the steppes covered with rocks and tall, sandy clumps of bushes, the contestants had to take a long time to cool off. “It’s starting to get hot, and it’s barely a prelude to what awaits us in the Gobi Desert,” said the rally racer.
Arkadiusz Lindner was now able to join the racers for the fifth stage of the rally. A sweeper truck recovered his broken quad from the road the day before. The Polish contestant was taken to the bivouac by a helicopter. The mishap, however, might have been a blessing in disguise. “Before I got on the helicopter, the organizer announced that we should stay in the truck until further notice because there was a pack of wolves roaming nearby. One might say it as a stroke of luck,” reported the Polish racer.
“In the end, I had to give up on the fifth stage and accept a time penalty of several hours. We have to out the quad back in order, take care of the troublesome rims, and figure out the unexplained sputtering. We are going to work on it in Mandalgovi and then rejoin the race for the last stage in Mongolia. I still want to take a stab at the sands of the Gobi and hit the finish line in Dunhuang,” announced Lindner.
Two Polish motorcyclists also still remain in the race. Adam Tomiczek and Maciej Giemza are 11th and 12th in the ranking of the race.