Off Road

Quintanilla pips Sunderland to win 2016 rally world title

British rider Sunderland denied as Quintanilla turns up gas in final stage

PABLO Quintanilla has beaten rivals Toby Price and Sam Sunderland to claim the 2016 Cross Country Rallies World Championship

The Chilean rider took his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna to a hard fought second place on day five of the OilLibya Rally of Morocco, to claim enough points to beat reigning Dakar champion, Toby Price and Red Bull KTM Racing teammate, Britain’s Sam Sunderland.

Quintanilla (pictured above) had been third and second in the opening two rounds in the Desert Challenge, UAE and the Sealine Rally in Qatar. He then won at home in the Atacama Rally, Chile, and finished second this week in Morocco to claim his and Husqvarna’s first Rally title. He was also third in the Dakar Rally 2016, the premiere event of the season.

The latest Morocco Rally has been a tough one with difficult dunes and mechanical problems for some, particularly Team HRC. Pablo went to Morocco with an 11-point lead over second-placed Sunderland but by stage four on Thursday the British rider had narrowed the gap.

But Quintanilla turned up the gas on the final day to finish just 2.21 minutes behind stage winner Toby Price.

Quintanilla said: “I’m really happy about the season and for the team. We put in a lot of effort and hard work during the year. I just want to thank the team for the amazing job they did at every race. For me this is a dream come true. It is something I have been dreaming about for many years, and with so much passion. Now I am the new world champion.”

FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship

1. Quintanilla, 93 points

2. Sunderland, 86

3. Price, 82

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