Posted on July 12, 2019

Finding the right way on stage six at the 2019 Silk Way Rally could end up being the difference between success and failure. In the final Mongolian stage of the rally the country’s picturesque landscape provided a sting in the tail. Many of the top competitors lost their way en route to Dalanzadgad. Now the overall rankings have been shaken up ahead of the border crossing into China.

In the bike race it was Sam Sunderland (GBR) who managed to avoid all the navigational pitfalls during today’s 408-kilometre timed special stage. Despite opening the road, Sunderland was able to make time on all of his rivals for first place in the bike race. “I was riding alone up front for a long time today. It’s really nice scenery and I’ve really been enjoying my time here in Mongolia.” – Sam Sunderland. There was a Top 5 finish on the stage for Sunderland’s fellow Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider Laia Sanz (ESP). The third member of the squad, Luciano Benavides (ARG), drops to third overall after running into navigational trouble. “The roadbook was a little complicated to read, I took my time and found the right way. I guess I lost about three minutes looking for the correct way.” – Laia Sanz

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In the car race the runaway leaders, Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA), looked to be in a vulnerable position after making a navigational mistake. However, all of their rivals also followed the duo’s Toyota Hilux in taking a wrong turn. The result was a sixth consecutive stage win for Al-Attiyah and Baumel as they extended their lead in the car race to over 40 minutes. “Sometimes navigation is not easy, and today was one of those days. We were never lost, we just had to go back a few hundred metres to find the right way. I’m still very happy with how our race is going.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah

In the truck contest there was little progress by Team Kamaz Master as they try to knock Siarhay Viazovich (BLR) off top spot. Kamaz’s leading truckers Anton Shibalov (RUS) and Andrey Karginov (RUS) both went on the attack, but their Belarusian rival was able to match their speed on stage six. “Today was the fastest stage of the entire rally so far. I was on the gas pedal all day. The speed was constantly around 138 to 140kph!” – Andrey Karginov

Tomorrow sees the 2019 Silk Way Rally enter its third and final country, China. There will be no timed special stage, but the convoy must still complete a liaison route of over 550 kilometres. It’s the closest thing to a Rest Day at this edition of the Silk Way.

2019 Silk Way Rally: Stage 6 Results

Car: Top 3

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA)   Toyota Hilux   01:56:35
2. Eric Van Loon (NLD)/Sebastien Delaunay (FRA)   Toyota Hilux   +00:03:15
3. Mathieu Serradori (FRA)/Fabian Lurquin (BEL)   Buggy   +00:03:25

Bike: Top 3
1. Oriol Mena (ESP)   Hero   02:13:32
2. Adam Tomiczek (POL)   Husqvarna   +00:00:16
3. Joan Barreda (ESP)   Honda   +00:03:03

Truck: Top 3
1. Siarhay Viazovich (BLR)   MAZ  02:08:14
2. Anton Shibalov (RUS)   Kamaz   +00:00:27
3. Ayrat Mardeev (RUS)   Kamaz   +00:00:28

2019 Silk Way Rally: Overall Rankings after Stage 6

Car: Top 3

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA)   Toyota Hilux   13:44:16
2. Kun Liu (CHN)/Hongyu Pan (CHN)   SMG Buggy   +00:40:33
3. Jérome Pelichet (FRA)/Pascal Larroque (FRA)   Optimus

Bike: Top 3
1. Sam Sunderland (GBR)   KTM   15:02:50
2. Oriol Mena (ESP)   Hero   +00:21:10
3. Luciano Benavides (ARG)   KTM   +00:23:17

Truck: Top 3
1. Siarhay Viazovich (BLR)   MAZ   14:42:19
2. Anton Shibalov (RUS)   Kamaz   +00:16:31
3. Andrey Karginov (RUS)   Kamaz   +00:23:52