When the three-stage 2018 Desafio Inca rally finished on Sunday in Inca, Peru, Paulo Gonçalves walked away with yet another victory in the 2018 FIM Cross-Country FIM Rallies World Championship.The Monster Energy Honda Team CRF450 Rally pilot got quicker as the rally progressed, finishing:
6th in stage one behind winner Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team)
3rd in stage two behind winner Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team)
1st in stage three
Monster Energy Honda said the final 180-kilometer stage was a highly productive one for Paulo, who held a solid, error-free pace and was able to catch up the preceding riders. Gonçalves crossed the line in Ica with the best time of the day, finishing over two minutes ahead of KTM 450 Rally pilots Price and Sam Sunderland.Gonclaves was joined on the overall podium by Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team’s Matthias Walkner and Husvarana Factory Rally Team’s Andrew Short.“We have finished this important test here in Peru, the Desafio Inca,” Paulo Goncalves says. “It went very well because we won the race. Today I had a starting position that could have complicated things, but Kevin did very well opening the track. I was able to push a lot and those behind weren’t able to catch me.“I am happy for myself and for the team. This was a race with riders with a very good pace. You have to stay attentive and not relax. The most important part is still to come.This was Honda’s third victory in South America, including Benavides win in the Atacama Rally, and Gonclaves at the Desafío Ruta 40 and Desafio Inca.Following the 2018 Desafio Inca, Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) continues to lead the FIM Cross Countries World Rally points with 69, eight ahead of Price and 12 ahead of Goncalves.The series now heads to Africa for the Morocco Rally, the fifth and final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship ahead of the 2019 Dakar Rally; the Morocco Rally is set for October 3-9.