FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup, round 2
Baja Portalegre 500
November 5-7, 2020
Portalegre brought good fortune to Sebastian Bühler (Hero) for the third successive season, as he claimed victory over team-mate Joachim Rodrigues and third-placed Micael Simão (KTM).
Unfortunately, incessant rain and intense flooding hit the Portuguese region and forced the organisation to shorten the third stage from 300km to 79km. In the quad category, Toni Vingut (Yamaha) lost all his opponents and was the sole finisher in the FIM category while, in SSVs, João Dias claimed victory and the title.
The Baja Portalegre 500 rounded off a very unusual 2020 season decimated by Covid-19. With German rider Bühler (Hero) winning the race, he also claimed the FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup title from Micael Simão ( KTM) and Maciej Giemza (Husqvarna).
Bühler said: “Yesterday, it was a difficult stage because we crossed it in the rain. Having said that, I was able to increase the gap to my rivals, so it was a positive day. Unfortunately, today, we were only able to run a very small special of 79km instead of the planned 300km. It is frustrating but the organisation made this decision for our safety. I am obviously happy to win this event once again and it is a great satisfaction to win the FIM Baja World Cup title with Hero."
Toni Vingut (Yamaha) also enjoyed FIM Baja World Cup success, ahead of the hapless Luis Engeitado and Olga Rouckova.
Victory fell to Janaina Souza (Honda) in the women's category. She finished ahead of Rosa Romero (KTM) and Sara Garcia (Yamaha).
In Juniors, Maciej Giemza (Husqvarna) secured victory laurels and the title, the Polish rider finishing in front of the Chilean Tomas de Gavardo (KTM) - who has learned a lot in the last two Baja seasons - and Konrad Dabrowski (KTM), who has also been learning Baja basics.
Pedro Bianchi Prata (Honda) won the Veteran Trophy in the FIM Bajas World Cup.
In SSV, João Dias said at the finish of the Baja: “We were taken by surprise by the course changes on the second day. With yesterday's rain, the organisation managed to prevent the race from being cancelled. Today I had a lot of fun. The route was spectacular. I attacked hard, finished and won."
The crew of Alexandre Pinto and Fábio Belo (Can Am) climbed on to the second step of the podium and Luis Cidade and Pedro Mendonça (Can Am) finished third.
By winning the first FIM Bajas SSV World Cup, João Dias was followed to the finish by Alexandre Pinto and Luis Cidade Pires for the driver’s title, while Belo, Mendonca and Pereira finished first, second and third on the co-driver’s podium.