FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup, round 3
Baja Spain Aragón
July 25-27, 2019
The 36th edition of Baja Spain Aragón was fiercely contested again and the outcome was never certain until the finish of the fourth stage. Ultimately, Michael Metge (Sherco) managed to impose his pace and confirm victory for the second successive year, the Frenchman finishing ahead of Junior rider Tosha Schareina (Husqvarna) and Joan Pedrero (KTM).
Cautious at the start, because he was taking part in Baja Spain Aragón with his rally motorcycle that was much heavier and less manoeuvrable on the winding tracks around Teruel, Metge took the lead in the opening stage and held on, despite the challenge from his rivals. "I did not think I would make such a good result," said Michael. “But riding with our Sherco Rally allowed us to test new settings. I quickly had a good feeling with the bike and I was able to keep up a good rhythm throughout the race. These settings are very interesting because David Castera, who was present on the second day on the Baja, told us that the first week of Dakar 2020 would be on beautiful tracks.
“Santolino obviously shared the same settings and we were able to fight on the tracks. I know his track record in Enduro and I was happy to beat him. It gives me confidence. Unfortunately, he took 14 minutes of speeding penalties.
“On the second day, young Tosha (Schareina) was very determined but, in the first special, I lost three to four minutes to the refueling because I had to repair the Stella bracket. On the first day, I fell and the bracket weakened and I arrived at the refueling with the Stella in hand."
It was also a great race for Schareina, who set the fastest time in the second stage and earned the second step on the podium, while Pedrero finished third.
"It was a difficult Baja for me," explained Pedrero. “It was complicated because, on the first day, I crashed and injured my hand and my leg but I continued to attack to try and win the race.”
In the quad category, Dani Vila (Yamaha) claimed victory for the second time in a row, while second place fell to Mario Gajon (KTM), followed by Toni Vingut (KTM).
In the Women's category, Rosa Romero (KTM) won Baja Aragón and finished in front of Rita Vieira (Yamaha) and Sara García (Yamaha).
In Juniors, victory fell to Tosha Schareina (Husqvarna), ahead of Maciej Giemza (Husqvarna) and Adam Tomicek (Husqvarna).
Benjamin Melot (KTM) finished eighth and maintains his lead in the FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup standings, while Aleksandr Maksimov (Yamaha) continues to lead the Quad Championship after finishing fifth.
Indian Aishwaria Pisay (Sherco) leads the Women’s category and Tomas de Gavardo (KTM) tops the Juniors. The Chilean said: "It was not an easy race because I had to face various problems, but I was able to finish and that was my goal."
The final round of the FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup is the Hungarian Baja on August 9-11.
Overall results bike
1.Michael Metge (Sherco) in 6h30’21
2. Tosha Schareina (Husqvarna) @ 3’39
3.Joan Pedrero (KTM) @ 7’18
4.Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) @ 14’36
5.Martin Micek (KTM) @ 21’10
Overall results quad
1.Dani Vila (Yamaha) in 6h56’11
2.Mario Gajon (KTM) @ 14’32
3.Toni Vingut (KTM) @ 19’10
4.Jerome Connart (KTM) @ 32’10
5.Aleksandr Maksimov (Yamaha) @ 36’24