Opening qualifying stage wins for Al-Rajhi, Abu Aisheh and Al-Khulaifi at Saudi Baja 2022 Hail

Opening qualifying stage wins for Al-Rajhi, Abu Aisheh and Al-Khulaifi at Saudi Baja 2022 Hail

10.11.2022: SAUDI BAJA 2022 – HAIL (November 10-12, 2022) FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 7 of 8 FIA Middle East for Cross-Country Bajas, round 3 of 4 FIM Bajas World Cup, round 7 of 8 Saudi Toyota Rally Championship, round 3 of 4 Thursday, No

SAUDI BAJA 2022 – HAIL (November 10-12, 2022)  
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 7 of 8
FIA Middle East for Cross-Country Bajas, round 3 of 4
FIM Bajas World Cup, round 7 of 8  
Saudi Toyota Rally Championship, round 3 of 4
Thursday, November 10th, 2022




Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Abdullah Abu Aisheh and Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi topped the car, motorcycle and quad categories after a shortened 3.91km Qualifying Stage at the start of the three-day Saudi Baja 2022–Hail on Thursday afternoon.


 
Al-Rajhi and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz stopped the clocks in 3min 09.9sec to win the day’s stage by 8.8 seconds in their Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux.
 


Brazilian driver Cristiano de Sousa Batista and his Portuguese co-driver Fausto Mota came home in second and first in T4 and Al-Rajhi’s Czech title rival Miroslav Zapletal and his Slovakian co-driver Marek Sykora were third. Fourth-placed Fernando Alvarez and Xavier Panseri topped the T3 standings.
 


Young Jordanian rider Abdullah Abu Aishah topped the times on two wheels with a run of 3min 33sec on his KTM Factory Rally 450. Great Britain’s Alex McInnes and Makis Rees-Stavros were second and third.
 


Local Yamaha Raptor rider Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi beat Abdulaziz Ahli by nine seconds to win the quad stage. He was also faster than the leading motorcyclist in the FIM category.
 


After the ceremonial start at the Al-Maghawah National Park, competitors tackled a Qualifying Stage that was reduced from 18km to just 3.91km in length. Nineteen FIA cars, 31 motorcycles, four quads and 25 vehicles running in the Saudi National Baja were permitted to start.
 


Majed Al-Thunayyan and Yayha Ali Abdu were disqualified from the FIA event on the grounds that their cars failed stringent technical scrutineering. Maha Al-Hameli and Annie Seel also dropped out of the FIA event and moved their Team Black Horse Can-Am into the National Baja.
 


The seventh round of both the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the FIM Bajas World Cup, round three of the FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the third event in the Saudi Toyota Rally Championship is being organised by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), in conjunction with the Ministry of Sport and in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ) Motors.
 


Tomorrow (Friday), competitors will tackle a slightly revised stage of 229.52km to the west and northwest of Hail, which will be split into two sections of 101.52km and 128.00km by a neutralisation link.
 


The day’s selective section is named after the neighbouring city of Jubbah that is situated 90km northwest of Hail on the old caravan road between Najd and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
 


Saudi Baja 2022-Hail (positions after Qualifying Stage – SS1A (unofficial)):


FIA


1. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota Hilux Overdrive                       3min 09.9sec
2. Cristiano de Sousa Batista (BRA)/Fauto Mota (PRT) Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo RR (T4)         3min 18.7sec
3. Miroslav Zapletal (CZE)/Marek Sykora (SVK) Ford F150 Evo                                    3min 20.5sec
4. Fernando Alvarez (ESP)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3)                         3min 21.3sec
5. Saleh Al-Saif (SAU)/Tariq Al-Rammah (SAU) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3)                           3min 21.5sec
6. Egidijus Valeiša (LTU)/ Mindaugas Varža (LTU) Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo (T4)                3min 26.5sec
7. Aliyyah Koloc (ARE)/Stéphane Duplé (FRA) Buggyra Can-Am DV21                                3min 31.4sec
8. Hamed Al-Harbi (SAU)/Dmytro Tsyro (UKR) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3)                             3min 34.0sec
9. Kees Koolen (NLD)/Paolo Ceci (ITA) Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo (T4)                           3min 34.1sec
10. Meshari Al-Thefiri (KWT)/Oriol Vidal (ESP) Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo RR (T4)               3min 34.2sec
T1 unless stated
 



FIM Bikes


1. Abdullah Abu Aishah (JOR) KTM 450 Factory Rally                                              3min 33.0sec
2. Alex McInnes (GBR) Husqvarna FE 450                                                          3min 37.7sec
3. Makis Rees-Stavros (GBR)   KTM EXC F 450                                                     3min 47.0sec
4. Mohammed Al-Balooshi (ARE) TM 450                                                            3min 52.6sec
5. Salman Mohamed Farhan (BAH) Husqvarna FE 450                                                 3min 59.6sec
6. Martin Chalmers (QAT) Honda CRF 450                                                          4min 01.4sec
7. Abdullah Al-Shatti (KWT) Kawasaki KC 450                                                     4min 09.1sec
8. Ehab Ak-Hakeem (SAU) Yamaha WR 450F                                                          4min 15.7sec
9. Margot Llobera (ESP) KTM EXC 450                                                             4min 21.1sec
10. Othman Al-Ghfeli (SAU) Honda CRF 450                                                        4min 21.8sec, etc
 



FIM Quads


1. Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi (SAU) Yamaha Raptor 700                                            3min 32.7sec
2. Abdulaziz Ahli (SAU) Yamaha YFZ 450R                                                       3min 41.2sec
3. Hani Al-Noumesi (SAU) Yamaha Raptor 700                                                    4min 11.4sec
4. Haitham Al-Tuwaijri (SAU) Yamaha Raptor 700                                                5min 01.7sec                                
 



- Neil Perkins, photos SAMF

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10.11.2022 / MaP

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