Three consecutive wins. It is Sebastian Buhler's first hattrick at Baja Portalegre. The Hero rider was again the strongest in the Portuguese off-road blue ribbon event and won the FIM World Cup in Bajas. The result achieved is even more impressive because Buhler's teammate, Joaquim Rodrigues, made his debut in the Alentejo classic and gave the Indian brand a one-two. The podium was completed with Bruno Santos. At the helm of a Husqvarna, the rider secured the third Top 3 in the ACP race.
The 34th edition of Baja Portalegre was held under very particular conditions. The pandemic forced the organisation to take special measures to make the competition a reality. The teams once again made a strong presence and there were almost a hundred participants in the two-wheeler category.
The weather conditions made the rider’s and organisation’s task even more challenging. If on the first day, competitors covered the entire route, the second stage had to be shortened because the rain made many areas of the track impassable.
Thus, Sebastian Buhler started for this last day of competition, with 79 kilometers against the clock, in the front. The difference for his teammate was 53 seconds. In the third selective sector, the Hero rider number 5 was, once again, the strongest and ended his participation with the triumph and a 1m14.4s advantage over Joaquim Rodrigues.
“Yesterday was a very hard day because we did the whole stage under water, but it ended up being positive because we gained some advantage for today. This stage was supposed to be 300 kilometers but because of the rain, they had to cut it. We only did 80 kilometers. Nobody wanted it, but the organisation had to make this decision for our safety. It was very good to achieve the third victory in Portalegre and we will try another victory next year,” said Buhler.
The only driver who won a selective sector besides Buhler was Bruno Santos. The Husqvarna rider was even the first leader of the Baja Portalegre 500 to be the fastest in SS1. After that, he lost positions to Hero's men but remained in third place until the end of the race.
António Maio becomes champion in Portalegre
The new national motorcycle champion had a bittersweet participation in Baja Portalegre. Betting on achieving another triumph – the seventh – the Yamaha rider got in the way at the beginning of the second selective sector, with engine problems on his bike. Unable to compete, the local rider was forced to pack everything on the first day of competition. However, the baja didn't score for the national championship and Maio secured the title.