September 2018 has been a profitable month for Monster Energy Honda’s Paulo Gonçalves in terms of confidence gained on the 2019 factory HRC machine and key set-up ideas and tests as the 2019 Dakar draws ever nearer. The Portuguese veteran followed his recent Desafio Ruta 40 victory in Argentina with further spoils over the weekend to claim the Desafio Inca: a race staged over three days in Peru.
It was the second set of spoils for ‘PG’ but the third on the continent for the Honda team who had managed to hit a high technical stride despite the setbacks of injuries to Joan Barreda and Kevin Benavides. The latter – a 2018 Dakar podiumee and winner in Chile a few weeks ago – was actually back in the frame and clinched the second day of the contest. Gonçalves was able to set himself behind his teammate and emerged the quickest of the field for victory.