Tuesday | 17 May 2022

Bonato applauds Canarian roads

Citroën C3 Rally2 star Yoann Bonato was full of praise for the stages which made up last week’s Rally Islas Canarias.

Bonato, making his first FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) appearance of the season, arrived in Gran Canaria with bad memories. 

In 2021 - when the event ran in mid-November - the Frenchman had been running outside the top five before a crash ruled him out on the final day. 

This year, the tables were turned. Bonato was ‘Mr. Consistent’ as he put his CHL Sport-run car inside the top three on several stages. 

Speaking after the event, Bonato praised the twisty asphalt speed tests and even went as far as saying they were better than the roads in his native France. 

“Honestly, I think this is one of the best rallies in the world on Tarmac, definitely,” he told FIAERC.com. “The roads here are really, really perfect and I think it’s even better than in France. 

“Last year the rally was quite difficult for us, so I am happy that this year was much better. We were really happy with how the car performed and everything, so I think that next year will be even better,” he added.

Bonato was demoted to third after Team MRF Tyres driver Efrén Llarena outpaced him in the Power Stage. After almost 200km, the pair ended on identical times, with Llarena taking second on countback.

“To be honest, the last stage was really hard,” he explained. “The conditions were actually really slippery, especially towards the end of it. 

“When you add in such hot conditions, it’s really not easy to fight. We tried to push and I think that, from our side, we did the best job we could.”

Bonato will miss next month’s Rally Poland (11 - 12 June), but plans to return at Latvia’s Rally Liepãja in July before ending his season on asphalt at Rally di Roma Capitale.