João Dias re-inscribed his name on the list of winners of the national TT queen event, the Baja Portalegre 500. The Can Am driver was the strongest and finished in first place, as he had already done in 2015. With the victory he became national champion and won the Bajas FIM World Cup in the category.
João Dias' test was almost perfect. In addition to the victory and the cup and championship achievements, the Can Am driver was also the fastest in two of the three selective sectors of this edition, which was marked by the extremely difficult weather conditions that forced major changes during the competition.
João Dias closed his participation in first place with an advantage of only 19.5 seconds for the pair that makes team with him in Benimoto Racing, Alexandre Pinto / Fábio Belo. The formation of Roberto Borrego and Nuno Abrantes completed the podium places at 1m04.2s.
The contestants who formed the most filled list of subscribers of the 34th Baja Portalegre 500 faced conditions that reminded them of epic editions that contributed to this being considered the queen test of TT in Portugal. On the first day, Dias was the strongest in SS1, but saw Ricardo Domingues impose his pace in the second selective sector. At the end of the inaugural stage, it was Domingues who led with 19.2 seconds over Alexandre Pinto / Fábio Belo, while João Dias occupied the third position, at 48.6 seconds.
The night brought many changes. The intense rain on the first day led the Automóvel Club de Portugal to look for alternatives so that there was still competition in the second stage. The solution found was to reduce the more than 300 km of timed route to 80 km as there were too many areas that were impassable.
“We were taken by surprise with the changes in the route of the second day, but we have to congratulate ACP because they did not throw the towel on the floor. With yesterday's rain, they managed to prevent the race from being canceled. We did less kilometers, but we did. Today I had a lot of fun. The track was spectacular. I attacked hard. I've reached the end. Won. It was very good”, said João Dias.
Despite the changes, the time differences between pilots were reduced and everything was open. In such a way that, despite leaving late, João Dias managed to recover the time and won. The winner secured the title and Luís Cidade, who was fourth in Portalegre, held second place in the championship.