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Latvala might sense “totally different degree” Rovanpera WRC show in Portugal

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The reigning world champion has thus far produced a faultless show to head into Sunday’s final four stages with a 57.5s lead over Hyundai’s Dani Sordo.

Rovanpera has endured a quiet begin to his title defence by his personal excessive requirements, with the 22-year-old but to attain a victory this yr. His final go to to the highest step of the rostrum got here in New Zealand final October.

The Finn has additionally been absent type the rostrum because the opening spherical in Monte Carlo, having completed fourth within the earlier three rounds in Sweden, Mexico and Croatia as highway place and tyre points hampered his progress.

Nonetheless, this weekend Rovanpera has produced type that noticed him dominate the 2022 marketing campaign. 5 stage wins from Saturday’s seven assessments, together with a surprising effort to win stage 9 by 12.8s, has propelled the Toyota driver right into a commanding lead, however his efficiency hasn’t shocked Latvala.

“After all whenever you obtain the title it’s pure that you just would possibly lose a bit little bit of motivation,” Latvala advised Autosport.

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“There may be mixture of different elements. He has been a bit bit unfortunate with highway place after which the automobile hasn’t been 100% right.

“I might sense initially of this rally that he’s at a unique degree in comparison with different occasions.”

When requested what was probably the most spectacular a part of Rovanpera’s dominant Saturday, Latvala added: “He didn’t have to push a lot anymore as a result of he managed to get the lead, however he was nonetheless taking stage wins within the afternoon.

Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“It appears as if it’s coming very early and he’s very proud of the automobile and has a great feeling. I believe that is the factor with Kalle, when he has this sense then he is ready to assault very arduous.

“He’s possibly a bit bit extra delicate than different drivers with the set-up. If the automobile shouldn’t be precisely proper, he isn’t essentially capable of assault that arduous.”

Rovanpera admitted his day was top-of-the-line he’s had this season up to now, however didn’t assume his efficiency was overly particular.

“I used to be a bit shocked at how massive the gaps have been this morning, however apart from that I used to be making an attempt to push arduous,” Rovanpera advised Autosport.

“This yr there was just a few good days, however this is among the finest for positive.

“I believe a greater beginning place in comparison with yesterday, a little bit of a unique set-up and let’s say the suitable good feeling within the automobile has helped.”

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