Argentine rider Kevin Benavides and American Ricky Brabec look set to finish on the rostrum of the Morocco Rally, the final race of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, with just the final stage left to dispute. In the second leg of the marathon stage in M’hamid, Benavides finished second.
With Paulo Gonçalves out after retiring yesterday with an injured right hand, Monster Energy Honda Team now focuses attention on improving the results of the two remaining riders in the race: Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec. The second part of the marathon stage was held today over a shortened 170.86 kilometre course, after the second stretch had been cancelled, with race authorities citing safety concerns due to flooded rivers.
After clinching a first ever stage victory in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, American Ricky Brabec had to start out from first position in the rally’s penultimate stage, which set off from Erg Lihoudi. The day started with fast track before arriving at the dunes with a 40 kilometre trek through the sand. The special wound up with a fast track section. Riders later arrived at the neutralization zone at the Erfoud bivouac.
Ricky Brabec dropped some time as a result of some minor confusion and was caught up by the other riders. By the end of the day the Californian had finished in seventeenth place, but holds fourth position overall. Kevin Benavides held a solid pace throughout and was indeed fast enough to have taken the stage victory outright, had it not been for a doubt about the roadbook, which cost the rider time and eventually robbed him of the chance of a first stage win in the Morocco Rally. Kevin lies third in the overall standings.
The Morocco Rally concludes tomorrow, Tuesday, in Erfoud after a 163 kilometre special.
Stage 4 results
|1||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||01:55'20|
|2||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'08|
|3||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+2'42|
|4||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+3'15|
|5||Santolino Lorenzo||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+3'59|
|6||Metge Adrien||11||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+4'18|
|7||Rodrigues Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+4'26|
|8||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+4'43|
|9||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+5'14|
|10||Pedrero Joan||12||SPA||Moto Racing Group - MRG||KTM||+6'49|
|11||Aubert Johnny||FRA||1ForAll Motorsport||Yamaha||+7'34|
|13||Botturi Alessandro||ITA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+8'28|
|14||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+9'24|
|15||España Cristian||AND||1ForAll Motorsport||Yamaha||+10'03|
Provisional Standings after Stage 4
|1||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||8:05'35|
|2||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+6'49|
|3||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+13'58|
|4||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+20'27|
|5||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+22'19|
|6||Pedrero Joan||12||SPA||Moto Racing Group - MRG||KTM||+24'12|
|7||Rodrigues Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+33'17|
|8||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+35'25|
|9||Metge Adrien||11||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+37'12|
Morocco has always been a land of rally raid. The story began in 1982 with the arrival of Paris-Agadir, the first rally raid to run in Morocco. The following year, the rally took the name of ‘Atlas Rally’ and became the flagship rally to the Rally Raids calendar. The Atlas… read more.
|Winner 2018||Toby Price (KTM)|
|Winner 2017||Matthias Walkner (KTM)|
|Winnner 2016||Toby Price (KTM)|
|Winner 2015||Sam Sunderland (KTM)|
|Winner 2014||Marc Coma (KTM)|
|Winner 2013||Paulo Gonçalves (Honda)|
|Winner 2012||Cyril Despres (KTM)|
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