The Monster Energy Honda Team got the Morocco Rally off to a start with good result in the first full stage of the race, although the squad had its first retiree. Gonçalves, Brabec and Cornejo successfully completed a tough first day, while Benavides was forced to drop out after a heavy fall.
A long and gruelling day got the first stage of the Morocco Rally underway – the fifth and final round of the world championship, which started in Fez and concluded in Erfoud. The day was made up of two parts, with a first 98.68-kilometre special after crossing the Atlas between Boulemane and Midelt, followed by a second, some 68.5 kilometres after completing a long liaison section in the Erfoud region, The navigation proved to be particularly tricky, with some demanding steps. Rock-filled fast track and dry river beds were the order of the day
Portuguese Monster Energy Honda Team rider Paulo Gonçalves, performed well to finish fourth on the day, 8’47” off the time posted by Toby Price. American Ricky Brabec, who finished in fifth spot, conceded some time 13’19” but will lies in a good position to try to claw back some time in the special tomorrow. Meanwhile, Nacho Cornejo played things cautiously and got the rally off to a good start. The seventh position of the Chilean likewise leaves the rider well-placed to start day two.
However, if the start of the rally was positive for Gonçalves, Brabec and Cornejo, Kevin Benavides had things go against him. Monster Energy Honda Team’s Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides had a serious accident at kilometre 395. After receiving medical assistance on track, he was transported to the hospital in Errachidia in ambulance where he underwent further analysis which revealed no significant injuries.
The second stage will depart from Erfoud tomorrow with a total of 281 kilometres of special, mostly, in the area filled with dunes and sand. Navigation will be important in a day with a total of 317 kilometres.
Results Stage 1
|1||Price Toby||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||2:13'18|
|2||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+2'48|
|3||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+6'13|
|4||Goncalves Paulo||4||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+8'47|
|5||Brabec Ricky||11||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+13'19|
|6||de Soultrait Xavier||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+13'45|
|7||Cornejo José Ignacio||15||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+14'23|
|8||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+16'14|
|9||Svitko Stefan||SLO||Slovnaft Team||KTM||+18'11|
|10||Caimi Stefano||ARG||Honda Argentina - MEC Team||Honda||+19'04|
Provisional standings after Stage 1
|1||Price Toby||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||2:22'05|
|2||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+2'58|
|3||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+6'26|
|4||Goncalves Paulo||4||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+9'08|
|5||Brabec Ricky||11||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+13'34|
|6||de Soultrait Xavier||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+14'13|
|7||Cornejo José Ignacio||15||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+15'44|
|8||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+16'33|
|9||Svitko Stefan||SLO||Slovnaft Team||KTM||+18'45|
|10||Caimi Stefano||ARG||Honda Argentina - MEC Team||Honda||+19'40|
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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