Team HRC were able to salvage something out of what turned out to be the toughest and most complicated day so far in the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, finishing in positions that will leave them poised for attack over the next stages. The best of the bunch were Goncalves and Barreda finishing in fourth and fifth respectively – a significant result considering the day’s unfavourable starting order.
Difficult and complicated are the words that spring to mind when describing the M’Hamid to Cheggaga fourth stage of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco which played out over an abundance of sand dunes and rocky track. It was also a stage demanding a skilful command of navigation, one that left Joan Barreda riding the entire special unaccompanied. As yesterday’s stage winner, the Spaniard was forced to open the track – and there at the front he stayed until the finish line. Nevertheless, his flawless navigation throughout the 226 kilometres of special only served to help guide his adversaries as they went in pursuit of the tracks left by the Honda CRF450 RALLY.
Barreda ended up finishing in fifth place, behind Team HRC buddy, and incumbent world champion Paulo Goncalves in fourth place, who had set off from behind the Spaniard. ‘Speedy’ lies in second overall position, just one and a half minutes behind the leader, and will be well-placed to attack in tomorrow’s stage which winds up in Marrakech.
The stage was a tough one for everybody including Helder Rodrigues, who finished in seventh place on the day and is in fourth on the overall leader-board. Rodrigues will be fighting to get back into a podium position as the rally goes into its final two days.
Jeremías Israel continues to get used to the new machine and today completed the stage in eighth place after a slight navigational error at the start before arriving at the dunes.
The stage gave Laia Sanz the opportunity to keep gaining experience as she clocks up more mileage on the Honda CRF450 RALLY, finishing the stage in fifteenth place and resisting well the physically demanding dunes of Cheggaga. The champion moves up to thirteenth place on the overall leader-board.
Stage 5 – Zagora-Marrakech
Liaison: 2km Special Stage: 302km Liaison: 208km
A start of leg from just outside of Zagora who takes competitors into a narrow valley between two mountains. The tracks will be fasts but narrow with oueds crossings and magical landscapes. Competitors cross a palm trees then will cross a pass to see the wonderful views of the valley. Trucks will be neutralized a portion of the stage and will join the rally for the final part, which will consist of a very fast and wide track. Pilots can fully let go!
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||2:46'32|
|2||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+0'05|
|3||Price Toby||AUS||KTM AUS Rally Factory||KTM||+1'10|
|4||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+2'16|
|5||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+3'47|
|6||Lopez Chaleco||CHI||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+3'52|
|7||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+4'54|
|8||Israel Jeremias||CHI||Team HRC||Honda||+5'29|
|9||Faria Ruben||POR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+7'23|
|10||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+8'18|
Provisional Standings after Stage 4
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||11:41'52|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+01'35|
|3||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+11'53|
|4||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+16'34|
|5||Lopez Chaleco||CHI||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+16'46|
|6||Faria Ruben||POR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+20'15|
|7||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+21'45|
|8||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+23'07|
|9||Przygonski Kuba||POL||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+52'35|
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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