The final stage of the Morocco Rally wrapped up today with another double for the Monster Energy Honda Team on the final podium. Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec, who had been in the running for overall victory, settled for second and third spots in the final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
This morning the Monster Energy Honda Team duo started out with the conviction that they could get a result in the dunes of the Erg Chebbi on a route which ran northbound towards the dunes of Merzouga. The stage featured 163 kilometres of timed section plus an additional 8.65 kilometres, before the competition concluded in the small dunes in the north of Erfoud next to the Hotel Xaluca complex.
Kevin Benavides went in search of victory throughout the race, aware that in doing so, he could also snatch the world title. However, a minor error was enough to miss out on the chance of winning the special. The second position in the OiLibya Morocco Rally means that the Argentinean rider seals runner-up spot in the overall world championship standings.
Benavides’ team-mate in the Monster Energy Honda Team, Ricky Brabec, shone once again today, after having clinched a first ever world championship win in the rally. The American finished second on the day, triumphing in the second special after having finished the first one in runner-up position. Brabec thus finished in third in the rally’s general rankings, gaining him a first-time podium place in a race whose points count towards the world championship.
Monster Energy Honda Team has fought very hard throughout this Morocco Rally to grab the overall victory in the rally. Of their initial formation of four riders, Frenchman Michael Metge had been unable to take the start after a viral infection that saw him forced to return home on the first day of racing. Meanwhile, Paulo Gonçalves also returned to his home in Esposende ahead of schedule. The Portuguese, who had arrived in Fez as a potential contender just five points behind the leader of the overall championship, suffered a fall during the second stage injuring his right hand. The pain forced him to retire after finishing the third day of racing.
Monster Energy Honda Team will participate tomorrow in a private testing session before finally leaving the motorcycles all set up and ready to embark for South America at the end of next November.
Stage 5A results
|1||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||1:43'46|
|2||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'31|
|3||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+2'59|
|4||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+4'09|
|5||Pedrero Joan||12||SPA||Moto Racing Group - MRG||KTM||+5'10|
|6||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+6'38|
|7||Metge Adrien||11||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+7'09|
|8||Santolino Lorenzo||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+7'35|
|9||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+8'23|
|10||Botturi Alessandro||ITA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+10'26|
|11||Arana Txomin||32||SPA||HT Husqvarna Rally Team||Husqvarna||+15'29|
|12||Short Andrew||USA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+15'50|
|13||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+16'46|
|14||España Cristian||AND||1ForAll Motorsport||Yamaha||+17'12|
|15||Rodrigues Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+17'36|
Stage 5B results
|1||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||6'28|
|2||Metge Adrien||11||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+0'31|
|3||Botturi Alessandro||ITA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+0'35|
|4||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+0'41|
|5||Patrao Mario||POR||KTM Portugal||KTM||+0'48|
|6||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+0'49|
|7||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1'06|
|8||Pedrero Joan||12||SPA||Moto Racing Group - MRG||KTM||+1'06|
|9||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+1'09|
|10||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+1'11|
|11||Aubert Johnny||FRA||1ForAll Motorsport||Yamaha||+1'12|
|12||Minaudier Loïc||FRA||Nomade Racing||KTM||+1'24|
|13||Short Andrew||USA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+1'27|
|14||Chunchungguppe Santosh||IND||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+1'33|
|15||Rodrigues Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+1'36|
Final Standings (after Stage 5)
|1||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||10:03'49|
|2||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+13'42|
|3||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+16'58|
|4||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+18'27|
|5||Pedrero Joan||12||SPA||Moto Racing Group - MRG||KTM||+22'28|
|6||Metge Adrien||11||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+36'52|
|7||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+37'22|
|8||Rodrigues Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+44'29|
|9||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+44'52|
|10||Santolino Lorenzo||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+54'30|
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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