The first leg of the Morocco Rally marathon stage brought mixed feelings for the Monster Energy Honda Team. On one hand, it was a great success for Ricky Brabec, scooping his first stage victory in a world championship event, while Paulo Gonçalves fought a losing battle against an unbearable pain, following yesterday’s right hand injury.
American Ricky Brabec proved to be the fastest as the Morocco Rally arrived at its third stage – the first leg of the two-day marathon stage – which took place from Erfoud and the Lihoudi Erg region. Brabec was looking particularly comfortable astride the Honda CRF450 RALLY, hurtling through the special stage at a cracking pace. The timed section had been reduced to 142.79 kilometres due to the high level of water in the rivers. This marks Brabec’s first triumph in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, adding to the seventh stage victory in the most recent Dakar Rally.
Paulo Gonçalves’ fortunes were the opposite. The Portuguese rider fell heavily yesterday damaging his right hand. After battling his way through today’s stage with considerable pain, both the rider himself and the team have deemed it appropriate to retire the rider from the event. In doing so, Paulo will be able to fully recover the hand before the season’s main objective: the Dakar Rally.
Meanwhile, Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides finished the stage in fifth position, a mere three minutes adrift of Monster Energy Honda Team buddy Ricky Brabec. Benavides lies in second overall position in the general rankings, less than ten minutes behind the leader. Brabec is third.
The penultimate stage of the rally takes place tomorrow, Monday, with the second leg of the marathon stage, which will take the riders back to Erfoud. The stage will feature a total of 170.86 kilometres of special, as the scheduled second part has been cancelled.
Stage 3 results
|1||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||1:30'15|
|2||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+0'10|
|3||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+0'42|
|4||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamaha Motor Europe||Yamaha||+2'40|
|5||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'57|
|6||Pedrero Joan||12||SPA||Moto Racing Group - MRG||KTM||+4'00|
|7||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+6'24|
|8||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+7'38|
|9||Rodrigues Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+7'54|
|10||Botturi Alessandro||ITA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+9'17|
|11||Metge Adrien||24||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+10'14|
|12||Benavides Luciano||ARG||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+10'55|
|13||Patrao Mario||POR||KTM Portugal||KTM||+11'52|
|14||Santolino Lorenzo||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+12'20|
|15||Chunchungguppe Santosh||IND||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+14'34|
|26||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+25'38|
Provisional Standings after Stage 3
|1||Walkner Matthias||AUT||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||6:12'21|
|2||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+9'44|
|3||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+10'57|
|4||Pedrero Joan||12||SPA||Moto Racing Group - MRG||KTM||+15'17|
|5||Meo Antoine||FRA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+16'58|
|6||Rodrigues Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+26'45|
|7||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+28'05|
|8||Metge Adrien||24||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+30'48|
|9||Patrao Mario||POR||KTM Portugal||KTM||+31'01|
|10||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+32'14|
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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