After the sweet taste left by yesterday’s results in the Morocco Rally, today’s stage was a bitter one for Team HRC. Overall leader Barreda fell and was forced to retire, while a rock complicated the good work of Paulo Goncalves.
The toughness of the 293 kilometre fourth stage between Zagora and Agadir wreaked havoc among the Team HRC squad. No sooner had the timed-special started when Paulo Gonçalves took a hit from one of the many rocks being launched into the air from the front wheel, seriously damaging the petrol tank and fuel pump. With a petrol leak to deal with, Paulo, unable to repair the damage, was forced to battle on through the special stage at a slower pace. Although the setback cost Paulo a lot of time, the Portuguese rider nevertheless holds on to his overall fourth place in the general standings, but is virtually out of the running for a race win.
Paolo Ceci, who continued to get used to the bike, was able to raise the pace although without taking any risks today. The Italian is clearing much more comfortable now with the Honda CRF 450 RALLY.
Joan Barreda had an accident some thirteen kilometres into the special stage. The Spaniard, who remained concussed on the track, had to be airlifted to safety. At the time of writing this, after a CT scan in Marrakech hospital, no serious injuries have been detected. The team wishes to thank Quintanilla, Walkner and Benavides who stopped to notify the race organizers of the accident.
Honda South America Rally Team managed to get through the hazardous stage unharmed. Kevin Benavides continues to surprise in his first world championship race with an eighth place on the day and fifth overall, confirming his status as top ‘rookie’. Likewise, Jean Azevedo is forging ahead with the bike that he first saw on the eve of the race. He remains up close to the main group and has moved up a place in the overall standings.
STAGE 5 : LOOP OF AGADIR
– LIAISON 79 KMS – STAGE 237 KMS
The loop of Agadir looks likely to be a crucial step. It will be necessary to stay aware due to the narrow tracks. This final stage, made up of different varied landscapes, hills, passages, and sandy tracks will lead the competitors to the edge of the ocean before crossing the finishing line. The final honours on the podium are set to take place by the sea, in the heart of the majestic city of Agadir, partner of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco 2015.
Results Stage 4
|1||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||2:56'29|
|2||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+8'37|
|3||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||+8'50|
|4||Botturi Alessandro||ITA||Botturi Racing||Yamaha||+10'17|
|5||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+10'23|
|6||Pedrero Joan||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+11'01|
|7||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+12'15|
|8||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+12'37|
|9||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||+14'00|
|10||Pain Olivier||FRA||Nomade Racing||KTM||+15'28|
|13||Ceci Paolo||ITA||Team HRC||Honda||+20'08|
|19||Azevedo Jean||BRA||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+24'26|
|21||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+37'06|
Provisional Standings after Stage 4
|1||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||11:52'25|
|2||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+10'46|
|3||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+11'48|
|4||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+39'43|
|5||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+50'56|
|6||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+52'06|
|7||Pedrero Joan||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+58'04|
|8||Pain Olivier||FRA||Nomade Racing||KTM||+59'22|
|9||de Soultrait Xavier||FRA||Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||+1:38'18|
|10||Cerutti Jacopo||ITA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+1:40'13|
|11||Ceci Paolo||ITA||Team HRC||Honda||+1:50'15|
|12||Azevedo Jean||BRA||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+1:52'01|
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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