Honda CRF450 RALLY riders Paulo Gonçalves and Joan Barreda pulled off an excellent double in the third stage of the OiLibya Morocco Rally which was fought out in the M’hamid loop. The Spanish ace retakes the top of the overall leaderboard.
Team HRC have made it to the halfway stage of the rally in upbeat mood after clinching the top two finishing spots, a move that also sees the team back at the head of the overall standings.
The M’hamid desert region to the south of Zagora, bore witness to a battle in the OiLibya Morocco Rally from which the Honda CRF450 RALLY crew emerged victorious. Paulo Gonçalves was the fastest over the 274 kilometre special stage. The Portuguese rider, forging a cracking pace, was clearly coming to grips with the bike in a performance which shaved various minutes off the rivals ahead in the general rankings.
Joan Barreda joined team-mate Gonçalves on the stage podium as he reinstates himself at the head of the overall table with a near four-minute surplus over the closest rival. The forthcoming stages will prove vital for the Spaniard’s aspirations.
Italian Paolo Ceci started the third day from back positions which meant having to deal with a dust cloud throughout the early part of the timed section and therefore he was unable to take maximum advantage of the Honda CRF450 RALLY. Yesterday, race organisers had given back the ten-minutes which Ceci lost after stopping to aid a rider involved in an accident.
A magnificent performance from Argentinean Kevin Benavides in M’hamid who finished the stage in sixth position. As a result Benavides, Honda South America Rally Team rider, becomes the race’s top debutant and rises to sixth overall place.
Jean Azevedo seemed to be coming to terms with the new bike over all kinds of varied terrain: track, sand, dunes and even a rock-filled final stretch and moves up to thirteenth place in the general standings.
STAGE 4 : ZAGORA – AGADIR
– LIAISON 348 KMS – STAGE 293 KMS
After three days in the heart of south Morocco, West Cap will take the rally caravan to Agadir. There will be many parallels tracks with a lot of navigation that will lead competitors across an oasis. Attention to the Road Book will be needed as it’s a dangerous route. Then, the competitors compass bearings will be set to the south as the stage passes through a very picturesque valley.
Results Stage 3
|1||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||2:47'20|
|2||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 1'18|
|3||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 3'01|
|4||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 5'05|
|5||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 7'48|
|6||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+ 16'18|
|7||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 18'42|
|8||Renet Pierre-Alexandre||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 18'56|
|9||Duclos Alain||20||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+ 19'45|
|10||Pedrero Joan||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+ 20'25|
|11||Sanz Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+ 20'48|
|12||Pain Olivier||FRA||Nomade Racing||KTM||+ 21'19|
|13||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||+ 22'18|
|14||Al Balooshi Mohammed||7||UAE||Balooshi Racing KTM UAE||KTM||+ 22'56|
|15||Cerutti Jacopo||ITA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 27'11|
|16||Azevedo Jean||BRA||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+ 33'18|
|17||Ceci Paolo||ITA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 35'38|
Provisional Standings after Stage 3
|1||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||8:51'59|
|2||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 3'57|
|3||Walkner Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+ 5'22|
|4||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||KTM Warsaw Rally Team||KTM||+ 6'06|
|5||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+ 6'34|
|6||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+ 42'16|
|7||Faria Ruben||8||POR||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 43'48|
|8||Pain Olivier||FRA||Nomade Racing||KTM||+ 44'51|
|9||Pedrero Joan||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+ 48'00|
|10||Cerutti Jacopo||ITA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+ 1:20'13|
|13||Azevedo Jean||BRA||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+ 1:31'32|
|14||Ceci Paolo||ITA||Team HRC||Honda||+ 1:36'04|
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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