Rallye du Maroc 2019: First win for X-Raid John Cooper Works Team

Rallye du Maroc 2019: First win for X-Raid John Cooper Works Team

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The second half of the Super-Marathon stage lived up to its promise in the FIM bike-quad category. Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) won the day and jumps up to first place overall. Like the Australian rider, Carlos Sainz (Mini John Cooper Works Buggy) successfully adapted to the distribution of the road book just before the start. The Spanish driver takes his first stage win of the rally, while the man he narrowly beat today, Nasser Al-Attiya continues to lead overall, 17’21” ahead of Stephane Peterhansel.
The start of stage 3 this morning for the FIM and FIA categories was a first. The road books were distributed 20 minutes before the depart for FIM bikes-quads and five minutes before for the FIA cars. The competitors set off for ‘unchartered territory’ with varying degrees of success.
The stage was devised into three timed sections for the FIA cars, for a total of 363 kilometres. The FIM bikes-quads finally only raced two of the specials, totalling 291 kilometres, with the last part being cancelled for safety reasons. The Enduro Cup Afriquia, SSV Maroc Telecom and Open cars-trucks raced two specials of 121 and 148 kilometres.



Carlos Sainz (X-Raid John Cooper Works Team) is looking better and better in his two-wheel drive Mini buggy. ‘El Matador’ wins the third stage of the 2019 Rallye du Maroc ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing) who had the difficult task of opening the track today. The five times winner of the race finished 29” behind the Spanish driver. Stéphane Peterhansel (X-Raid John Cooper Works Team) was third after having led the race for part of the day. The stage saw more problems for Fernando Alonso (Toyota Gazoo Racing). The Spaniard broke his front axle at kilometre 75 but made it to the end of the first special before being taken back to the bivouac by his assistance. The decision of whether or not to continue the race will be taken by his team this evening. His teammate Bernhard Ten Brinke (Toyota Gazoo Racing), fifth overall this morning was caught out by the same hole as the Spaniard and didn’t finish the stage. Overall Nasser Al-Attiya maintain his lead with De Villiers second (at 17’21”) and Peterhansel third (at 17’51”).

Carlos Sainz (X-Raid John Cooper Works Team) : “All good , no big problems. I think we did a good stage. Normally it should be a stage win. We just have to see what they do about the waypoint at the end.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing): “A long day with the new road book system, with us receiving it in the morning. So we were really careful and we didn’t really make any mistakes because it is not easy to open without having seem the road book before. We went slowly and we knew we were losing time and then over the last 70 kilometres we pushed to try and win the stage.”

Stéphane Peterhansel (X-Raid John Cooper Works Team) : “The navigation was a bit complicated but globally the new system didn’t seem to have too much of an impact on the speeds compared with before. There were however not enough compass headings and it was occasionally a little complicated for the navigation. So they need to look at that a bit more closely, give us more information.”

Jakub Przygonski (Orlen Team / X-Raid): “Today the stage was really nice because it was a new region, nice to drive because less holes and dangers compared to yesterday. We were in one group today with Nasser, Stephane, De Villiers. Timo (Jakub’s co-driver) didn’t make any mistakes and we enjoyed racing together.”

Fernando Alonso (Toyota Gazoo Racing): “We couldn’t repair the car where we were, the suspension was broken, so we had no choice but to call our assistance. Our team is looking at the damage and we will see if we can restart tomorrow. It is how it is in rally-raid. I am not injured.”


In the Enduro Cup Afriquia, Xavier Flick (Sherco TVS Rally Factory) continues to increase his lead overall. The Sherco rider takes his third win on the trot. Damien Miquel-Orlandi (RS Concept CBO) finishes second at 36’33’’, followed by Guillaume Borne (Team Maroc) at 36’40’’.

Martin Macik (Big Shock Racing) wins the Open trucks in his Iveco, ahead Jaroslav Valtr (Valtr Racing Team) at 13’56’, but is a long way back overall.

The overall leader of the SSV category Casey Currie (Monster Enegy Can-Am) lost a lot of time today. The American was only 9th 45’34’’ behind the day’s winner, Antonio Hinojo Lopez (Buggy Masters Team & XRaid). François Charliat (Baninga Ya Desert) and Vincent Gonzales (El Blanco Rosso Racing Team) finished second and third respectively at 19’20’’ and 19’52’’.

Christian Lavieille (Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body) lost all chance of winning the car open category after stopping at km 58 with mechanical problems. The Frenchman will start tomorrow so as to finalise preparation of his car for Dakar 2020. Jean-Antoine Sabatier (Bugga’One) took advantage of Christian Lavieille’s problems to win the stage and take the overall lead ahead of Enrique Martinez Casanovas, second today at 2’07’’ and Bernard Gateau, third at 1h14’07’’. Souad Mouktadiri and Firdouass Al-Fannane (Mouktadiri Racing Team), the Morocco female team finished fourth.



The last stage around the bivouac of Aoufous will be a mix of stony tracks, sandy oueds, dunes, fast pistes and camel grass – pretty much everything that can be found in the region. Following a liaison of 67 km, the FIM / FIA competitors will race 408 km and 30 km of liaison, while the Enduro Cup / SSV / Open categories will have ‘only’ 311 km of special before heading back to the bivouac via 89 km of liaison.


F.I.A. stage classifications : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R01&cat=5
FIA overall classifications: https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_08FIA.asp
F.I.M. stage classifications : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R02&cat=2
F.I.M. overall classifications : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_08FIM.asp
Enduro Cup Afriquia stage classifications: https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=1
SSV Maroc Telecom stage classifications: https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=3
Open car stage classifications : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=4
Open trucks stage classifications : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=6
Enduro Cup Afriquia / SSV Maroc Telecom / Auto Open / Camion Open overall classifications : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_08RES.asp


Source  Rallye du Maroc
Photo Julien Delfosse / DPPI

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