Rallye du Maroc 2019: World first for FIM Competitors

Rallye du Maroc 2019: World first for FIM Competitors

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A world first today for the competitors in the FIM bike / quad class with the introduction of the much-anticipated Super-Marathon stage. Under this new regime, at the end of the special riders went directly into a service park where only they were allowed to work on their bike for a maximum of 10 minutes, before placing their machines in parc ferme ‘ready’ the third stage.

Today’s leg, 435 kilometres for the FIA cars and FIM bikes / quads, 396 kilometres for the Enduro Cup Afriquia, SSV Maroc Telecom and Open vehciles, was run in a loop around the bivouac in Aoufous. As on yesterday’s stage, the 2019 Rallye du Maroc route started off the same for all the competitors until 270 kilometres. At that point the Enduro Cup Afriquia, SSV Maroc Telecom and Open vehicles split off to do a last 12 kilometres of special on their own, followed by a liaison, while the FIM and FIA competitors continued for another 96 kilometres of selective section, before arriving directly in the bivouac. Whatever their category, all the competitors got to enjoy plenty of dunes, including the famous Erg Chebbi.


The first part of the Super-Marathon stage saw victory go to Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team). The Spanish rider, who started 10th this morning, attacked hard to catch his rivals, but may pay the price tomorrow riding with tyres that are already well worn out. Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team) gave the Japanese manufacturer the double, despite a navigation error that probably cost him the victory. The American ex-super-cross rider Andrew Short (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team) completed the day’s podium. Bad day on the other hand for Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). The recently crowned 2019 FIM World Champion was taken to hospital for a check-up after crashing at kilometre 223. Teammate and another of the favourites, the Australian Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) could only manage ninth place, 15’39” from Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team) who also takes the overall lead ahead of Andrew Short (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team) and Luciano Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).

In the quads Ignacio Casale (Drag’on) once again won the stage, this time ahead of Alexandre Giroud (Team Giroud) by 12’06”, with Kamil Wisniewski (Wisniewski Team) at 26’40’’. The Chilean rider increases his overall lead on Alexandre Giroud (Team Giroud), by 14’26’’.

Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team): “It was a good day. In the beginning I find some riders a little bit confused in some sections and then I overtake them and push til I catch the front riders. I caught Quintanilla who slowed down a little because he had pain with his leg. It was difficult to overtake him in the dust. We see tomorrow if I can continue with this tyre all the day.”

Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team): “Today was a nice day, really fast, a lot of navigation. A really technical stage, dunes, tracks in the middle of the mountains and tricky tracks in the rivers. I was going well and then 80 kms from the end I got lost for about 5 kms and then I got on the right track and pushed to the end. Bike is ok, I only changed the filter and check a few things.”

Andrew Short (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing): “My plan was to be smooth yesterday, push a little today, manage tomorrow and then push again on Day 4. Smashed my front wheel a bit, so I’ll have some work to do with the spokes in the morning, check the filter but the rest seems OK. The tyres are decent. They’re not looking great but not too bad.”

Adrien Van Beveren (Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team): “I feel better that yesterday, that’s the good news. But I still don’t feel great. I gave everything I had as usual. The rally still has a way to go. I tried to save my tyres. At the end I made two big navigation mistakes in Andrew’s (Short) dust. It was a real rally stage, very complicated, very long. I hit a few stones with my front wheel. It is a little squared off, but it still turns.”

Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda Team): “I was just trying to ride conservatively and save the tyres. Unfortunately at km 5 or 7 my navigation tower worked loose. I tried to tighten it up but it can’t be fixed until tomorrow evening. Apart from that bike is in good shape. Today wasn’t a super long day but really fast with a lot of hard tracks so I think a lot of the tyres out there are going to be pretty smoked. Some of the navigation was pretty tricky and a lot of people got lost, but that’s rally…”

Alexandre Giroud (Team Giroud): “It was a long hot day. My biggest worry was damaging the quad. I really took it easy. My goal was to get to the end and preserve my tyres. I’m happy because the machine is in good condition. I got a little lost. I need to work on my navigation to reach the level of the best like Ignacio. I’ve done three Dakar now but compared to Casale and Sonik I lack experience. I have come here to see what I need to work on to improve.”

Tomorrow’s big innovation, at the start of the 3rd stage of the Rally du Maroc is that the FIA and FIM competitors won’t get their road book until tomorrow morning. 15 minutes before the start for bikes and five minutes before the start for cars. Normally the road book is given out at the bivouac the evening before the stage, giving lots of time for the competitors to prepare them, occasionally by employing considerably technology.
Today the new road book has everybody worried but it is a good thing. All the bike riders and co-drivers are up half the night and are tired the next day,” commented Stéphane Peterhansel. “For everybody to be on an equal footing they had to find a solution. I think this is the best one,” concluded Mr Dakar.
The operation will be repeated at the start of Stage 4, this time for all the competitors.

Stage 3: Monday 7 October: Aoufous – Aoufous
The FIM / FIA competitors and the Enduro Cup / SSV / Opens cars have essentially different routes for this third stage, sharing only parts of one loop. In total the FIM / FIA competitors have three specials totalling 363 km of timed special and 178 km of liaison. The Enduro Cup Afriquia / SSV Maroc Telecom / Open cars for their part have a first special of 148 km followed by just 3 km of liaison (when they can return to the bivouac) and then another 121 km of special.
Not only will the FIM riders have to contend with riding their unserviced bikes on yesterday’s tyres, they will also, along with their FIA colleagues, not receive their road books until just before they start.


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


Source Rallye du Maroc / Photo DPPI

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