A fine start for Monster Energy Honda Team’s American rider Ricky Brabec in the Rallye du Maroc, claiming third place in the first stage of the rally.

The entire Rallye du Maroc entourage headed south to Errachidia, where the bivouac is now set up in Aoufous, some 400 kilometres from Fez. The first stage, which in the end had just one 226-kilometre special, played out on winding, rock-filled mountain paths, forcing a cautious ride to avoid punctures or veering off the track. The stage wrapped up with stretches of sand and camel grass before arriving back at bivouac, very close to one of Morocco’s most picturesque locations, the Ziz palm grove.

A fired-up Ricky Brabec (USA) started out the first stage and, in spite of coming across numerous hazards en route, nevertheless made it to the final destination with the day’s third fastest time, a minute-and-a-half shy of the opening stage winner. Joan Barreda, who likewise lacked the smooth handling the stage required, posted a top ten finish – a position from which he will be able to attack from tomorrow in an attempt to reduce the 5’20” deficit with the overall leader.

Kevin Benavides saw the day hampered by a seat problem and although the rider was able to finish the stage without major incidents, now lies some six-and-a-half minutes behind the leader. A minute-and-a-half behind the Argentinean was José Ignacio Cornejo, on a cautious ride through the complicated areas.

The second stage of this Rallye du Maroc will be held tomorrow between the bivouac at Aufous and Erfoud (Aufous), with a total distance of 435.36 kilometres, including 386.29 kilometres of special.

Ricky Brabec

Ricky Brabec

The first special was really tough for me. I struggled a little bit in the beginning. It was really slippery. We made some changes to the rear suspension set-up, which I tried to get used to. The good thing is that we made it back to the bivouac which is similar to the one in the marathon stage. I’ve got to stay focused for tomorrow and try to do the best stage possible.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides

Today I had to tackle a tough test: riding for 170 kilometres without a seat ... one more obstacle on the road that I really had to dig deep to overcome. Obviously, I had to slow down in this technical and complicated special. In the end I am satisfied because I only dropped about seven minutes, making it back to the bivouac. We will battle on.

Monster Energy Honda Team
José Ignacio Cornejo

José Ignacio Cornejo

First stage finished! It was almost all quite slippery tracks, where the bike skidded around. I tried to set a safe pace to avoid falling or making mistakes. Over the final 50 kilometres of open desert, I have tried to press so as not to concede any time. The result is modest, but we are close to the other riders. Tomorrow we will try to advance positions.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Joan Barreda

Joan Barreda

Today was a difficult stage. It seemed that it would be shorter but in the end we spent three and a half hours on the bike, working physically, with technical sections and some very slow trial areas. I have tried to not make mistakes and not risk to get well at the end. I dropped a minute but it will be positive for tomorrow's start where I will try to cut down the difference.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Rally du Maroc

Morocco, Morocco

Rally 2019, Round 4

Saturday 5 Oct 2019, 19:31 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 25 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna 3:16'16
2 Sam Sunderland GBR 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'40
3 Ricky Brabec USA 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'31
4 Daniel Nosiglia BOL 13 Honda Argentina – MEC Team Honda +2'37
5 Toby Price AUT 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'46
6 Matthias Walkner AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'32
7 Lorenzo Santolino SPA 9 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +4'24
8 Luciano Benavides ARG 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'29
9 Adrien van Beveren FRA 7 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5'13
10 Joan Barreda SPA 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5'20
11 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 5 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5'26
12 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 4 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5'37
13 Andrew Short USA 3 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +5'53
14 Kevin Benavides ARG 2 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'32
15 Ross Evan Branch BWA 1 Team Ross KTM +6'39
17 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'01
24 Aaron Mare RSA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +18'56
Friday 4 Oct 2019, 18:38 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Matthias Walkner AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 6'27
2 Kevin Benavides ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'02
3 Sam Sunderland GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'04
4 Toby Price AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'05
5 Adrien van Beveren FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'05
6 Joan Barreda SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'05
7 Luciano Benavides ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'05
8 Andrew Short USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +0'07
9 Ricky Brabec USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'08
10 Xavier de Soultrait FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'09
11 Johnny Aubert FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +0'12
12 Daniel Nosiglia BOL Honda Argentina – MEC Team Honda +0'16
13 Franco Caimi 7 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'17
14 Paulo Goncalves POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +0'18
15 Ross Evan Branch BWA Team Ross KTM +0'19
19 Aaron Mare RSA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'22
25 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'32
Provisional Standings
Saturday, 5 Oct 2019
# Rider Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Pablo QUINTANILLA CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
2 Sam SUNDERLAND GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
3 Ricky BRABEC USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
4 Toby PRICE AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
5 Daniel NOSIGLIA BOL Honda Argentina – MEC Team Honda
6 Matthias WALKNER AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
7 Luciano BENAVIDES ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
8 Lorenzo SANTOLINO SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco
9 Adrien VAN BEVEREN FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
10 Joan BARREDA SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
14 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
17 José Ignacio CORNEJO CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
24 Aaron MARE RSA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda