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.