With two days to go the OiLybia Rally Morroco is entering its decisive phase. Wednesday´s third leg ended the two-day marathon stage, which has proven to be a demanding test on the riders and the bikes. As Hero MotoSports Team Rally representative Joaquim Rodrigues overcame a front wheel problem, the Portuguese successfully nursed his bike home, taking a solid 14th position in the FIM450 stage classification. Meanwhile his Indian team-mate CS Santosh was less lucky.
Joaquim Rodrigues: « Yesterday I had a problem with the front wheel after hitting a big rock. I tried to fix it as good as I could on my own in the marathon bivouac. Then today I entered a difficult section with a lot of rocks and dust. I got lost, dropped some time and found my way again. Then today we entered a difficult section with a lot of rocks and dust. I lost my way in between and dropped some time but, found my way again. Then my front wheel encountered some damage and I had to stop to fix the spokes. But when I arrived at the next checkpoint the wheel was completely loose so I had to nurse my bike to the stage finish. I´m glad I made it, there were a lot of bikes breaking down. »
CS Santosh had to stop his charge through the Moroccon desert at Km 185 due to technical problems. Santosh is one of many riders facing trouble on what´s been a heavy day on men and machine. The team is currently trying to bring the bike to the finish in order to determine the cause. Efforts are underway to clarify the situation and to eventually be back at the start of Thursday´s penultimate stage.
Provisional Results Stage 3 : 1. Kevin Benavides, ARG, Honda 3:13:05 hrs ; 2. Toby Price, AUS, KTM +0:51 min ; 3. Matthias Walkner, AUT, KTM +1:04 ; 4. Sam Sunderland, GBR, KTM +1:28 ; 5. Pablo Quintanilla, CHI, Husqvarna +3:00… 14. Joaquim Rodrigues, POR, Hero MotoSports Team Rally +32:33…
Provisional standings after Stage 3 : 1. Price 6:55:26 hrs; 2. Sunderland +1:58 ; 3. Benavides +2:29 ; 4. Quintanilla +11:16 ; 5. Helder Rodrigues +15:06… 14. Joaquim Rodrigues, POR, Hero MotoSports Team Rally +1:02:53