Rodrigues Brings Yamaha Inside The Top Five At Morocco Rally

Helder Rodrigues © DR

At the end of another positive day for Yamaha at the OiLibya Morocco Rally 2016, Hélder Rodrigues managed to move up one spot in the rally’s provisional standings. Currently fifth overall with two stages to go in the dunes of Morocco, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team is well in contention for a final podium result at this year’s event.


Playing host to the second part of the two-day-long marathon stage, today’s stage three saw competitors race a timed special of 315km in a mix of stony and dusty tracks. Taking full advantage of his vast experience in rally racing, Rodrigues held a fast pace throughout the special stage to wrap up the day in eighth place. Racing a faultless rally so far, the Portuguese rider earned a spot inside the top five after the day’s stage.

Continuing to improve as the rally goes on, Rodney Faggoter finished the special stage just twenty seconds off Rodrigues’ total time in ninth place. With this being just his first official outing aboard the WR450F Rally the Australian keeps moving up the rankings, where he’s provisionally placed 11th overall.

Reaching the end of the marathon stage without any problems, Adrien Van Beveren remains seventh in the rally’s provisional standings. Pushing hard to get closer to the top the Frenchman made a small navigational error early on today’s special stage, which forced him to settle for 12th at stage three. Adrien is now less that five minutes behind the provisional top five.

Putting in a strong stage performance Yamaha supported Xavier de Soultrait gained an impressive four spots in the rally’s provisional rankings. Finishing the stage sixth the Frenchman is now sixth overall two stages before the end.

Thursday’s penultimate stage of the 2016 OiLibya Morocco Rally will see competitors complete a loop around the city of Erfoud, with the highlight of the day being the 319km long timed special in the dunes of the Sahara Desert.

Hélder Rodrigues – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team – 8th Stage 3 / 5th Overall : « We keep getting better as the race goes on. Today was a tough day. Navigation was quite difficult and there were lots of tricky points where you could easily get off track. Everything went well and we managed to finish the two-day-long marathon stage without any problem. I have a very good feeling on the bike at the moment and I’m hoping I can push harder tomorrow. I have a good starting position for tomorrow’s stage so the goal is to get as close as possible to the top in the overall standings. I think a podium result is well within our reach from this rally. »

Rodney Faggotter, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider – 9th Stage 3 / 11th Overall : « It’s been a pretty good day for me. I had a good starting position and managed to pass a couple of riders that had issues right off the start. I had no navigation problems and managed to retain a good race pace until the end of the special stage. I’m happy with how things are moving on at this rally. I’m learning all the time and getting more comfortable as the days go on. Some of the other riders pushed hard during the first two stages and now they’re getting tired. I get more familiar to the stony tracks so I can push more now. I feel good and I’m looking forward for the remaining two stages. »

Adrien Van Beveren, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider – 12th Stage 3 / 7th Overall: « It was another long stage. After the start of the special stage I caught Hélder and we rode together for quite a while. There was a lot of dust and unfortunately I made a mistake and went off the track. I lost a few minutes there so when I found the rights tracks again there was no point to push hard. I had a fast pace trying to make sure I reached the finish line without making any more mistakes. So far everything is going well. Tomorrow we head back to the dunes. I’m hoping I can push again to move up again in the provisional standings. »

Morocco Rally 2016 – Stage 3 Results
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 03:13:05
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 03:13:56, +00:51
3. Mathias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 03:14:09, +01:04
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 03:14:33, +01:28
5. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 03:16:05, +03:00
6. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 03:19:37, +06:32……
8. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 03:21:14, +08:09
9. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 03:21:34, +08:29
12. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 03:25:12, +12:07…

Morocco Rally 2016 – Provisional Classification After Stage 3
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 06:55:26
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 06:57:24, +01:58
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 06:57:55, +02:29
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 07:06:42, +11:16
5. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 07:10:32, +15:06
6. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 07:12:54, +17:328
7. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 01:14:56, +19:30…
11. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 07:35:50, +40:24…