Rallye du Maroc Monster Energy Honda Team : A hard stage on the way to the desert

After the warm-up from yesterday, Rallye Du Maroc went south for a 316 kilometres special stage (SS1B) connecting Agadir to the desert landscapes of Tan Tan. Monster Energy Honda Team 2020 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec was the best of the squad ending in seventh place.

Second day of Rallye Du Maroc 2022 was an early bird call for the riders from Monster Energy Honda Team. Ricky Brabec was the fourth to leave from Agadir and finished the day in 6th. Until reaching the next bivouac placed at the camel’s market in Tan Tan riders had to cover a total of 562 kilometres heading south – 240 Km of liaison and 316 Km of special stage (SS1B). José Ignacio Cornejo was 8th, Adrien Van Beveren ended the day in 10th place and Pablo Quintanilla – who had a crash but remains on competition – was 14th.

With the desert on the horizon, the road book delivered a great variety of pistes, starting with hard and rocky mountain and passing a beach section where all power could be released. Sand and navigation were some of the strong ingredients of this exotic menu.

Tomorrow it’s time to go to the extreme south of this year’s Rallye Du Maroc itinerary, having the capital of the south Moroccan desert as the next destination: Laayoune. There will be a total 437 kilometres to cover, 122 km in liaison followed by 315 kilometres of special stage. The hard and rocky tracks from the desert will continue to test the limits of our riders and bikes, not forgetting the magical sand dunes.

Ricky Brabec #2 : « The day was quite long, we had to wake-up at 3 am, so I am pretty sure this was certainly one of the hardest days of the rally. I mean this for the body, mind and bike…but I am happy to be here at Tan Tan. I have done a good job along the way and we are in a good position for tomorrow. So let’s have some fun! »

Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « There was a difficult navigation in the morning with many rocks, then we went close to the ocean in the beach and could speed up. Then we moved to off piste in a mix between rocks and sand in the dunes. Suddenly I saw a clean line in the bush and next when I realize I was flying over the handlebar. I hurt my shoulder and it was really painful to reach the end. I will be seen by the doctor and hope to be able to start tomorrow. »

José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « This was not a bad day. Did not worked out as I wanted, but I knew I was loosing some time by riding a little bit more careful. I am sure we will be able to recover in the next four days, knowing that the hard tracks with rocks and sand will be a great preparation for the Dakar 2023. »

Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « This is my first race with Honda and things are going well, this is an intense learning process and I am having all the support from the team. The kind of terrain we got today was not the one I most enjoy, so in a way I was riding a little bit defensive. The exception was the section along the ocean, with hard sand allowing us to ride full gas and this was a great change to relax. »

Result of Selective Section 1 (1a+1b) Agadir – Tan Tan
1. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 04h46m24s
2. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 04h48m29s
3. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 04h49m35s
4. Howes Skyler – USA – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 04h50m48s
5. Klein Mason – USA – BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM, 04h53m59s
6. Sunderland Sam – GBR – Gas Gas Factory Team, 04h55m05s
7. Brabec Ricky – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 04h55m21s
8. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 04h57m59s
9. Caimi Franco – ARG – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 04h59m16s
10. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 05h00m29s…
13. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 05h07m46s…