Monster Energy Honda Stage 2 : Quintanilla rises in the Morocco Desert

In a very long day that started at 4 am leaving the bivouac, it was time to get into real action with the first stage of the Rallye du Maroc after yesterday’s prologue. Starting at the coastal city of Agadir, the road-book unfolded in the direction of the south, having the final destination in Zagora. For the riders it was a true rollercoaster of emotions, demanding full attention along a mix of gravel tracks, dirt tracks, sand and dunes. In total there were more than 700 kilometers to cover, a liaison of 397 km and a 314 km Special Section.

Monster Energy Honda Team riders experienced different feelings along the way. Pablo Quintanilla was certainly the most successful with his second place on Stage one, a performance that allowed the Chilean also to climb into second place in the overall rankings. His fellow countryman José Ignacio Cornejo was 7th today in front of Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren. Ricky Brabec, who was second yesterday on the prologue, could not reach the end of the stage due to fuel problems. This means he is out of the race.

Tomorrow it’s time for stage two with a circuit with start and arrival in Zagora. There will be a 100 km liaison and 296 km of Special Stage to race. The menu will be similar to the one that was served today, mixing gravel tracks, dirt roads, sand and dunes.

Ruben Faria – General Manager : « This was a first day with a very long liaison, almost 400 kilometers, and a Special Stage with a lot of stones at the beginning and then some sections with a lot of navigation followed by the famous lake Iriki. On the arrival at Mhamid the riders had the most difficult part. We were doing well at the middle of the stage, but then Ricky had fuel problems and could not reach the end of the dunes. Adrien did not feel comfortable in the first rocky part, Nacho got a lot of dust and lost time because he could not go at the speed he wanted. Pablo did a great stage with the second place and has a good position for tomorrow’s stage. »

Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « This was definitely a good day for me. It was a very hard journey with many rocks and dangerous parts. I tried to ride smoothly and was able to reach a good pace all day long. I also got some dust in the morning but overall I felt good. I am happy with my performance and feel really good with my Honda CRF 450 Rally. »

José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « This was a good first stage where the biggest difficulty was the tremendous amount of dust along the way. I think I still can improve the rhythm for tomorrow, but that will depend on the dust – I am quite determined to go faster so let’s see how it goes. »

Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « I am still trying to find my rhythm in the race. I feel a little bit tense and this doesn’t give me much trust along the way. So let’s see how it goes tomorrow, the goal is to improve and climb in the top standings. »

Provisional Standings after Stage 2
1. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 4:08:42
2. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 4:13:23
3. Walkner Matthias – AUT – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 4:14:20
4. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 4:16:04
5. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Husqvarna Factory Racing, 4:16:15
6. Santolino Lorenzo – SPA – Sherco TVS Rally Factory, 4:19:43
7. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 4:24:54
8. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 4:26:59
9. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Honda Team, 4:28:04
10. Cox Bradley – RSA – BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 4:31:57…