There are only two more days to go at the Rallye du Maroc, the last stop of the World Rally-Raid Championship. Monster Energy Honda Team riders have been every day at the podium, first was Pablo Quintanilla and then José Ignacio Cornejo. Today Nacho did it again, he was the third fastest in the 336 km of Special Stage around the south region of Zagora.
Today’s stage was dominated by Spaniard Toscha Schareina, who is also riding an Honda CRF 450 Rally. Nacho was third, Quintanilla fourth and Van Beveren finished the day in 8th place.
In the overall standings, Pablo Quintanilla is ranked third with a six minutes and nine seconds gap to the leader. After his very positive performance in the last two stages, Nacho Cornejo has moved to 6th position. One of the contenders for world title, Adrien Van Beveren is now in 8th place.
Tomorrow the bivouac from the Rallye du Maroc will move to the famous dunes of Merzouga. Stage 4, the penultimate of the program, will consist of a 75 km liaison and a 343 km Special Stage. The menu will consist of dirt tracks, gravel tracks, sand and – in the end – dunes.
Ruben Faria – General Manager : « We have reached the middle of Rallye du Maroc with another fair day for our team. Nacho Cornejo did a great stage and finished third, while Pablo Quintanilla came just behind him in 4th and Adrien in 8th. This was another hard stage with a lot of stones and our riders were there in the front. Now Pablo is third in the overall standings, Nacho recovered a lot and is 6th and Adrien is in 8th position. Tomorrow it’s time for the most difficult stage and we will give our best. We are also defending our title as Manufacturers World Champions and in this matter we are doing well. »
José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « This was another good stage for me. I was riding in the bonus places and tried to use this advantage the best I could. I felt quite comfortable and very safe riding my Honda CRF 450 Rally. So far this is my best performance at the Rallye du Maroc and I feel very happy about it. All stages here are very fast and this matches a lot my style and profile. »
Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « This was really a fast stage, riding all the time in piste. I felt quite good, I was riding with a good pace trying to avoid any road-book mistakes. I did a clean navigation, the route was more in line today with fewer changes of direction. That was really fast all the time, so I am happy for being here and for the great preparation for the Dakar Rally. »
Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « I felt much better today, but I know I am not riding yet at my best level. We are working hard with the team to improve my performance on a daily basis and it feels great to count on such a professional group of people behind me. »
Provisional Standings after Stage 3
1. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 10:25:02
2. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 10:29:48
3. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 10:32:09
4. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Husqvarna Factory Racing, 10:33:50
5. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Honda Team, 10:33:54
6. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 10:36:51
7. Santolino Lorenzo – SPA – Sherco TVS Rally Factory, 10:40:20
8. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 10:52:42
9. Bühler Sebastian – GER – Bühler Racing Team, 11:27:41
10. Gonçalves Rui – POR – Sherco TVS Rally Factory, 11:40:25…