The longest journey is over at this year’s Rallye du Maroc and all the caravan is settled now at the bivouac in Merzouga, a mythical location in the south of the country. The Monster Energy Honda Team colors were once again on the spotlight on Stage 4 with another great performance signed by José Ignacio Cornejo – who was the second fastest along the 343 kilometers of the selective section.
With three Honda CRF 450 Rally fighting in the GP class, Nacho collected his third podium so far and is climbing the overall standings – where he sits now in 6th position. Pablo Quintanilla was fourth today and has the same classification in the overall standings, while Adrien Van Beveren reached Merzouga in 8th place and conquered one step to 7th in the overall standings.
Variety is certainly one of the characteristics of the Morocco desert and today riders and machines were once again tested to the limits. Stones, camel grass, sand and dunes made the day around Merzouga.
Tomorrow it’s time to race the last stage from the Rallye du Maroc. The fifth stage will consist of a short circuit with start and arrival in Merzouga, with a 152 km that will alternated gravel tracks, sand and dunes. The margin to recover is short, but as always in rally anything can happen until the last moment.
Ruben Faria – General Manager : « Today we had the longest and most emblematic stage of the Rallye du Maroc. Our riders faced a wide variety of terrains with some dangerous parts at the beginning with lots of stones. Then they had camel grass, dunes and a plateaux. Nacho is showing great navigation skills and is close to the front positions after his second place today. Pablo lost some time in the last kilometers, it’s a pity because he was doing well and was riding with a good rhythm. Adrien was not able to reach his best performance here, but he is fighting day by day. Tomorrow we have the last special stage and we are determined to give our best until the end. »
José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « I am happy to finish Stage 4, it was a long one that mixed every kind of terrain. At the beginning it was really fast, but then after refueling it was more technical with more dune navigation. I had a good feeling with my Honda CRF 450 Rally and I am really enjoy racing here in Morocco. We are improving day by day so let’s see how it goes until the end. »
Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « I had a little problem with the GPS that made me postpone my start. The first part of the stage was super fast and I was feeling quite good. Then the second part of the stage was really difficult and I kept pushing as much as I could. Around kilometer 290 I had a problem, so I tried to manage the situation in the best way I could to reach the end of the stage. This has been a good rallye so far and it feels great to be in Morocco in such a demanding race. »
Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « I felt a little bit better at the beginning and started to ride with more confidence. Then I made some small mistakes and I lost the rhythm. Near the end I made a big mistake in navigation and lost five minutes to get back on the track and find the waypoint. It is not easy but we have to keep the focus. »
Provisional Standings after Stage 4
1. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 14:02:38
2. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 14:08:34
3. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Husqvarna Factory Racing, 14:09:02
4. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 14:10:38
5. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Honda Team, 14:12:32
6. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 14:13:21
7. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 14:39:20
8. Cox Bradley – RSA – BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 15:03:49
9. Bühler Sebastian – GER – Bühler Racing Team, 15:10:57
10. Dumontier Romain – FRA – Team Dumontier Racing, 15:18:05…