Honda is once again the FIM Manufacturers World Champion! This is the direct consequence of the contribution from all Monster Energy Honda Team riders after another Rallye du Maroc. Now it’s time to say goodbye and start thinking about the new season, especially its main race – the Dakar Rally.
Today it was time to race the last stage from the six days program, with a short but very intense road-book around the dunes of Merzouga, in the very south of Morocco. Pablo Quintanilla – who was the winner here two years ago – has dominated the stage by 01 minute and 24 seconds. With this performance, Quintanilla secured a final podium position in third place. Adrien Van Beveren was 5th with a 03 minutes and 58 seconds for the leader – closing his participation in the Rallye du Maroc in 7th place. José Ignacio Cornejo was today 7th, meaning a 6th place in the overall standings.
After the Dakar, the UAE Desert Challenge, the Sonora Rally, the Ruta 40 Rally and the Rallye du Maroc the 2023 season of the World Rally-Raid Championship is over.
Ruben Faria – General Manager : « The Rallye du Maroc is over with a last stage doing two rounds in the dunes of Merzouga. This was another fast stage and the average of over 100 km/hour is symptomatic considering that part of the road book was composed by dunes, meaning that the riders are doing great in terms of speed and navigation. Pablo Quintanilla was today at his best level, winning the stage and getting a third place in the overall standings. Adrien was better, it’s a pity he lost some time in the end of the stage because he was fighting for a podium position today. Nacho was the second to start but he crashed in the beginning of the stage and could not finish like he did in the previous days. Here in Morocco we got another manufacturer’s title of W2RC for Honda and we are very proud of that. This is the work of all team and as a group we have shown great quality and cooperation. »
Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « It feels great to be back on the podium today after a quite complicated race. My confidence is higher because I could ride fast and with a good rhythm. Thinking about our next big and main challenge – the Dakar Rally – this was for sure a very important experience. »
José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « This last stage was not so good for me. I made a navigation mistake at the beginning and crashed in the end, but nothing serious. I finished the Rallye du Maroc with a good feeling and I think I made a solid competition. This was certainly a great preparation for the next Dakar Rally. »
Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « Today I felt so much better riding my Honda CRF 450 Rally. I think that is not just an individual outcome, but also the result of the efforts from all the team. It was also a pleasure to ride in the dunes of Merzouga, that is the kind of terrain I love. I leave Morocco happy and confident that I will reach the next Dakar Rally at my highest level. »
Final Provisional Standings Rallye du Maroc
1. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 15:56:43
2. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Husqvarna Factory Racing, 15:59:43
3. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 15:59:55
4. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 16:01:27
5. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Honda Team, 16:05:23
6. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 16:09:42
7. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 16:32:35
8. Cox Bradley – RSA – BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 17:06:37
9. Bühler Sebastian – POR – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 17:08:59
10. Dumontier Romain – FRA – Team Dumontier Racing, 17:20:05…