Rallye du Maroc: Al-Attiyah keeps pushing as Barreda takes overall bikes lead

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

A world first today for the competitors in the FIM bike / quad class with the introduction of the much-anticipated Super-Marathon stage.

Under this new regime, at the end of the special riders went directly into a service park where only they were allowed to work on their bike for a maximum of 10 minutes, before placing their machines in parc ferme ‘ready’ the third stage.

Today’s leg, 435 kilometres for the FIA cars and FIM bikes / quads, 396 kilometres for the Enduro Cup Afriquia, SSV Maroc Telecom and Open vehciles, was run in a loop around the bivouac in Aoufous. As on yesterday’s stage, the 2019 Rallye du Maroc route started off the same for all the competitors until 270 kilometres.

At that point the Enduro Cup Afriquia, SSV Maroc Telecom and Open vehicles split off to do a last 12 kilometres of special on their own, followed by a liaison, while the FIM and FIA competitors continued for another 96 kilometres of selective section, before arriving directly in the bivouac. Whatever their category, all the competitors got to enjoy plenty of dunes, including the famous Erg Chebbi.


The first part of the Super-Marathon stage saw victory go to Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team).

The Spanish rider, who started 10th this morning, attacked hard to catch his rivals, but may pay the price tomorrow riding with tyres that are already well worn out. Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team) gave the Japanese manufacturer the double, despite a navigation error that probably cost him the victory.

The American ex-super-cross rider Andrew Short (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team) completed the day’s podium. Bad day on the other hand for Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).

The recently crowned 2019 FIM World Champion was taken to hospital for a check up after crashing at kilometre 223. Teammate and another of the favourites, the Australian Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) could only manage ninth place, 15’39” from Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team) who also takes the overall lead ahead of Andrew Short (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team) and Luciano Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).

In the quads Ignacio Casale (Drag’on) once again won the stage, this time ahead of Alexandre Giroud (Team Giroud) by 12’06”, with Kamil Wisniewski (Wisniewski Team) at 26’40’’. The Chilean rider increases his overall lead on Alexandre Giroud (Team Giroud), by 14’26’’.

“It was a good day. In the beginning I find some riders a little bit confused in some sections and then I overtake them and push til I catch the front riders." Said Barreda

"I caught Quintanilla who slowed down a little because he had pain with his leg. It was difficult to overtake him in the dust. We see tomorrow if I can continue with this tyre all the day.”


Once again Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing) proved the fastest on the day.

The Qatari driver apparently used this special to gauge his level - which nobody would deny is sky-high, beating as he did Jakub Przygonski by 11’09”, Stéphane Peterhansel (Mini John Cooper Works Buggy) by 12’32’’ and his teammate Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing) by 13’55’’, handicapped by a cracked manifold which resulted in a lack of power.

Posting an impressive time yesterday, Mathieu Serradori (Century Racing CR6) finished 9th today after having stopped 8 minutes to help an injured rider. Fernando Alonso (Toyota Gazoo Racing), after a difficult day yesterday, finished today in 10th place at 31’37’’.

Overall Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing) shores up his lead with Giniel De Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing) second at 17’09”, followed closely by Stéphane Peterhansel (Mini John Cooper Works Buggy) at 17’46’’.

Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing)
“We didn’t make any navigation mistakes and I was really pushing because we need to see where we are. It looks like a good stage for us and we will see what the gap is between us and the second place.”


In the SSV Maroc Telecom category, Casey Currie (Monster Energy Can-Am) had a good day, winning the special to take the overall lead. The American continues his Dakar apprenticeship. Today he led home Antonio Lopez (Buggy Master Team & XrRaids) and the Frenchman Eric Abel.

In the Enduro Cup Afriquia Xavier Flick (Sherco TVS Rally Factory) won once again and builds up a substantial led. Guillaume Borne (Team Maroc) is second at 1h21’34’’ while Damien Batailler (Team DB Racing) takes third.

Christian Lavieille (Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body) once again won the stage. The Frenchman is now a relatively comfortable 1h15’54’’ ahead of his teammate Philippe Gache (Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body), third today and 1h30’53’’ on the second of the day, Jean-Antoine Sabatier (Bugga’One).

Jaroslav Valtr (Valtr Racing Team) won the special in the Open Truck class with a time of 7h51’54’’.

Casey Currie (Monster Energy Can-Am)
“We had problems with the navigation. We are still learning. Days like today give us a lot of experience, especially when it comes to dune crossings. The Rallye du Maroc is a test for us. We are here to improve for the Dakar. There’s three days left. We’re having a great time!”


Stage 3: Monday 7 October: Aoufous – Aoufous

The FIM / FIA competitors and the Enduro Cup / SSV / Opens cars have essentially different routes for this third stage, sharing only parts of one loop. In total the FIM / FIA competitors have three specials totalling 363 km of timed special and 178 km of liaison.

The Enduro Cup Afriquia / SSV Maroc Telecom / Open cars for their part have a first special of 148 km followed by just 3 km of liaison (when they can return to the bivouac) and then another 121 km of special.

Not only will the FIM riders have to contend with riding their unserviced bikes on yesterday’s tyres, they will also, along with their FIA colleagues, not receive their road books until just before they start.