Thursday 8 October
4th stage: Zagora – Agadir
Link sections: 348 km – Special: 293 km – Total: 641 km
For this fourth stage, the Morocco Rally set out westwards towards the Ocean and Agadir. Unfortunately, this Special is very hard going and there were a lot of crashes. For Honda, it was a rout: Joan Barreda fell hard at km 15, striking his head and losing consciousness, while Paulo Gonçalves wrecked his bike in a crash but managed to finish 21st. Pelat broke his jaw and Mohamed Balooshi fell just before Barreda and may have broken some ribs. Antoine Meo fell on his bike at the same moment, breaking his navigation instruments. He nevertheless manged to finish 12th thanks to Laia Sanz who alerted him when there was a danger coming up!
The day’s winner, Sam Sunderland (KTM), clinched the Special ahead of Pablo Quintanilla (KTM), who stopped to help his team mate and rival for the title, Matthias Walkner. “It was a really dangerous Special today”, explained the Chilean. Joan crashed on a danger 2. It was impressive to see…”
Helder Rodrigues, who had electrical problems yesterday, and Alessandro Botturi rode their Yamahas into 3rd and 4th place respectively, a fine result.
For Matthias Walkner (KTM), 5th in the stage, it was quite a traumatic day. “I had to get back in the zone after staying with Joan”, explains the young Austrian. It was scary to see him out cold and it took me 50km to get over it.” Walkner and Quintanilla should get back the minutes spent at their injured friend’s side.
Juan Pedrero (Sherco) was 6th ahead of Faria (Husqvarna), Bennavides, Van Beveren and Pain. Olivier Pain’s young team mate with Nomade, Loïc Minaudier from the Aveyeron, finished 23rd today ahead of Ivan Cervantes.
Toby Price and Jordi Viladoms sat out the stage, reaching Agadir by road, as Price still had a temperature and Viladoms felt dizzy at the slightest exertion.
In quad, Rafal Sonik came in 31st.