FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, round 5
October 4-9, 2018
The Rally of Morocco, round five of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, has been organised by David Castera this year and will see the culmination of a year’s work. It will also decide the outcome of the FIM World Championship.
From Fes to Erfoud and back to Fes, riders will cross 1,937 kilometres, after which one of them will be crowned World Champion. On paper, six riders are still in the running! For this last race, the stage is set for a magnificent finale with all the official teams present at the start.
Looking at the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship’s points’ standings, Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) has 69, Toby Price (KTM) has 61 and Paulo Gonçalves (Honda) is third on 57. Kevin Benavides (Honda) is fourth with 53 pts, Matthias Walkner (KTM) has 51 pts and even the Junior rider Maciej Giemza (KTM Orlen) has 42 and holds a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion!
Over 1,937 kilometeres (1,255km of special stages and 682km of liaison), the suspense will be intense for everyone from the start to the final parc fermé!
It goes without saying that the Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar/ Husqvarna Factory Racing) - a double FIM Cross-Country Rally World Champion (2017 and 2018) - will be keen to keep his crown. He can count on the help of teammate Andrew Short, who has learned a lot over the last few races.
To try and prevent Quintanilla achieving his goal, Red Bull/Factory KTM Racing has entered no less than five riders: Toby Price, Matthias Walkner, Sam Sunderland (who returns after fracturing his foot in Chile), Junior rider Luciano Benavides and newcomer Mario Patrao.
The entire Monster Energy Honda Team is galvanized after the victory for Kevin Benavides at the Atacama Rally and Paulo Gonçalves’s success at the Desafio Ruta 40. The Portuguese is only 12 points behind Quintanilla, the Argentinian, 16 ... and anything can happen. Joan Barreda is absent after fracturing his wrist in Chile, but the American Ricky Brabec and Junior rider Ignacio Cornejo will support the two title protagonists.
As in Chile, Yamaha’s official Yamalube Rally Team will also be present in full with Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait and Franco Caimi. None of the Yamaha riders are running for the title, but it is safe to say that they will all be pushing to challenge for success.
David Casteu and Team Sherco TVS Rally Factory have recruited the Metge brothers, Michael and Adrien, as well as Lorenzo Santolino - who also raced in Argentina - and a new Indian pilot Noah Harite.
Team KTM Orlen aims to defend the title of best Junior with Maciej Giemza, who led the championship for four months, and Adam Tomiczek.
Unfortunately, Team Hero’s equipment did not return from Peru and they cannot participate in this closing race. In total, 39 FIM Bike riders will be at the start of the Rally of Morocco.
In the quad category, the Russian rider Aleksandr Maksimov has 77 points. If he crosses the finish line, he is sure to leave with the crown of winner of the FIM Quads World Cup. His closest opponent, the Argentine Nicolas Cavigliasso, is not present.
Rafal Sonik only has 38 points. He was seriously injured early in the year and missed part of the season and is no danger to the Russian.
In total, there will be five Yamaha Raptors on the starting line: Sonik, Maksimov, Otwinovski, Aguirre and Julliard.
Programme of events:
•Wednesday, October 3
Administrative and technical checks at the Marriott Hotel in Fes.
•Thursday, October 4
Administrative and technical checks at the Marriott Hotel in Fes in the morning.
•Thursday, October 4
Prologue in the afternoon. Liaison: 37km - SS 10km - Total: 47km
•Friday, October 5
1st stage Fes - Erfoud Liaison: 322km - SS1: 99km - SS2: 68km - Total: 489km
•Saturday October 6
2nd stage Erfoud - Erfoud Liaison: 36km - SS: 281km - Total: 317km
•Sunday October 7
3rd stage Erfoud - Erfoud Liaison: 5km - SS: 305km - Total: 310km
•Monday, October 8
4th stage Erfoud - Erfoud Liaison: 23km - SS: 294km - Total: 317km
•Tuesday October 9
5th stage Erfoud - Fes Liaison: 259km - SS1: 128km - SS2: 70km - Total: 457km
Liaison: 682km - SS: 1,255km - Total: 1,937km
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