Victory and leadership for Goncalves in Morocco.
1-2 for Honda with Brabec second Portuguese Team HRC rider Paulo Gonçalves clinched the stage victory today in the Morocco Rally and with it the overall race leadership. Teammate Ricky Brabec added to the celebrations with a second place – a personal best for the American in the Cross-Country Rally World Championship.
The 291 kilometre stage today – the first part of the marathon stage – was modified due to the Moroccan Army stopping – for no apparent reason – various riders including Team HRC’s Argentinean young gun Kevin Benavides. Race authorities decided that, for all the competitors, the stage should begin from CP1, 105 kilometres into the special stage. What remained were 186 kilometres against the clock, with a final stretch over the dunes before the stage finished back at the camp in M’Hamid.
Paulo Gonçalves, who got off to a flying start from the new relocated race-start proceeded to whittle away seconds from the riders ahead. Paulo arrived at the final destination at the foot of the dunes near M’Hamid with the day’s fastest time. Gonçalves checked over the Honda CRF450 RALLY and has verified that the bike is in good shape to attack tomorrow. Tomorrow sees the second leg of the marathon stage with no outside mechanical assistance being allowed overnight.
Ricky Brabec was on fire today. The American who started out ahead of his Portuguese teammate Goncalves finished 2’25 behind him to post the first one-two for the Honda CRF450 RALLY in the OiLibya Morocco Rally 2016 so far.
For a complete classification list click here