MOROCCO RALLY CONCLUDES WITH STAGE 5 AND A WORLD CHAMPION IS CROWNED

Toby Price closes the season with a win in Morocco and Pablo Quintanilla wins the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship

Matthias Walkner, the third in the trio of KTM factory riders made an excellent recovery from a mistake early in the week and finished on a high note. After winning the fourth stage, Walkner, from Austria, opened the track on the final day and led throughout the stage.

  Toby Price - 2016 Morocco Rally Winner

Toby Price - 2016 Morocco Rally Winner

The Morocco Rally also decided the world championship title that finally went to Pablo Quintanilla after he and Sam Sunderland battled it out throughout the week. Sunderland, who last year at this rally picked up a leg injury that put him out of the Dakar Rally in January, put up a spirited fight for the title but was still pleased to wrap up his season with confidence ahead of the 2017 edition of the Dakar.

  Toby Price - 2016 Morocco Rally Winner

Toby Price - 2016 Morocco Rally Winner

Toby Price, who finished third in the world championship after an injury problem in the early rounds, was consistent throughout the five-stage desert race and is in good shape heading into the 2017 Dakar Rally. He had some memorable battles with Sunderland as the Morocco Rally unfolded.

Price: “We always try to push for the wins in the stages and I had a big fight with Sam all week, so it was tough. Today he got lost around the 140 km mark and lost some time there, but everything is good. Sam put up a good flight and he showed he’s ready for the Dakar. Also a big congrats to Pablo (Quintanilla) for the championship. Now its time to move on and get ready for the big one in January.”

  Pablo Quintanilla - FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship

Pablo Quintanilla - FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship

With the world title almost in his grasp, Quintanilla approached the Morocco Rally with tactical caution. He went into the event with an 11-point lead over second placed Sam Sunderland but by stage four on Thursday, the British rider had narrowed the gap and was still very much in the running.

Then on Friday, Quintanilla turned up the gas and finished second in the stage, just 2.21 minutes behind stage and overall winner Toby Price, to finish third overall in the rally, but more importantly for him and his team, to secure the world title.

  Pablo Quintanilla - FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship

Pablo Quintanilla - FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship

Quintanilla acknowledged that it had been a tough, hard fought battle with rivals Price and Sunderland throughout the season and added: “I’m really happy about the season and for the team. We put in a lot of effort and hard work during the year. I just want to thank the team for the amazing job they did at every race. For me this is a dream come true. It is something I have been dreaming about for many years, and with so much passion. Now I am the new world champion.”

Matthias Walkner, the third in the trio of KTM factory riders made an excellent recovery from a mistake early in the week and finished on a high note. After winning the fourth stage, Walkner, from Austria, opened the track on the final day and led throughout the stage.
The Morocco Rally over five stages covered a total distance of 1885 km, of with 1317 km was timed specials. Riders in the Red Bull KTM factory team all compete on the KTM 450 RALLY machine. They will now concentrate on their final preparation for the 2017 edition of the Dakar Rally and be ready to face the challenge of trying to capture KTM’s 16th consecutive title. Action in the 2017 Dakar begins on January 2, 2016.

Final Standings OiLibya Rally 2016 after 5 of 5 stages
1. Price, 13:06:35 h
2. Sunderland, +7.44 min
3. Quintanilla, +17:02
4. Rodrigues, 19:05
5. De Soultrait, +33:04

Chris Glaspell

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