Oct 04, 2018
|The Morocco Rally gets underway this afternoon with the dispute of a ten-kilometre prologue in Fez, one of the longest running races in the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship calendar. The rally in Africa brings the 2018 campaign to a close.
Monster Energy Honda Team will wheel out practically the entire squad for the race which will feature Kevin Benavides (Argentina), Paulo Gonçalves (Portugal), Ricky Brabec (U.S.A.) and José Ignacio Cornejo (Chile), all ready to do battle in the Moroccan desert. Spanish rider Joan Barreda will be absent from the rally while he endures the final recovery phase after a recent wrist operation.
The Morocco Rally will get off and running today, Thursday, with a curtain-raising 10-kilometre prologue once riders and teams have completed the administrative and technical shakedown. Monster Energy Honda Team have already cleared the scrutineering and are now focused on the forthcoming five days of racing, with the riders keen to get to grips with the final 2019 Dakar Rally rehearsal.
In recent weeks, the southeastern region of Morocco has experienced heavy storms that have drenched the mountainous areas. This has swollen some of the usually dry river beds, and has resulted in a subsequent revision of the roadbook, where each stage has been adapted to the last-minute terrain changes brought about by the storms. Riders will have to be more attentive than ever to the hazards in the roadbook.
The first stage, between Fez and Erfoud, will feature two special stages. After a first link of 130.14 kilometres, the first timed section of 74.20 km will be disputed. Another link of 190.48 will take the competitors to a second timed special of 68.48 kilometres that will transport them close to the bivouac located on the outskirts of Erfoud, at the edge of the Erg Chebbi, where the action will take place over the following days.
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