Rally du Maroc 2019
2019 Cross-Country Rallies Round WORLD4 , Stage 5
Joan Barreda finishes on the podium of a tough Rallye du Maroc
The Rallye du Maroc concluded today in Fez with a notable result for the Monster Energy Honda Team, with Joan Barreda grabbing a spot on the overall podium after finishing runner-up in the final stage and Kevin Benavides, third place in the World Championship.
After a final 168.47-kilometre timed stage with plenty of complications en route, the final Rallye du Maroc podium featured the presence of one of the Monster Energy Honda Team squad: Joan Barreda. This edition of the Rallye du Maroc included some of the sport’s highest-level elite riders, with every day decided by the narrowest of margins. Today, the top positions in the general standings received one final shake-up. This proved to be the case for Joan Barreda, with the Spaniard capitalizing on his possibilities, riding a fine special to post a finish just three seconds short of the stage winner and concluding the rally on the third step of the rostrum, with a seven-second advantage over the fourth place finisher.
American rider Ricky Brabec set off this morning with his sights likewise set on a podium place. However, his starting position for the final special was far less favourable in his bid for third overall place. In spite of this, Ricky clocked up some fine partial times, although not enough to hold on to his third overall position. A ninth place on the stage means the American claims fifth final place in the general rankings of the rally.
Kevin Benavides was happy to have made it through to the end of the rally after a fall in the third stage had turned the race into an uphill struggle. The rider battled on despite a right leg injury which had taken a blow in the very same point as a previous injury picked up in Morocco. Ruling out a retirement, the Argentine Monster Energy Honda Team rider managed to make it to the end to wrap up the Rallye du Maroc with a top ten overall finish, which gives him to finish third in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
José Ignacio Cornejo also made it safely back to Fez trouble-free as the eleventh place overall rider, as did Aaron Mare, the rider assisted by Monster Energy Honda Team, who delivered a consistent performance in the rally without major issues.
The Rallye du Maroc is the final competition featuring the Monster Energy Honda Team this season. The next event will be the Salón Internacional de la Moto de Milán, EICMA, in Milan, Italy, this coming November, where the official factory team to take part in the great challenge – the 2020 Rally Dakar – will get their official presentation.