Wrapping up the penultimate stage at this year’s OiLibya Morocco Rally in fourth position, Hélder Rodrigues moved up to fourth in the provisional overall standings. With the race entering its fifth and final stage tomorrow, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider is now less than two minutes behind a provisional top three overall result.
Stage four of the OiLibya Morocco Rally 2016 proved to be challenging for all competitors. Successfully battling his way through the day’s mixed stony, dusty and sandy conditions Hélder Rodrigues managed to bring Yamaha one-step closer to the overall podium. The Portuguese rider set a good pace aboard his WR450F Rally machine right off the start and in avoiding any mistakes he reached the finish line fourth.
For Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren it was another learning stage ahead of the Frenchman’s second participation at the prestigious Dakar. Battling with other riders’ dust Adrien came home in eighth, managing to retain his seventh place in the rally’s provisional overall standings.
Back to the race after experiencing a dramatic couple of days, Alessandro Botturi found a good rhythm and went on to finish the day 12th. The Italian rider had suffered a broken sprocket on stage two and was forced to sit out the second part of the marathon stage yesterday. Looking forward to getting some well-earned rest tonight Alessandro is confident he can wrap up the rally with a good final stage result tomorrow.
Continuing his strong run of form, Rodney Faggoter finished the penultimate stage of the rally 13th and is still 11th in the provisional overall standings. As for Yamaha supported Xavier de Soultrait, the Frenchman put in another impressive performance aboard his WR450F machine. Finishing today’s stage fifth, Xavier is currently fifth in the overall standings.
4th Stage 4 / 4th Overall
“It’s been a great day for me. My plan was to attack the dunes stage to try to get as close as possible to the top three. It all worked out well so now I’m fourth overall with one stage to go. Today I struggled with the dust coming from riders in front. But I pushed all the way to the finish. The bike feels great in these conditions so the plan for tomorrow is to keep pushing for the final podium. During the last couple of days we’ve raced over all kinds of terrain against the top rally riders in the world. I think it’s been a great event to help us prepare for the Dakar.”
8th Stage 4 / 7th Overall
“We all struggled with the dust today. I was the fifth rider to start the stage and at some points it was almost impossible to find your way through that huge cloud of dust. I had to remain focused and do my best not to go off track. As soon as we entered the big dunes I was able to start pushing. I had a great feeling on the bike so I managed to make a few good passes. Overall, I’m really happy with the updates we did on the bike. We’re learning a lot every day collecting valuable experience ahead of the Dakar. There were just so many riders getting lost today so I’m glad I’m making some good progress in my navigation.”
12th Stage 4 / 60th Overall
“It feels good to be back to the race. I might be way behind in the overall rankings, but I just wanted to get as much time as possible racing my bike. I was among the last riders to start so I spent the greatest part of the day trying to find my way in the dust of riders in front. I made lots of passes in the special stage and managed to post the 12th best time for the day. I lost so much energy trying to get back to the bivouac yesterday so I was exhausted and with just a couple hours of sleep at the start of today’s stage. For tomorrow I’m confident I can do a lot better. In any case this rally has been a great experience that has prepared us even for the worst possible scenario at the Dakar.”
13th Stage 4 / 11th Overall
“It was a tough day in the saddle. Every day I keep learning so much and getting even more familiar with the bike. After the start I caught Hélder and we rode together for a while. Adrien and Alessandro were behind us and we all had a good pace. Soon after the refuelling point I caught Ricky Brabec. Unfortunately, he made a mistake and I went after him. We went off track and we both lost a good couple of minutes there. When I got back on the right track I decided not to push hard. I took my time, stayed focused on my navigation and rode conservatively to the finish. For tomorrow I just want to have a solid ride to finish this rally on a high.”
OiLibya Morocco Rally 2016 – Stage 4 Results
1. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 03:38:00
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 03:38:16, +00:16
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 03:41:21, +03:21
4. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 03:42:25, +04:25
5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 03:44:36, +06:36
6. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 03:44:46, +06:46
8. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 03:49:07, +11:07
12. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 03:56:29, +18:29
13. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 03:59:33, +21:33
OiLibya Morocco Rally 2016 – Provisional Classification After Stage 4
1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 10:35:40
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 10:36:47, +01:07
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 10:51:28, +15:48
4. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 10:52:57, +17:17
5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 10:58:30, +22:50
6. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 10:59:17, +23:37
7. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 11:04:03, +28:23
11. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 11:35:23, +59:43