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Monster Energy Wins Stage 1 and 2 | Rallye du Maroc 2023

Published On:: 16/10/2023

Monster Energy racers dominate Rallye du Maroc over the weekend – Branch wins Stage 1, Schareina wins Stage 2.

Double victory for Monster Energy in the sands of Morocco over the weekend at Rounds 1 & 2 of the FIM World Rally Raid Championships’ final round – the Rallye du Maroc – as Ross Branch (Hero Motorsports) and Tosha Schareina (Team Honda) raced to top honors, with Branch now holding the overall lead after the Prologue and opening two rounds of racing.

The Rallye du Maroc’s first stage would prove to be the longest, operating for more than 700 km between Agadir and Zagora. Run through a mixture of gravel, dirt, sand and dunes, the stage was split between a 397 km Liaison, with a Special Stage of 314 km. Branch checked in at every waypoint, en route to a 3:41 win, ahead of Monster Energy’s Pablo Quintanilla (Honda HRC Rally) in 2nd place. Quintanilla was able to move up to the runner-up spot following a navigation mistake near the end of the Special by then 2nd place racer Schareina.

Said Branch: “It was a very long day on the saddle. We started around three AM this morning, and rode over 700 kms on the bike. The liaisons were quite long, but when I got to the stage, it felt amazing! The stage was quite hard and rocky, but I enjoyed it. I was able to navigate well right from the beginning; I caught up with some other competitors around refuel, and we pretty much rode together till the finish. I’m very happy with my result – finally got a stage win this year! This is exactly what I and the team needed before the Dakar, and we’re happy with our progress, and where we are physically and mentally now.”

Added Quintanilla, who was in 2nd place following Stage 1: “This was definitely a good day for me.” Said Pablo. “It was a very hard journey with many rocks and dangerous parts. I tried to ride smoothly and was able to reach a good pace all day long. I also got some dust in the morning, but overall I felt good. I am happy with my performance and feel really good with my Honda CRF 450 Rally.”

With the good news came the bad on Stage 1 as Monster Energy’s Ricky Brabec (Honda HRC Rally) ran into a reported battery issue and was forced to retire from the stage, which eliminated him from the rest of the Rally du Maroc. Brabec joins Monster Energy Honda HRC Rally teammate, fellow American Skyler Howes (injured), on the sidelines and out of the action in Morocco.

Sunday’s Stage 2, run again from Zagora to Zagora, would showcase the return of Schareina as the Spaniard made up for missing the podium in Stage 1 with a resounding two minute and 20 second victory over fellow CRF 450 Rally pilot Jose “Nacho” Cornejo (Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally).

Said Schareina: “I tried to do my best from the beginning to the end. And another hard day at the office (laughter)! We recovered the time that we lost yesterday (Stage 1). Good lines and try to remember what’s in the rule book. And here in Morocco there are a lot of dangers, but you have to try to do your best all the time. I look forward to tomorrow, Stage 3.”

Added Cornejo on his Stage 2 podium: “I really enjoyed the stage today. At the beginning there were a lot of stones, not my kind of terrain, but I felt strong. After refueling I kept pushing and pushing, made a good navigation with no mistakes. It was a long stage where I had a lot of fun in the dunes. I am feeling pretty good physically and also mentally.”


Rallye du Maroc Results

Stage 1

1st – Ross Brancy (Monster Energy/Hero Motorsports)

2nd – Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally)

7th – Jose Cornejo (Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally)

8th – Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally)

10th – Tosha Schareina (Monster Energy/Team Honda)


Stage 2

1st – Tosha Schareina (Monster Energy/Team Honda)

3rd – Jose Cornejo (Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally)

6th – Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally)

10th – Ross Branch (Monster Energy/Hero Motorsports)


Rallye du Maroc Schedule

October 13: Prologue — Agadir (total: 119 km)

October 14: Stage 1 — Agadir–Zagora (road section: 397 km / special: 324 km / total: 721 km)

October 15: Stage 2 — Zagora–Zagora (road section: 100 km / special: 288 km / total: 388 km)

October 16: Stage 3 — Zagora–Zagora (road section: 108 km / special: 336 km / total: 444 km)

October 17: Stage 4 — Zagora–Merzouga (road section: 75 km / special: 351 km / total: 426 km)

October 18: Stage 5 — Zagora–Merzouga (road section: 0 km / special: 152 km / total: 152 km)