In Morocco, the final stage of Rallye Du Maroc was a shorter/fierce special section battle. Brabec, who was leading heading into the final stage, had the disadvantage of running first – and not being able to track the lead bikes in what he’d refer to as “tricky” navigation. Van Beveren, starting 5th, would take advantage of this and raced to the stage victory – his second stage victory, including Stage 2 – of the five-stage competition.
Said Van Beveren: “Today, it was a good stage for me. I started in 5th position, and that was great to reach the front group soon. The first kilometers were not easy, but I tried to be accurate in the navigation and lost much less time than the group up front (including Brabec). The feeling was good, the terrain was nice – a lot more technical – and I went really fast. This was my first race with Monster Energy/Honda HRC and, day after day, I felt more comfortable on the bike. I know I am doing all the right steps to reach the next Dakar at the highest level.”
Added Brabec: “The rally was great. Overall it was good for the team to get together, do some testing, read some road books. The team did a good job working together. Today it was a bit tricky for us. We had to open the stage and try not to lose a minute. It’s really tough in rally to do that, so it was difficult for us. In the end, we’re happy that we are on the podium. And we are happy that the team is working great together. We’re looking forward to the Andalucia Rally (Spain) and to try and improve on our speed and navigation.”
For the Hero Motorsports Team it’d be Monster Energy’s Branch, in only his second event with Hero, who led the way. Branch won two stages, scored another stage podium finish, and placed in the top five in a fourth stage. The only thing keeping him off the overall podium was a time penalty in one of the initial stages, relegating him to 8th overall despite the wins, podium, and top five stage placings.
Said Branch: “It’s been some time since I finished a rally, and I’m extremely happy to be here at the finish of the Maroc Rally. I’m glad how the whole week turned out. We had some great times and, of course, some unfortunate things. But that’s all part of racing. The team is incredible. And we are in a good position. I know our future is bright. Personally, I’m much more confident with my speed, and very comfortable with my bike. Looking forward to Andalucia and, of course, the big one – Dakar.”
Also making the top ten overall (9th) for at Rallye Du Maroc was Caimi, who improved his performance throughout the six days of racing in Morocco.
Added Caimi: “Rallye Du Maroc was a really challenging race, almost like Dakar. And I’m happy to reach the finish. Stage five was a good stage, and I ended up with a good feeling on the bike – which is really important. I have been working on my daily navigation skills, and there are still some areas to improve. However, I’m very happy with what we could achieve this week – the improvements and overall performance. (I’m) eager to race again in a week’s time in Andalucia.”
Up Next: The final round of the 2022 FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championship, the Andalucia Rally in Spain, is set for October 18-23.