Rallye du Maroc stage 4 - Everything still to play for

Rallye du Maroc stage 4 - Everything still to play for

12.10.2021: Rallye du Maroc Tuesday, October 12th 2021 Stage 4: A mix of old and new Distances : L1: 118 / SS: 367 / L2 : 61 – Total : 546 (Moto FIM / Auto FIA) L1: 118 / SS: 337 / L2 : 75 – Total : 530 (Enduro Cup / Quad / SSV / Open)

Rallye du Maroc
Tuesday, October 12th 2021
Stage 4: A mix of old and new

Distances :
L1: 118 / SS: 367 / L2 : 61 – Total : 546 (Moto FIM / Auto FIA)
L1: 118 / SS: 337 / L2 : 75 – Total : 530 (Enduro Cup / Quad / SSV / Open)


No major sand sections on the menu for this fourth stage. While there were a few small ergs to cross, David Castera's team were more focused on linking new tracks to historic Dakar pistes from times gone by.

This was especially the case for last fifty kilometres of the track to Foum Zguid. As Ricky Brabec discovered to his cost, navigation played a central role in today's result.


At yesterday evening’s briefing David Castera warned competitors to take care today with the navigation when coming across rally tracks from previous days. And inevitably it was the man who opened this morning, Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda) who paid the highest price.

His overall lead this morning of 10:27, has this evening been transformed into a 07:34 deficit. Ricky is of course still in with a chance, but not as big a one as teammate Pablo Quintanilla. Second overall this morning at 10:27, this evening the Chilean is just 37 seconds behind leader Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory) and will start the last day third on the road just behind the ex-Dakar winner.

The Austrian will also be fighting hard for the podium, while taking care of his world championship ambitions. Winning his first stage today on his Rallye du Maroc debut, the young Australian Daniel Sanders (Gas Gas Factory Racing) will also be pushing hard to keep his podium place, his chances possibly increased by the organisers decision to shorten tomorrow’s special from 291 km to 166.

Slightly less suspense in Rally2 thanks to the domination of the category by the rookie American Mason Klein (BAS Dakar KTM) who celebrates his 20th birthday today. He again won the day 6:54 ahead of Bradley Cox (BAS Dakar KTM) with Benji Melot (Esprit KTM) third at 16:30.

In the cars, for the first time since the start of the rally, someone other than Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing) won a stage, with honours going to Yazeed Al Rajhi (Toyota Overdrive) and his co-driver Michael Orr. Third was Jakub Przygonski (X-Raid Mini) at 02:30.

It means that Nasser will start second tomorrow, perfectly positioned to keep an eye on his closest rival and protect his 11:21 lead. In T3 the overall leader Cristina Gutierrez ran into transmission problems and pulled out of the special accompanied by her Red Bull Off-Road Junior teammate Seth Quintero.

T3 victory on the stage went to Pavel Lebedev (Moscow Rally Team). In T4 no less than 7 SSVs between 12th and 18th place on today’s special separated by just over 4 minutes !

And it was the rookie Lithuanian Rokas Baciuska (South Racing) who won to take his first rally raid special, just 25 seconds ahead of teammate Michal Goczal.


Back in 2014 Vanessa Ruck got knocked off her bicycle and ended up having 7 operations to rebuild her shoulder and hip. Her initial goal was to ‘get better’ and ‘pain free’. Eventually she was forced into the realisation that she’d have to lower her expectations and learn to live with the pain.

By her own admission ‘it’s been a rollercoaster’, both physically and mentally. In her search for tools to help her come to terms with her new reality motorcycling turned out to be one of the most useful distractions.

Like many before her she initially started on road bikes before being seduced by the adrenaline rush of riding off-road. This summer she successfully completed the Iron class of the Romaniacs. Two weeks ago she completed her first desert race, the Qatar International Baja. This week she’s racing her first rally-raid….

Something else that has helped her come to grips with her life changing injuries is visiting schools and talking to the pupils alongside her Project Dakar teammate Tim Bradshaw. Together they have tried to pass on some of the strategies they have come up with to overcome adversity #becauseican.


Is the record number of victories on the Rally du Maroc… and it is held by a co-driver. Frenchman Mathieu Baumel has one more victory than his team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing). If Nasser can hope to equal this record tomorrow by winning his 6th crown in Morocco, Mathieu will inevitably receive his 7th. Unless the Gazoo Racing driver pushes him out of the cockpit before the finish line !

For Mathieu, who won in 2011 with Bernhard Ten Brinke (Mitsubishi), it will be the 10th anniversary of his first victory. Among the drivers, Nasser is the most capped in the Rallye du Maroc with 5 titles in a row from 2014 to 2018. Giniel De Villiers and Cyril Despres have won 4 times while Peterhansel, Schlesser and Coma have each won 3 times.


Jakub Przygonski (X-Raid Mini)


“Oh a long time ago – 2009. I was 25 years old.”




“It was one of my first cross country rallies. When it is your first time in the desert it is a shock, the terrain, the road book, everything is new. But I really enjoyed it because there’s a lot of different types of terrain, stones, sand, camel grass. I was riding a KTM 690 in the Orlen Team but we had support from the factory. Before that I had been riding moto-x and enduro. In total I raced bikes for 16 years and I’ve been racing cars for 6 years.

Matthieu Perez, Photo: ©️ DPPI / Frédéric Le Floc'h ©️ Rallye du Maroc / Charly Lopez

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/rallye-du-maroc-stage-4-everything-still-to-play---229837.html

12.10.2021 / MaP

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