DESPRES MOVES BACK INTO OVERALL LEAD IN MOROCCO
KTM factory rider Cyril Despres finished second in Stage Four of the Morocco Rally to reclaim the overall lead in a dramatic day where sand storms reduced visibility hindering navigation and his main rival and yesterday’s leader retiring with engine problems.
The entire field was shaken up in the fourth stage and eventual stage winner, KTM’s Kuba Przgonski was the one who triumphed in very difficult conditions, coming home in three hours 28.44, two minutes 27 ahead of Cyril Despres. With Marc Coma out with a dislocated shoulder after yesterday’s crash and the overall leader Helder Rodrigues of Portugal out today with engine problems, the way is now clear for Despres to make his mark on the remaining days.
Riders tackled about 250 km of tough desert riding with a mix of rocky piste and sand dunes but it was the notorious sand storms that gave them the most problems with very poor visibility. This resulted in a significant reshuffle of the leader board, which saw many of the top ten riders up to now drop down the order. The difficult conditions could also be a problem for the lead riders in tomorrow’s stage. It covers a lot of the same territory and is about the same distance. Przgonski is in charge of opening the track, not an enviable job given the sand storm situation.
Results Stage Four Morocco Rally
1. Kuba Przgonski (PL), KTM, 3:28.44 hours
2. Cyril Despres (F), KTM, +2:27 min
3. Felipe Zanol (BR), Honda, +4:19
4. Olivier Pain (F), Yamaha, +6:.09
5. Frans Verhoeven (NL), Yamaha, +6:09
6. Alessandro Botturi (I), KTM, 9:02
11. Chaleco Lopez (RCH), KTM, 22:57
12. Jacek Czachor (PL), KTM, 24:05
13. Juan Pedrero (E), KTM, 18:53
14. Henk Nuimann (NL), +32:14
18. Riaan Van-Niekerk (RSA), KTM, +39:42
20. Darryl Curtis (RSA), KTM, +43:27
Note: Helder Rodrigues of Portugal on the Honda, leaders by 11 minutes after Stage Three did not finish Stage Four because of engine problems.
Standings after Stage Four
1. Despres, 13:11.54 hours
2. Barreda, +17:59 min
3. Verhoeven, +31:51
4. Zanol, +33:21
5. Pain, +33:23
6. Lopez, +36:07
9. Przgonski, +49:39
11. Pedrero, +54:48
12. Botturi, +1:11.13 hour (30 min penalty)
14. Van-Niekerk, +1:52.35
15. Curtis, +1:56.00