Al-Attiyah and Walkner on form

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service

Nasser Al-Attiyah at the SS2 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 07, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Duo warm up for Dakar with win over the tough sand dunes at Rallye du Maroc.

Nasser Al-Attiyah overhauled Sébastien Loeb to successfully defend his Rallye du Maroc title in a thrilling finale to the event.

The Qatar driver and co-driver Mathieu Baumel found themselves behind Loeb and Daniel Elena with just two stages left of the event.

Sébastien Loeb at the SS4 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 09, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

But stage four proved pivotal, Al-Attiyah leapfrogging a lead he never gave up, crossing the finish nearly eight minutes ahead of the Frenchman.

Afterwards, the rally winner said of the dune-laden route: “This is the best possible preparation for the Dakar Rally. This is one of the toughest races you can do and it was so satisfying to be collecting those stage wins over the past week.”

Carlos Sainz at the SS2 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 07, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Carlos Sainz endured a tough fourth stage to drop him well out of contention, eventually finishing an hour and a half off the pace but, despite the setback, the Spaniard insisted it was also ideal preparation for the Dakar.

“We are very happy with the experience we gained,” he said following 10th place with Lucas Cruz. “I would like to say thank you to the Peugeot Sport team for their hard work. We are eager to start the Dakar Rally in January and drive the brand-new Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi.”

In the bike category, Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider Matthias Walkner took the victory on a new piece of machinery, which he admitted to be relishing riding.

Matthias Walkner at the SS2 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 07, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

“The new bike has given me a lot of confidence to push and take my riding into a new level,” he said, somewhat throwing down the gauntlet to teammate Sam Sunderland for the Dakar.

Sunderland was forced to pull out with water contamination in his fuel tank after the bike got submerged in a river.

Antoine Meo & Sam Sunderland at the SS2 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 07, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Explaining his retirement, the Briton said: “We got to the river and I followed the road book to the crossing but, although I took it as carefully as I could the bike just disappeared from beneath me. I ended up drowing the engine and getting water in the fuel.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah & Mathieu Baumel at the finish line of the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 10, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Rallye du Maroc results

Car

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Toyota 10 hours 39 minutes 34 seconds
2. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) Peugeot +7:55
3. Nani Roma (ESP) Mini +24:45
4. Kuba Przygoński (POL) Mini +29:38
5. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) Mini +43:25

Matthias Walknerat the finish line of the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 10, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Bike

1. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM 10:03.49
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG) Honda +13:42
3. Ricky Brabec (USA) Honda +16:58
4. Antoine Méo (FRA) KTM +18:27
5. Joan Pedrero (ESP) Sherco +22:28

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*