Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Andrew Short has put in another storming ride at the 2019 Rally du Maroc to finish the day in third position. With teammate Pablo Quintanilla bringing his Husqvarna FR 450 Rally home just under three minutes behind in fourth, the pair now top the provisional overall leader board with Short enjoying a 28-second advantage.
At 311 kilometres, the timed special on day four of the Rally du Maroc proved to be another incredibly tough challenge for all riders with its mixture of fast, rocky tracks and camel grass strewn sandy areas. As the 13th rider to enter the stage, Andrew Short knew he would have to push hard right from the start to be in with a chance of making up time on the riders ahead. Immediately feeling comfortable on the mixed Moroccan terrain, the likeable American was able to maintain a good, solid pace and pass a number of riders ahead of him. Making the minimum of errors, despite enduring over three-and-a-half hours of racing, Andrew completed the special in third place and gained enough time to move himself into the provisional lead of the event.
Also enjoying a solid result on day four, Pablo Quintanilla made good progress through the timed special. Using his experience to successfully navigate through the looped stage that took riders south of the oasis town of Erfoud, the Chilean ace finished fourth, two minutes and 52 seconds behind Short. Lying second in the provisional standings, just 28 seconds behind his teammate, Quintanilla will enjoy a fourth-place start to Wednesday’s final stage where he will undoubtedly be aiming to challenge for a podium position.
The fifth and final stage of the 2019 Rally du Maroc will see riders leave the bivouac near Erfoud and head north to the city of Fes. The long 456.84-kilometre stage includes a 168.47-kilometre timed special.
Andrew Short: “The stage was really good for me, I knew I had to go hard, right from the beginning, which I did. There was a mixture of fast tracks and not so many dunes, but anywhere there was sand or camel grass, I tried my best there and was able to make up good time. It was really tricky before the refuel and I got lost a little and ended up riding back to the top of a hill. Thankfully, a local was able to point me in the right direction and after a few of kilometres I was able to find the correct way again. Overall, it’s been a really good day for me and from the points situation it’s looking good, so hopefully I can have another good day tomorrow and finish strong.”
Pablo Quintanilla: “Today was really good – I managed to find a good pace and had a really good rhythm. I made a small mistake before the refuelling where the road book was a little confusing, but luckily I didn’t lose much time. Overall, I’m happy because I’m feeling really good on the bike and I think we have found some good settings here in Morocco. I’m in a good position in the overall and things are looking good for tomorrow and the final stage.”
2019 Rally du Maroc – Stage 4 Provisional Classification
1. Paulo Goncalves (Hero) 3:37:11
2. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:38:09
3. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 3:38:41
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:41:33
5. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 3:41:48
6. Aaron Mare (Honda) 3:43:35
2019 Rally du Maroc – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 4]
1. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 15:45:25
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 15:45:53
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 15:47:31
4. Joan Barreda (Honda) 15:50:29
5. Toby Price (KTM) 15:53:30
6. Luciano Benavides (KTM) 15:54:46