Bringing to an end a highly productive week at the Rallye Du Maroc for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, Adrien Van Beveren has successfully crossed the event’s finish in an impressive fifth place overall. Posting incredibly consistent stage results throughout, Van Beveren completed the final special as the ninth-fastest rider and less than four minutes behind the stage winner. For Andrew Short, the American safely brought his Yamaha WR450F Rally to the finish line in Zagora as the 12th fastest rider for ninth overall while Ross Branch placed fifth, for 26th overall.
With a shortened final stage at the Rallye Du Maroc, it was by no means a fast dash to the finish line. Featuring a 30-kilometre stretch of rolling sand dunes which called for error-free riding, it was a physical test for all competitors with Ross, Adrien, and Andrew all navigating their way to the finish line unscathed and happy to complete the five-day event.
Following his disappointing technical issue on the penultimate stage, it was a bittersweet end to the Rallye Du Maroc for Ross Branch. Demonstrating just what he’s capable of on the final special, the 35-year-old completed day five as the fifth-fastest rider and a mere 37 seconds from the win. With a challenging rally now behind him, Ross is now fully focused on the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge which takes place in just over three weeks’ time.
Rounding out a highly positive week in Morocco, Adrien Van Beveren finished ninth overall on the final stage to secure his well-deserved fifth-place finish in the final classification. Confident with his navigation, his ability to open stages, and feeling at one with his Yamaha WR450F Rally, the Frenchman is excited for the future, especially with the 2022 Dakar Rally now very much on the horizon.
The final Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team rider to reach the finish line at the Rallye Du Maroc was Andrew Short. As a previous winner of the event, the American was understandably disappointed to not find himself closer to the leading riders. Nevertheless, with his exceptional navigational skills and fitness, Andrew pieced together a strong and calculated performance on his way to securing his ninth-place finish in the final standings.
With the Rallye du Maroc now concluded, the team will now turn its attention to the final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge which begins on November 6.
Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
“I’m really happy with my performance at the Rally Du Maroc. It ended today with another great day on the bike and I’m really confident for the future as my navigation and speed is right where it needs to be. The ultimate goal is to be ready for the Dakar and if I can take the feeling that I had this week to that race then I will be really happy. It’s been a great event here in Morocco. I opened much of stage four, showed good speed all week, and the hard work that the team and myself have done in the lead up to the race is something that we are proud of, and it really paid off.”
Andrew Short – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
“Overall I’m a little disappointed with my result at this race but there are plenty of positives to take away. It’s been great to have the whole team here and also there was a full line-up of riders, so it was nice to have the full paddock atmosphere at this one. I just need to improve my speed a little and then I think I’ll be back to where I should be. I’m happy to have reached the finish line with no issues and as always this was a really well organised event. It’s been a great week with the team and now it’s onto Abu Dhabi.”
Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
“It’s great to reach the finish line after such a challenging event. I’ve learned a lot though which is really important and now my focus is on the next race in Abu Dhabi. After that one I’ll be working a lot on my roadbook skills as I feel like they really let me down early on this week, but that’s something that just takes time. Then it’ll be onto the big one in January, the Dakar Rally.”
Marc Bourgeois – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Coordinator
“Overall it has been a great rally for the team. The Rallye Du Maroc is always a really challenging event with the mixed terrain and the sand dunes making it one of the toughest on the calendar. All three riders reached the finish line, so this gives us all a lot of confidence as the whole team has put in a lot of work before this race. The atmosphere in the team is really positive and for the riders, Ross will work some more on his roadbook skills, Adrien’s confidence is returning, and Andrew continues to make great progress. It’s now onto Abu Dhabi and the team is excited to be racing again so soon after a positive time here in Morocco.”
Alexandre Kowalski – Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
“After such a positive week of racing, the team spirit is really high. Behind the scenes the team and riders have worked really hard and all week the bikes were performing perfectly. For Adrien, he rode really well, and we had a deep field of riders, so to finish fifth is an excellent result and he is really happy with his bike and his performance. Andrew had a few crashes early on, which happens in racing, however he was fortunately not injured. After that, he rode well and finished third on stage three, so it was nice to see him secure a strong stage result. For Ross, he was fast as always but he just needs to fine-tune his roadbook skills and then he will be the complete rally racer. Overall, though, for the team and riders, this rally was an important step towards Dakar 2022 but up first will be the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge next month.”
Rallye du Maroc 2021
Stage 5 Provisional Classification
- Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 1:39:12
- Ricky Brabec (Honda) 1:39:29 + 0:00:27
- Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 1:39:30 + 0:00:18
- Toby Price (KTM) 1:39:49 + 0:00:37
- Ross Branch (Yamaha) 1:39:49 + 0:00:37
- Joan Barreda (Honda) 1:40:17 + 0:01:05
- Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 1:42:57 + 0:03:45
- Andrew Short (Yamaha) 1:45:18 + 0:06:06
Rallye du Maroc 2021
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 5)
- Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 16:26:51
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 16:28:50 + 0:01:59
- Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 16:32:18 + 0:05:27
- Ricky Brabec (Honda) 16:34:05 + 0:07:14
- Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 16:44:52 + 0:18:01
- Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 17:00:54 + 0:34:03
- Andrew Short (Yamaha) 17:08:44 + 0:41:53
- Ross Branch (Yamaha) 28:30:24 + 12:03:33