Enjoying yet another positive event ahead of the upcoming Dakar Rally, Pablo Quintanilla has secured fourth overall at the 2018 Morocco Rally. Wrapping up a stellar season of international rally competition by securing a hard-fought runner-up spot in the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider now looks ahead to the prestigious Dakar Rally, in January 2019.
Including a mixture of technical trails and faster more flowing sections, the fifth and final stage of the Morocco Rally brought competitors back to the city of Fes. Enjoying a consistent pace in both timed stages, Pablo Quintanilla posted the seventh best time for the day to retain his strong fourth place in the event’s overall standings.
Finishing inside the top-three in every round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship he took part in, Pablo wrapped up the season just outside the top-three at the Morocco Rally. The two-time world champion ends his 2018 campaign having secured victory in Abu Dhabi, two podium results in Chile and Argentina and a fourth place result in Morocco. In doing so, he finished just six points behind newly-crowned FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion Toby Price.
The last stage of the 2018 Morocco Rally also saw Andrew Short put in his best individual stage performance at this year’s event. Securing an eighth place result on the final stage, Short claimed seventh in the Morocco Rally’s overall standings.
Pablo Quintanilla: “It’s been a long week of racing here in Morocco and I am happy with fourth in the overall results. I gave my best this season to defend my World Championship and I am satisfied to finish the season in the runner-up spot. I was on the podium in every race we took part in and ended the season with fourth here at the Morocco Rally. My race pace was good throughout the year and I was also very consistent in my results. I want to say a big thank you to all the members of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team, who have been giving their best in each event. This season I’ve worked a lot with my team and I’m feeling strong going into the upcoming Dakar.”
Andrew Short: “I really enjoyed this last day of racing here in Morocco. Today we had some technical parts, but overall traction was good and I could push for a good result. This rally was quite fast and had less sandy sections than what I expected, but overall it was a good experience. I feel I learned more this week in Morocco and this gives me the motivation to keep working. There’re still things I need to improve with my navigation and my pace is some faster sections. I think I’ve improved a lot in a little more than one year since I made the switch to rally racing, but there’s still a long way to go. These next couple of months I’ll try to analyse all the things I’ve learned this season in order to get stronger for Dakar.”
2018 Morocco Rally – Stage 5 Provisional Classification
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 02:31:56
2. Toby Price (KTM) 02:32:08
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 02:32:13
4. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 02:32:56
5. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 02:33:55
6. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 02:38:45
7. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 02:39:09
8. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 02:40:47
2018 Morocco Rally – Overall Classification [Provisional]
1. Toby Price (KTM) 16:08:37
2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 16:16:09
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 16:25:12
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 16:43:29
5. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 16:56:51
6. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 17:05:40
7. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 17:32:54