Maintaining his impressive speed and consistency through the technical fourth stage at the Rally du Maroc, Adrien Van Beveren opened much of today’s special. Despite the arduous task, the Frenchman brought his Yamaha WR450F Rally home just 10 minutes behind the overall stage winner for a strong eighth place finish. His solid performance on the penultimate day of racing edges him one step closer to securing an overall top-five result. For teammate Andrew Short, a 12th place stage finish moves the American up to ninth in the overall provisional classification while Ross Branch encountered a technical issue.
With the penultimate stage of the Rallye Du Maroc serving up another day of racing across technical terrain and with tricky navigation, stage four once again tested the patience, endurance, and roadbook skills of all competitors.
The slower overall speeds and importance of efficient navigation played into the hands of Adrien Van Beveren today. Even with much of the terrain not featuring his favoured sand, the Frenchman enjoyed the technical stage and by maintaining his strong pace and relying on his proficient roadbook skills, opened the special from the halfway point. Going on to complete the stage as the eighth fastest rider, Van Beveren is now comfortably on course for an overall top-five finish.
Following on from yesterday’s breakout performance, Andrew Short was the third rider to enter the stage and was faced with opening the challenging stage from the start. With Adrien Van Beveren catching up to him, the American was then able to ride with his teammate for a short time before being forced to slow his pace in order to escape the heavy dust that caused issues for many riders. Completing the stage as the 12th fastest rider, Short now moves up to ninth in the overall provisional classification and with an advantageous starting position for the final stage tomorrow, he’s well-placed to advance even higher.
For Ross Branch, the 35-year-old was unfortunate to not reach the stage four finish line due to a rear wheel issue which forced his withdrawal from the special. The Botswana native will however compete in tomorrow’s stage five to clock up more hours on his Yamaha WR450F Rally ahead of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which starts on November 6.
The final stage takes place tomorrow with 291 kilometres of racing against the clock through rolling sand dunes with the duo well placed to maintain or improve upon their current rankings.
Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
“I would say that today was my best stage of the rally so far and I’m really pleased with my performance. On paper, it may not look like this, but after starting the stage fourth, I caught the leading riders, passed them, and then I opened the stage. It took some time to find a couple of the waypoints, which is normal when you’re the first rider, but overall, I’m really happy with my navigation and my pace today. It’s been a long stage and at the end I was still feeling really strong on my bike. So, overall it’s been a great day for me and I’m looking forward to the final stage tomorrow.”
Andrew Short – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
“Riding wise, it was fun today. Early on I was able to ride with Adrien, which was cool but I didn’t quite have the pace to push forward and I ended up riding in a lot of dust. It was a technical stage with lots of rocks and tricky navigation so it was by no means an easy day. Overall, I’m happy to complete another stage here in Morocco and I’m looking forward to a strong finish tomorrow.”
Rallye du Maroc 2021
Stage 4 Provisional Classification
- Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 3:50:34
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 3:51:10 + 0:00:36
- Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 3:53:29 + 0:02:55
- Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:56:21 + 0:05:47
- Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) 3:56:51 + 0:06:17
- Toby Price (KTM) 3:57:26 + 0:06:52
- Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 4:00:39 + 0:10:05
- Andrew Short (Yamaha) 4:07:37 + 0:17:03
Rallye du Maroc 2021
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 4)
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 14:47:02
- Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 14:47:39 + 0:00:37
- Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 14:52:48 + 0:05:46
- Ricky Brabec (Honda) 14:54:36 + 0:07:34
- Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 15:01:55 + 0:14:53
- Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 15:13:43 + 0:26:41
- Andrew Short (Yamaha) 15:23:26 + 0:36:24