Following Pablo Quintanilla’s winning result on Friday, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team duo of Quintanilla and teammate Andrew Short entered today’s stage two of the 2017 OiLibya Morocco Rally determined to continue their strong run toward the finish of the week-long event in Morocco. Initially including a 364.5km-long timed special, stage two was cut short at CP1 due to the rising level of some rivers, making tracks un-rideable.
Assigned with the demanding task to open the tracks for the first part of the timed special, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rally star Pablo Quintanilla was the first to reach one of the many swollen rivers of today’s stage. Losing precious time exiting the river and getting his engine running again, the Chilean rider carried on to eventually reach the neutralisation point.
Enjoying a positive day on his FR 450 Rally machine, Andrew Short continued to learn and improve in the Moroccan desert. Putting in a cautious and mistake-free performance the American rider reached CP1 without any major issues.
Tomorrow’s stage three of the 2017 OiLibya Morocco Rally is the first part of the two-day-long marathon stage. Leaving the Erfoud bivouac early in the morning, competitors will have to complete a total distance of 595km before reaching the city of Erg Lihoudi, where they will spend the night before taking the road back to Erfoud the following day.
Pablo Quintanilla: “It wasn’t a good stage for me. I was the first to start the timed special and 40 kilometres into the special there was a deep river that wasn’t marked in the road book. I got stuck in the mud and lost lot of time there. Luckily, I managed to pull the bike out of the water and fire up the engine again. I got back into the race soon to realise that organisers had stopped the race at CP1. To be honest I’m disappointed with how things panned out today. I was the first rider to reach that river and together with Sam [Sunderland] and a few other riders we soon realised it was impossible to ride through that river. Other riders could see us struggling to get our bikes out of there so they could select an easier route. Nothing has been decided yet and we’re all waiting for the organisers’ final decision on today’s stage.”
Andrew Short: “Overall, it wasn’t a bad day for me. In terms of preparation and how I lined up for the stage I’m quite happy with my performance. I had to take some chances today as I started the stage behind some quads, but it all went good and I managed to reach the neutralisation point without any big mistakes. For me everything went a lot better today. It was a really fun day to race my bike with all the rain. The river crossings were probably the most interesting bit of the special stage and my goal was not to make any mistakes there. The more time I spend on the bike the more I can improve my pace and I think that’s really good for the stages to come.”