Kicking off the action with a short Prologue outside the city of Fes, the 2018 Morocco Rally saw both Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders complete the 10km timed special without any issues. Posting the eighth best time for the day, Pablo Quintanilla remains focused on his major goal of successfully defending his FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship title for a third consecutive season.
Less than half-a-minute slower than the provisional Prologue winner, Pablo Quintanilla knows there’s a long way to go in this year’s Morocco Rally. Feeling strong aboard his FR 450 Rally machine, the Chilean rally star was the first rider onto the slippery stage and as a result decided to opt for a no risk approach and successfully completed the prologue without mistakes.
Also opting not to take any unnecessary risks, Andrew Short brought his Husqvarna home having posted the 17th best time for the day. Eager to continue building on his rally racing skills, the American is looking forward to tomorrow’s first rally stage.
Starting early on Friday morning, stage one of the event will take competitors from Fes to the city of Erfoud in the Saharan Desert. Tomorrow’s first rally stage includes two timed specials of 99km and 68km respectively. The total distance to be covered on Friday is a whooping 489km.
Pablo Quintanilla: “Today’s Prologue was just 10km long but it was really slippery. I was the first rider to take the start so for me conditions were worse than the riders starting after me. I didn’t want to take any risks, so I tried to ride safely and without making mistakes. It was good to get these first few kilometres out of the way and now we are focusing on the main part of this race. The next few days will be challenging. For sure the main goal is the title and I am ready to give my best to make it happen. I feel great at the moment and I am really motivated to give everything here in Morocco.”
Andrew Short: “I was really looking forward to the start of this event. It was good to kick things off with the Prologue today. This morning I felt both nervous and excited and these are good things when you are starting a race. This short Prologue might not have been my specialty, but overall I look forward to this race as it’s going to have a little bit of everything. I want to continue learning while being more and more competitive as the race goes on. That’s the goal for me and I can’t wait to see how it goes here in Morocco.”
2018 Morocco Rally – Prologue Provisional Classification
1. Toby Price (KTM) 00:08:47
2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 00:08:57
3. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 00:09:00
4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 00:09:02
5. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 00:09:02
6. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 00:09:06
8. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 00:09:11
17. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 00:09:32