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Rally Of Morocco Stage 3 Results
Gonclaves Gets Stage Win
Marc Coma suffered a crash today, with an apparent shoulder injury, that puts him out of race. Standings shake up some today. Barreda stopped with Coma and lost some time. Despres was first on the route and must have struggled with navigation problems that dropped him back. I will post official word from KTM on Marc just as soon as it comes in.
From Husky – Rallye Team by Speedbrain won their first stage victory on the TE449RR in the Morocco Rally. Paulo Goncalves, the team’s Portuguese rider, took the Erfoud to Zagora stage that featured 291 km (182 miles) of special test. Goncalves finished just three seconds ahead of rival Rodrigues. A great performance too from Joan Barreda who came in fourth in the stage and now sits in third in the overall standings after three days of racing. Australian Matt Fish finished eighth, proving himself to be extremely quick in his first rally on the HusqvarnaTE449RR by Speedbrain. A special mention should go to Marc Coma who had an accident half way into the special test. We’d like to wish him a speedy recovery before the next Dakar 2013. Tomorrow looks forward to the fourth of six stages with 250 km of special test and a 162 km transfer.
Joan Barreda: “A reallye tough stage today. Before refuelling Coma had a horrendous accident. We stopped to help him. Once we got going again I rode alongside Rodrigues to the finish line. Again there was a lot of navigating to be done today, but I’m happy with the result and with the way that the preparations are going for the Dakar.”
Paulo Goncalves: “Today was the fastest stage of the rally so far with such a lot of navigation to do. Today I managed not to make any mistakes and I kept up the concentration until the end. This victory was just what was needed for me and for the team who are doing a great job with the bike. The developments are going really well and I’m very confident.”
Matt Fish: “It gets better every day! Today I made a small mistake just after refuelling, but after I had a good race, alone most of the time, but without any navigational errors. I’ve been learning more and more by the day. It’s a very tough rally this one. ”
Wolfgang Fischer – Team Manager: ”A great day with our first win in this year Maroc rallye. Paulo did really well to take the honours in this stage. Joan put in a very good race too, and Fish surprised me with his steady performance and for the way that he learns so easily. I’m very pleased with the way that the riders and the teams are developing. The bikes have been really great and up until now haven’t given us any problems at all. It’s a real blow what happened to Coma, and the whole team hopes that he makes a speedy recovery. “
From Honda’s Hélder Rodrigues – I started third behind Marc. I was pushing to catch him but, after a while, because of the dust I didn’t know where he was. Then I saw a badly damaged bike, I saw Marc and I stopped to assist him. I called the CP course for medical help, and assisted him in opening his jacket and handing him a cap for sun protection, it’s part of the race. In the desert, if someone crashes and it looks serious I stay with him and assist him. Then, when the first 2 riders arrived, I continued my race, pushing hard because I wanted to gain time on Cyril for a higher position in the overall classification. I’m now leading and this is a very good result after the first 3 stages with my CRF 450 RALLY”. Thank you all.
From KTM – KTM’s lead factory riders ran out of luck on Wednesday in Stage Three of the Morocco Rally with Despres dropping to overall second after finishing eleventh in the stage and Marc Coma crashing and having to withdraw with a dislocated shoulder.
Despres opened the track on Wednesday with Coma close behind. But not far into the day’s 357 km ride between Erfoud and Zaragora. He crashed in an off-piste area covered in camel grass, hit a pile of sand with his rear wheel and was catapulted over the handlebars of his KTM 450 Rally bike. Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues, who was following Coma stopped to assist him until Coma’s KTM factory teammate stayed with him until the arrival of the helicopter. He was moved to a hospital in Er Rachidia for x-rays and it was established he had dislocated but not fractured his shoulder. He is now on his way back to Spain and will undergo full medical checks in Barcelona tomorrow.
The accident also had repercussions for teammate Despres, who began to suspect something had happened to his teammate when he failed to see dust from the other bike. He then suffered a lapse of concentration and made several navigational errors, eventually finishing eleventh in the stage and sacrificing his significant lead built up over the first two days. He now trails Rodrigues by 11 minutes going into the fourth stage.
Rodrigues was second in the stage behind Portugal’s Paolo Goncalves and as is customary, organizers gave him back the time he spent with Coma waiting for medical assistance. Chaleco Lopez of Chile was the fastest KTM rider in the stage, finishing third 2 minutes 50 behind the leader.