Joan Barreda claims the victory in the first part of the marathon stage of the Rallye du Maroc, while team-mate Kevin Benavides takes second place. Barreda grabs the overall leadership.

Joan Barreda got the second stage of the Rallye du Maroc off to a flying start, on a tricky day with tough navigation and managed to arrive at the finish-line with a hefty margin over his rivals, earning the Spaniard top spot on the overall leader board.

Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides, in spite of a couple of minor navigational lapses, handled the special with great pace to seal a very up-beat second place finish. In the overall rankings, Benavides lies in sixth place.

Monday’s stage three of the 2019 Rally du Maroc is the longest of the event. Of the total 540.88 kilometres covered, three exhausting timed specials totalling 362.98 kilometres will decide the day’s results.

After yesterday’s stage, the Rallye du Maroc organisation communicated the race times to FIM officials, particularly those of the two neutralisation sections, leading to some modifications in the standings. This meant Ricky Brabec moved up a position to second place on the day. Today, the American rider thus got lumbered with having to open the track, dropping various minutes over the course of the day. Tomorrow Brabec will have the chance to make amends.

There were problems elsewhere for José Ignacio Cornejo today. A couple of navigational blunders saw the rider run out of water in the second part of the special, arriving back at bivouac at Aufous dehydrated. Tomorrow the Chilean will be seeking to make up the lost time.

The riders have now left the bikes locked away in the parc fermé Aufous, as part of the usual procedure for the opening leg of the marathon stage, where riders are not allowed outside mechanical assistance. Tomorrow the second part of the marathon will be the longest of the Rallye du Maroc. The third stage will feature three timed specials with a total of 363 kilometres, where competitors will clock up a total of 540.88 kilometres on the overall trip. (source: monster energy honda team)

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LINK: Rallye du Maroc

photos (c) Monster Energy Honda