Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team riders Adrien Van Beveren, Alessandro Botturi, Rodney Faggotter and Hélder Rodrigues have got their participation in the OiLibya Morocco Rally 2016 off to a positive start, completing the short but demanding prologue ahead of the competition's first full competitive stage in Agadir.
Little more than a quick shakedown on the dusty Moroccan trails the opening stage saw all four Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team riders finish without any problems. Despite losing some precious seconds following a mistake early on, Van Beveren was the fastest among the team, provisionally placed eighth after the end of the opening stage.
Completing his run 25 seconds after the provisional winner of the stage, Botturi was 15th, with his teammates Faggotter and Rodrigues right behind in 16th and 17th. Putting in a strong performance, Yamaha supported Frenchman Xavier de Soultrait earned fifth in today's stage.
Kicking off early tomorrow morning, stage one of the rally will see competitors complete a circular route of 240 km around Agadir. Tomorrow's special stage is 50 km long.
José Leloir - Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team manager
"Everything went according to plan and all four of our riders finished the short opening stage without any difficulty. Despite being less than 10 km long, today's special stage was quite demanding. Conditions were mostly dry and dusty and there were a few tricky corners and parts in the road book. Ahead of such a long rally our goal was to get all of our riders to the finish of the stage avoiding mistakes or falls all costs. I'm happy everything went well and our riders can now focus on tomorrow's long stage. Our sights are set on seeing our riders make it to the top of the provisional classification after the end of tomorrow's rally stage."
Adrien Van Beveren- Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team
"It was a short but very difficult stage today. Despite yesterday's rain the tracks were extremely dry and dusty, which made things even harder. I made a mistake going very hard in the first corner, losing eight to ten seconds. I knew it would be almost impossible to gain back the time lost in such a short stage, so I focused on taking my bike to the finish. I'm starting tomorrow's stage a bit further back in the rankings, and this will possibly give me the chance to make up some time after the start. In any case, my plan is to focus on my navigation, avoid mistakes and battle for a good result at the end of the stage."
Alessandro Botturi - Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team
"Today we raced a quite challenging prologue. There was a lot of navigation and a few dangerous parts in the track that demanded that you stayed 100% focused on your riding. I opted not to take any risks. I got a good pace, didn't make any mistakes and managed to put myself inside the top 15. I will be the third rider to start tomorrow's stage, so I'll have to work hard to avoid getting passed by others. Overall, I'm feeling good on the bike and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's first proper rally stage."
Rodney Faggotter - Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team
"Today's stage went well. I guess it was good to warm us all up. I had to be careful not to do anything silly as the track had lots of danger to the side. It all went fine and I finished without any issues. I'm happy to mix it up with the best rally riders in the world. We have a great set-up as a team and I can't wait for the first full day of racing tomorrow. We're now waiting for the official starting order for tomorrow to be published, but from what we can tell at the moment I'll be starting first, with Hélder following in second and Alessandro third."
OiLibya Morocco Rally 2016 - Prologue - Provisional Classification
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 00:04:56
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 00:05:04, +00:08
3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 00:05:06, +00:10
4. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 00:05:06, +00:10
5. Xavier De Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 00:05:08, +00:12
6. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 00:05:08, +00:12
8. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 00:05:14, +00:18
15. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 00:05:21, +00:25
16. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 00:05:26, +00:30
17. Hélder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 00:05:27, +00:31