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Rally OiLibya du Maroc

Round 6 , Stage 3


  Rally OiLibya du Maroc

2015 Cross Countries Rally   Round 6  , Stage 3

Win for Paulo Gonçalves and a one-two for Team HRC in Morocco Rally third stage

Honda CRF450 RALLY riders Paulo Gonçalves and Joan Barreda pulled off an excellent double in the third stage of the OiLibya Morocco Rally which was fought out in the M’hamid loop. The Spanish ace retakes the top of the overall leaderboard.

Team HRC have made it to the halfway stage of the rally in upbeat mood after clinching the top two finishing spots, a move that also sees the team back at the head of the overall standings.

The M’hamid desert region to the south of Zagora, bore witness to a battle in the OiLibya Morocco Rally from which the Honda CRF450 RALLY crew emerged victorious. Paulo Gonçalves was the fastest over the 274 kilometre special stage. The Portuguese rider, forging a cracking pace, was clearly coming to grips with the bike in a performance which shaved various minutes off the rivals ahead in the general rankings.

Joan Barreda joined team-mate Gonçalves on the stage podium as he reinstates himself at the head of the overall table with a near four-minute surplus over the closest rival. The forthcoming stages will prove vital for the Spaniard’s aspirations.

Italian Paolo Ceci started the third day from back positions which meant having to deal with a dust cloud throughout the early part of the timed section and therefore he was unable to take maximum advantage of the Honda CRF450 RALLY. Yesterday, race organisers had given back the ten-minutes which Ceci lost after stopping to aid a rider involved in an accident.

A magnificent performance from Argentinean Kevin Benavides in M’hamid who finished the stage in sixth position. As a result Benavides, Honda South America Rally Team rider, becomes the race’s top debutant and rises to sixth overall place.

Jean Azevedo seemed to be coming to terms with the new bike over all kinds of varied terrain: track, sand, dunes and even a rock-filled final stretch and moves up to thirteenth place in the general standings.


After three days in the heart of south Morocco, West Cap will take the rally caravan to Agadir. There will be many parallels tracks with a lot of navigation that will lead competitors across an oasis. Attention to the Road Book will be needed as it’s a dangerous route. Then, the competitors compass bearings will be set to the south as the stage passes through a very picturesque valley.



Joan Barreda


Today was a day where we started from behind. The objective was to catch up with the riders ahead. They set a very fast pace all day long, but thanks to our concentration we were able to make it, in other words: mission accomplished.

  Joan Barreda  



Paulo Goncalves


Finally, today I had a stage without any mistakes. I set out to attack, I made up some time and won the stage. Tomorrow will be another day, a very important one, as I will be opening the track which is always a good thing. I will do my best, as always, to get the best possible result, but let’s not forget that the most important thing here is to fine-tune everything, as this is the last test before the Dakar, so we can’t fall and pick up injuries as we are so close to the Dakar and there wouldn’t be time to recover.

  Paulo Goncalves  

Paolo Ceci


It was a good stage today, very nice and I liked it a lot. There were a lot of dunes and a good deal of navigation in the first and last parts. I didn’t make any mistakes and I made it through to the end. I’m pleased. It was a pity at the start because there was so much dust and I had to slow down as I couldn’t see anything. The bike is going like a dream and I’m getting used to it. I really happy for out team-mate’s win. Let’s keep battling like that.

  Paolo Ceci  

Kevin Benavides


It was a very difficult stage with a lot of sand. 70% sand and many dunes and some complicated navigation at the beginning and end. There were a lot of parallel tracks which could easily confuse you so we had to stay really focused. Luckily, everything went well without any falls or bad mistakes. I’m feeling better and better on the bike with some great sensations.

  Kevin Benavides  

Jean Azevedo


Today was a day with a lot more sand than on previous days. For me it has been great to race here with the new bike. I felt a lot better. The following part of the stage was a lot rockier, but the day was a calm and positive one.

  Jean Azevedo  

Results Stage 3

1 GONCALVES Paulo   POR Team HRC 2:47'20
2 BARREDA Joan   SPA Team HRC + 1'18
3 WALKNER Mathias   AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 3'01
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo   CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team + 5'05
5 SUNDERLAND Sam   GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 7'48
6 BENAVIDES Kevin   ARG Honda South America Rally Team + 16'18
7 FARIA Ruben   POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team + 18'42
8 RENET Pierre-Alexandre   FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team + 18'56
9 DUCLOS Alain   FRA Sherco Rally Factory + 19'45
10 PEDRERO Joan   SPA Sherco Rally Factory + 20'25
11 SANZ Laia   SPA KTM Factory Racing Team + 20'48
12 PAIN Olivier   FRA Nomade Racing + 21'19
13 VAN BEVEREN Adrien   FRA Yamaha Racing + 22'18
14 ALBALOOSHI Mohammed   UAE KTM UAC + 22'56
15 CERUTTI Jacopo   ITA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team + 27'11
16 AZEVEDO Jean   BRA Honda South America Rally Team + 33'18
17 CECI Paolo   ITA Team HRC + 35'38

Rider Standings


1 BARREDA Joan   SPA Team HRC 8:51'59
2 SUNDERLAND Sam   GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 3'57
3 WALKNER Mathias   AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 5'22
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo   CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team + 6'06
5 GONCALVES Paulo   POR Team HRC + 6'34
6 BENAVIDES Kevin   ARG Honda South America Rally Team + 42'16
7 FARIA Ruben   POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team + 43'48
8 PAIN Olivier   FRA Nomade Racing + 44'51
9 PEDRERO Joan   SPA Sherco Rally Factory + 48'00
10 CERUTTI Jacopo   ITA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team + 1:20'13
13 AZEVEDO Jean   BRA Honda South America Rally Team + 1:31'32
14 CECI Paolo   ITA Team HRC + 1:36'04