Can you get paid in rally racing

Rally du Maroc

The Rallye du Maroc, which celebrates its 20th edition in 2019, challenges the participants with over 2,500 kilometers of racing near the oasis town of Erfoud in the Sahara.

A short prologue is followed by five tough tests, 80 percent in soft sand dunes. The time-controlled specials cover a total of almost 1,900 kilometers. The riders also have to tackle a marathon stage.

After his victorious performances in the first two races of the championship, Sam Sunderland finished second in the penultimate race in Chile and won the Cross Country Rallye 2019. Under the pressure, which has been very high in the meantime, the Briton is going to Morocco, with the advantage that he can work on his motorcycle. Sam is always a team player and is also ready to support his Red Bull KTM colleagues if necessary. But he will still fight for a solid result in the front.

Sam Sunderland: "Now that the pressure is off, it will be nice to have a good, safe run in Morocco without taking unnecessary risks. The best part is that we can test and change a lot of settings during the race. You can't do that in a championship fight. You can't change anything or try something extreme. Without any pressure, we can try new things as the rally progresses and have the opportunity to test under full racing conditions. That's a real benefit. I'm a racing driver though, racing drivers always want to win, so I'll still take things seriously in Morocco. "

Luciano Benavides, who is currently fourth in the championship, is still on the hunt for second place if things go well in Morocco. The young Argentine is also leading the Junior World Championship and securing that title is a top priority.

Luciano Benavides: "This is the first race of the season so I hope I can immediately feel comfortable with the nature of the rally and the terrain. My main goal is to collect enough points to win the junior championship - that's been the goal since the beginning of the season - but I also hope to finish on the podium in the overall result. If I do a good, strong race, I think I can do it. I put a lot of training and preparation into this lap, so I hope it all pays off. "

Toby Price and Matthias Walkner will now use the Rallye du Maroc to further expand their speed, navigation and driving behavior. In Morocco, however, the two former Dakar winners are still aiming for top results, having previously won the event.

Toby Price: "The Atacama rally went really well for me - it was a great opportunity to get back to the bike after such a long time and I was very happy with my performance. I still have a little work to do on my wrist, but the plan for Morocco is to take every day as it comes and try to build on my speed. I hope for a good, safe end and then continue to build for the Dakar in January. "

Matthias Walkner: "I'm really looking forward to Morocco. It felt great to be back on the bike on the final lap, but it took me a while to get up to speed, especially on the super fast slopes. The terrain in the Sahara should be very similar to Saudi Arabia so that we have a good chance of working on our development. The goal is to have a good time on the bike and to make it to the finish line in good health. "

The last rally event for Laia Sanz from the KTM Factory Racing Team was the Silk Way Rally in July, in which she finished in an excellent seventh place overall. Laia, who decided not to race in Chile, is now returning to Morocco with her KTM 450 RALLY and hopes to make full use of her time by preparing well for the 10-day Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia in January takes place next year.

Laia Sanz: "I'm looking forward to going to Morocco because I had to miss last year's event because I was unwell, so it's nice to be almost fully fit again now. Since I haven't done all of the championship rounds, the focus is on the rally du Maroc on a safe race and good preparation for the Dakar Rally. Of course, when you put your helmet on things that are changing and you want to get your best result, but the goal is to focus on training. Es It will be good to spend time with the whole team and hopefully we can continue to find good settings on the bike to give the best possible start to next year. "

Mario Patrao is returning to the KTM Factory Racing Team for the first time since the 2019 Dakar Rally, where he was forced to retire after a crash on the sixth stage. The experienced Portuguese will resume his support role in the team and is aiming for a solid result in Morocco while collecting valuable test kilometers on his KTM 450 RALLY.

The Rallye du Maroc prologue begins on Friday October 4th, followed by five full days of racing in the Sahara before the finish on October 9th in Fes, Morocco.