Merzouga Rally – Stage Two
Team HRC’s Helder Rodrigues won stage two of the Merzouga Rally to take control of the race lead.
After the short prologue, the Merzouga Rally began in earnest with a very demanding stage – 191km of dunes, herbe à chameaux and a lot of off-track navigation.
After a sandy first part, in the second one the riders tackled a mix of traditional secondary tracks and numerous single tracks with several breathtaking enduro tracks as the Scorpion Pass near Erfoud.
The two Honda factory riders Helder Rodrigues and Sam Sunderland secured the first two places, third at 3’9” from the Brit the Yamaha factory rider Olivier Pain. Gerard Farres and Jordi Viladoms (Gas Gas) finished in the top 5.
“It was a demanding stage with a very difficult navigation but the route and the landscape were beautiful,” told Rodrigues. “This morning I started 28th so I pushed a lot until refuelling in order to recover my position.
It was a good stage,” commented Sunderland. “Really very complicated as far as navigation went, and I had to really focus on the road-book. A lot of dust and a lot of sand, which was good, and on the whole I think that we did a good job.”
Making no mistakes in navigation, Brit Ollie Lloyd ended the stage 14th…
“The stage was very difficult navigation and a lot of off piste tracks through endless kilometres of camel grass, which made it hard to concentrate on navigation and riding. I slowed down a little to make sure I hit all my way points and I am very happy that I made no errors”
Just missing out on a top 20 result on stage two, Ireland’s Gordon Clarke (TM) placed a solid 23rd.
© OWL Racing
Results – Stage 2
1. Helder Rodrigues 3:26’56”
2. Sam Sunderland 3:28’42”
3. Olivier Pain 3:31’51”
4. Gerard Farres 3:46’9”
5. Jordi Viladoms 3:48’37”
6. Arnold Brucy 3:51’02”
7. Alessandro Botturi 3:57’46”
8. Frans Verhoeven 3:58’46”
9. Marc Guasch Font 4:12’07”
10. Antonio Gimeno 4:14’57”