22. October 2012
At this rally in Morocco, considered a good indicator of how well teams are prepared for Dakar, Despres (KTM) was the winner after six stages, ahead of Barreda (Husqvarna). Both bikes are outfitted with an Akrapovič exhaust system.
The six stages in the Moroccan desert are the last racing test before the most important race of the season: the Dakar Rally. It turned out that there was tough competition at this race (we’re especially thinking of Honda and Husqvarna), but the experienced KTM factory team is still number one. One of the team’s members and potential winners, Marc Coma, unfortunately had to drop out of the race in the third stage after flying over his handlebars—but he’s already announced through social media that he’s only got a dislocated shoulder and will make a quick recovery.
His accident meant that his teammate Despres, who was riding right in front of him at the time, lost his concentration and made several mistakes, finishing the stage back in eleventh place. However, he took the lead back again in the fourth stage and held it until the last stage. He finished the rally with a nearly seven-minute advantage over Joan Barreda on a Husqvarna, which, like Despres’ KTM, is also equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system.
“I like that kind of pressure,” said Cyril about the last stage, which Barreda started ahead of him. “You have to concentrate 100% because you know you can lose the race. Now it’s great to leave Morocco with the win and to have such a good feeling, also about the bike and the team. This is our last ride for 2012 and the next time we meet will be at the 2013 Dakar in January. I hope Marc will come back soon and we can do a good job at the Dakar.”
Chilean Chaleco López took the third step on the podium at the Morocco rally, behind Despres and Barreda. The Dakar Rally, which starts on 5 January 2013 in Lima, Peru, is going to be really exciting. We can hardly wait!
Photo: Chytka M., Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain