World Rally-Raid Championship

2022 Rallye du Maroc: Stage 4 sees Loeb retirement, Price crash, Red Bull T3 podium

3 Mins read
Credit: Yazeed Racing

Despite winning Stage #2, Sébastien Loeb has endured a tumultuous Rallye du Maroc. The penultimate leg on Wednesday only added to his challenges when a steering failure resulted in his retirement. With World Rally-Raid Championship T1 rival Nasser Al-Attiyah finishing third behind Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Guerlain Chicherit, the points battle grows narrower.

Al-Rajhi notched his second stage win of the rally after Stage #1B, beating Chicherit with a time of 3:11:40 to 3:13:10. While Al-Rajhi moves up from seventh to fourth in the Cars overall, Chicherit maintains his lead with Orlando Terranova tailing by nine minutes and fifty-seven seconds. Loeb had been sitting third before exiting Stage #4, and his position has now been usurped by prologue and Stage #3 winner Al-Attiyah. Barring disaster in the final stage, Al-Attiyah will enter the season-ending Andalucía Rally with the points lead.

Another exitee in the leg was the RallyGP of Toby Price, who was also third in his class entering Wednesday’s stage. At the eighty-fifth kilometre, Price crashed out while attempting to navigate through dust, resulting in bruises to his forehead and hands and necessitating an airlift to hospital. Although he was not seriously injured, the crash damaged his helmet and has forced him to retire from the rally for good.

“Not much to say other then I really [fucked] up,” posted Price on Instagram. “Made a mistake early and lost 3 minutes on time, so was in some dust and moved out to see better but went back into some dust and not 100% sure what I hit but was on the ground after this. Big thanks to Bell Helmets for keeping my head safe but sure pissed I wrecked a new helmet and Alpinestars for the protection. Was seeing some stars but was back on the bike and at the refuel I was sore in my neck with bruise on my forehead and both wrists/hands.. when they seen my helmet I couldn’t continue with a split it had in it and wanted to check me out. So helicopter ride out and all checks come back fine luckily. Just feel I’m still in the clouds a little.

“Sorry to the team for all the hard work they put in, we were sitting in a great spot and I threw that one away and I’m bummed I let you all down. Thanks for always following the journey sometimes it’s good and this one is shit[.]”

With Price out of the picture, Ricky Brabec beat Sam Sunderland by over four minutes (3:21:35 to 3:25:51) to take the stage win and the overall, stealing the latter from fellow American Skyler Howes. Ross Branch got lost multiple times but was able to salvage a fourth.

Another American Mason Klein won the stage in Rally2 for the third time, giving him a forty-two-minute advantage over Bradley Cox. Abdul Wahid snapped Amine Echiguer‘s three-stage win streak, though the latter still holds a twelve-minute overall lead on Guillaume Borne.

Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team nearly swept the top three positions in T3 in Stage #3, but finally acheived the task in the fourth as Cristina Gutiérrez (3:50:12) led Seth Quintero (3:50:53) and Mitch Guthrie (3:51:20). Quintero also assumed the T3 overall from Francisco López Contardo who finished seventh.

Kees Koolen secured his second straight stage win in T5, though Martin Macík Jr. still has 54:21 on him overall. A closer heavy-duty battle lies in T2, where Akiura Miura won his third leg to hold a five-minute gap over Toyota Auto Body team-mate Ronald Basso.

The fifth and final leg on Thursday goes from Tan Tan back to Agadir.

Stage #4 winners

ClassNumberDriver/RiderTeamTime
T1202Yazeed Al-RajhiOverdrive Racing3:11:40
T2230Akira MiuraToyota Auto Body4:08:10
T3301Cristina GutiérrezRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team3:50:12
T4401Marek GoczałCobant-Energylandia Rally Team3:46:58
T5500Kees KoolenMM Technology4:06:24
RallyGP2Ricky BrabecMonster Energy Honda Rally Team3:21:35
Rally221Mason KleinBAS World KTM Racing Team3:31:46
Rally3130Abdul WahidSherco TVS Rally Factory4:37:59
Quad157Axel DutrieDrag’on Rally Team4:30:54
Open Car601Carlos SainzTeam Audi Sport3:18:22
Open SSV712Adrien GoguetTeam BTR4:13:22

Leaders after Stage #4

ClassNumberDriver/RiderTeamTime
T1208Guerlain ChicheritGCK Motorsport13:14:35
T2230Akira MiuraToyota Auto Body18:35:25
T3302Seth QuinteroRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team14:58:10
T4402Rokas BaciuškaSouth Racing Can-Am15:17:40
T5501Martin Macík Jr.MM Technology17:15:09
RallyGP2Ricky BrabecMonster Energy Honda Rally Team14:51:42
Rally221Mason KleinBAS World KTM Racing Team15:31:45
Rally3125Amine EchiguerAmine Echiguer18:32:03
Quad150Manuel AndujarDrag’on Rally Team18:58:37
Open Car601Carlos SainzTeam Audi Sport13:09:01
Open SSV700Paolo Rui FerreiraX-Raid Yamaha Racing Rally Team15:33:25
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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