Hard start for Alonso and Sainz

Both suffered punctures. The Spaniard, who was on a good pace, finished 45 minutes from Al Attiyah, the best of the day, and Madrid, 15.


A day through the dunes can get complicated to unsuspected limits. Alonso checked it first hand in South Africa. I overturn, a broken moon twice, a flat tire… Everything happened to him in that Lichtenburg 400, enough to learn a valuable lesson: a raid competition is not won on the first day, but you can stay out of the game. Therefore, the main objective of its premiere in the Rally of Morocco was to end the day without mishaps. And then, do it as quickly as possible.

He was on his way ... when things went wrong. The Spanish pair did not start badly, the second special, the only one on Saturday after the first one had to be canceled because solar panels were found that were not in the path when the recognitions were made. In the first timed point they yielded a couple of minutes, in the second, another two, but in the third they recovered some time with the fastest so far: they were 4:48 from Peterhansel and his Mini. They were sixth.

And only seven kilometers after passing through that control, the problems appeared. The organization reported that Alonso was stopped, and more than half an hour later, he resumed the march, but did so at a slower speed by having a damaged wheel. In between, a couple of punctures and a blow that caused those damages, but, despite everything, the Spaniard was able to complete the 225 km of special and reach the goal of Erfoud with a time of 3:58:04 to practically 45 minutes from Al Attiyah.

And it is that the Qatari, one of the masters of Spanish, demonstrated why his name must always be included among the favorites. Nobody rolled faster than Nasser and his Toyota at the premiere of Morocco, although he did not have the best time in any of the timed points, only in goal, which really matters. Peterhansel was the one who planted the most battle, but ended the wheels to the limit and gave up five minutes in the final stretch that left him behind the French Serradori (without FIA category) and De Villiers.

Various failures in the timing left us blind with several cars during the tour, the South African Toyota was one, and the Sainz Mini, another. Until he reached the finish line we did not know anything about Madrid, who finished eighth to 15 minutes after suffering also with the punctures. From Rome, waiting for it to end, we only saw its passage through WP1, Subirats lost a little more than Alonso and Esteve, an hour and five minutes. First day in Morocco, that which is not worth to win, but to lose. Alonso knows it well.

Quintanilla sends the bikes

After Friday's brief foreword by Fez, Walkner faced the first stage in Morocco as a leader, but he could do little to defend that privileged position against the pace that Pablo Quintanilla showed. No one was as fast as the Chilean in the 225 km of special with goal in Erfoud, not even Sunderland, the champion of the FIM Cross-Country World Championship, which ended up giving 40 seconds.

The American Brabec completed the first three positions being a minute and a half from Quintanilla, which took 3:16:16 to make the journey on the back of his Husqvarna. And good role of the trio of Spaniards in Liza, especially Lorenzo Santolino to be awarded the seventh position of the day at 4:24. Joan Barreda closed the Top 10 staying at 5:20 of the best time and Laia Sanz was 19th giving 9: 48.



Photos from as.com
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