Spanish leaders lose their lead in Morocco
Both Joan Barreda and Carlos Sainz lost their lead in the OiLybya Morocco Rally today. Barreda crashed his Honda early in the stage and had to retire. Sainz had mechanical trouble and lost hours. Sam Sunderland and Nasser Al-Attiyah are the new leaders in the bike and car category. Martin van den Brink extended his gap at the top of the truck ranking.
Early in the 293-kilometer long stage from Zagora to Agadir Honda rider Joan Barreda crashed hard on a stone. He was taken by helicopter to the bivouac and is being examined medically. Barreda said afterwards he was taken by surprise by the dangerous situation that was not in the road book. He doesn't remember the crash itself, since he was unconscious for a while.
Sam Sunderland went by and went on to win the stage with a big margin of over eight minutes to team mate Pablo Quintanilla and Yamaha rider Helder Rodrigues. Also, Sunderland took the top spot overall back from Barreda, leading his KTM colleagues Quintanilla and Matthias Walkner (pictured) by more than ten minutes.
Later, another leader lost his hopes on victory. Carlos Sainz had to stop his Peugeot after CP1 due to mechanical problems. He lost hours. His team mate Sébstien Loeb kept the Peugeot spirit high by finishing third in Agadir.
Winner of the stage was Yazeed Al-Rajhi form Saudi Arabia. He had a good battle with Dakar 2015-winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and beat the Qatari by 45 seconds. Overall Al-Attiyah is the new leader with a comfortable lead of 16'11 over Al-Rajhi.
Only in the truck category there was no drama in the top of the field. Federico Villagra from Argentina took his first stage win and the third consecutive one for Iveco. Martin van den Brink and Gerard de Rooy came in second and third, both 1'05 behind Villagra. With only one more stage to go Van den Brink still leads the overall ranking having the Iveco's of Loprais and Villagra 4'05 and 6'25 behind.