Merzouga Rally Day 1: Pedrero and Santilino complete the stage in top 10
Sherco TVS rider Joan Pedrero finished the first stage in sixth position, dropping down two positions from the prologue stage. Teammate Lorenzo Santilino finished the stage in ninth place dropping down from fifth position in the prologue stage. Hero MotoSport rider C S Santosh jumped 7 places to take the 20th position, while teammate Oriol Mena grabbed the 11th position. Sherco TVS riders Duplessis Diego Martin and Vanni Cominotto took the 12th and 27th position respectively.
The first day of the Merzouga Rally saw the participants traverse 206.71km of competitive section, where the course consisted of dunes and fast tracks, which put the navigational skills of the competitors to test. Some competitors also faced mechanical issues in this section. Competitors from Moto and SxS tackled the first kilometre of the stage together, adding more to the drama. 50km into the stage, some of the competitors faced navigational challenges and lost time in search of the waypoints. The stage was divided in two loops. The first loop was a 110km circuit in the desert to the west of Merzouga and another was a 96km circuit in the same location. A 30-minute neutralisation period with authorised assistance was provided between the two loops.
Here are the results of day 1:
1- Joan Barreda (Honda) 3 h 15′58′′
2- Franco Caimi (Yamaha) + 8′03′′
3- Ricky Brabec (Honda) + 11′25′′
4- Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) + 12′17′′
5- Kevin Benavides (Honda) + 13′46′′
1- Stefano Pelloni (Yamaha) 4 h 18′03′′
2- Bruno Varela (Can-Am) + 2′57′′
3- Ruben Faria (Can-Am) + 2′57′′
1- Axel Dutrie (Yamaha) 4 h 54′34′′
2- Anaam Ali (Can-Am) + 6′53