Stage four win for Luciano Benavides at 2023 Rallye du Maroc

Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides has stormed to victory on stage four of the Rallye du Maroc. Setting off as the sixth rider into today’s timed special, Benavides pushed from the start and was fastest to each and every checkpoint on his way to the finish. The Argentinian now lies in third overall with one day of racing left to contest.

Day four of the Rallye du Maroc covered 422 kilometres, including a lengthy timed special of 343 kilometres. Billed by the organisers as one of the most beautiful yet difficult of the event, the stage didn’t disappoint, delivering a mixture of camel grass and fast, rocky sections, before finishing in the dunes of Merzouga.

With the world title in the balance, Benavides knew he had to take maximum advantage of his sixth-place start position on today’s special to try and make up as much time on the leaders as possible. Fastest to the first checkpoint by over one minute, Luciano continued to attack the demanding stage, increasing his advantage to the finish. Even when bonus time was awarded to those opening the stage, the FR 450 Rally racer came out on top with a one minute and 18-second margin of victory.

Wednesday’s final stage five will cover a relatively short 152 kilometres, all raced against the clock. Luciano will have the task of leading out the field to the finish line of this year’s event.

Luciano Benavides: “Today has been intense from start to finish. I knew I had a good start position, but it wasn’t going to be easy to make up time on the guys ahead who were earning bonus time. I just kept my head down and did my best all the way through the special, especially in the final kilometres through the dunes. Tomorrow is the final day of the rally – the final day of the season in fact – and things are so close at the top of the standings. All I can do is give everything on the last stage. Whether I win or not, I know I will have tried my best.”

2023 Rallye du Maroc – Stage 4 Provisional Classification

1. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:35:12
2. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:36:30
3. Toby Price (KTM) 3:37:36
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 3:38:29
5. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 3:38:38
6. Ross Branch (Hero) 3:38:46

2023 Rallye du Maroc – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 4]

1. Toby Price (KTM) 14:02:38
2. Ross Branch (Hero) 14:08:34
3. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 14:09:02
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 14:10:38
5. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 14:12:32
6. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 14:13:21