On Tuesday, the participants racing in Morocco had to overcome the longest speed section of the rally - it consisted of 343 sports kilometers. The rest of the team members also had to drive several hundred kilometers - the rally town was moving from the city of Zagora to Merzouga. While all the attention is on the racers, there was no shortage of action for the support staff as well, leaving the bivouac with a jam of trucks for whom the sticky sand made it a difficult task. Fortunately, all members of the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team successfully reached the final bivouac of this rally.
After reaching the finish, Gaetan Martinez said that although it was the longest special stage of the rally, it was similar to the previous ones: "The surface of the tracks was very different throughout the day. Again, we got a lot of sharp stones, but managed to save tires in one piece. Towards the end, navigation became a bit more complicated. We reached the large dunes of Merzouga - many were stuck there and I had my doubts before starting to ride them, but the quad went everywhere it needed to. A very good experience."
His teammate Mindaugas Skudutis also finished without major incidents, but for the second day in a row he called a medical helicopter for a colleague standing on the track: "The longest speed stage in this rally is done - there were almost no failures, except for one: throttle started to disappear while driving, and after stopping in the refueling zone the quad wouldn’t start. Somehow, I managed to repair it and I didn't waste extra time because of it, although I had extra stress. Everything else is fine. At the end of the stage we had to ride about 20 kilometres of dunes, but I like them a lot, so I enjoyed it. Although it was physically exhausting.
Also, it looks like I already have friends who fly medical helicopters. After the refueling zone I saw another quad racer stopped at the track. After asking if everything was okay, he said that he was exhausted and not feeling well. He tried to call the medics himself, but his equipment didn't work, so I called them and waited for them to arrive."
M. Skudutis said with a smile that the medic who got off the helicopter greeted him, surprised that they were called again by the same person as yesterday: "They asked me to tell them my starting number and promised to pass it on to the judges. It is normal practice to deduct time spent assisting another participant from the result."
On Wednesday, the athletes will have to overcome a 153-kilometer special stage, after which the finish arch awaits. Although the finish line seems within hand’s reach, you can only celebrate when you reach it. Sharp rocks, sand and high dunes of Merzouga will again await the participants.