You are about to leave this website. Are you sure?

I agree, take me there

Ross Branch Places Sixth On Rallye Du Maroc Stage Two

Ross Branch Places Sixth On Rallye Du Maroc Stage Two

Following on from what was a challenging opening stage on the 2021 Rallye Du Maroc, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Ross Branch has bounced back strongly, putting together a calculated ride on stage two to secure a positive sixth-place finish. For team-mate Adrien Van Beveren, the Frenchman frustratingly lost his way in the final kilometres of the stage, losing time and ultimately completing the stage as the 12th fastest rider. Andrew Short placed 15th following a trouble-free ride across the Moroccan desert.

Referred to by the event organisers as a scaled down 2022 Dakar special, stage two saw the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team riders first complete a morning liaison of more than 200 kilometres, which took them to the top of the highest dunes in the south of Morocco. Then taking on a beautiful 334-kilometre stage across rolling sand dunes, which required accurate navigation, Ross, Adrien, and Andrew all successfully completed the 609-kilometre day.

Thankfully for Ross Branch stage two of the 2021 Rallye Du Maroc went much better than stage one. From third into the opening stage of the event to an eventual 28th place result at its finish following a sizeable navigational mistake, today Ross pushed hard and finished just under five minutes behind eventual winner Matthias Walkner and in a strong sixth position. Enjoying the stage, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider took a little while to find his rhythm but delivered a spirited ride and will begin tomorrow’s stage three with an advantageous start position.

For Adrien Van Beveren stage two was positive, as well as a little frustrating. Enjoying the rolling sea of sand dunes that made up the majority of the special stage, the Frenchman ultimately ended the day knowing that his 12th place result could have been better. Losing his way near the end of the stage, Adrien lost a handful of minutes and due to the rocky nature of the final trails was reluctant to take any risks and push hard to make back the lost time. Nevertheless, he sits eighth overall heading into the event’s third stage.

After damaging his navigational equipment during the first stage, Andrew Short was hoping to bounce back from his day one result. Unfortunately for the American, having opted for a no risk strategy during stage two he wasn’t able to deliver the result he’d hoped for. A little off the pace through the 334-kilometre special, Short ended his day in 15th.

Following a far less eventful stage compared to the event’s opener on Saturday, the team’s riders will now regroup and prepare themselves for stage three and another long day in the saddle with the total distance expected to reach almost 605 kilometres.

Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

6th Stage 2

It was a bit of an up and down day for me today. Early on it took me a while to settle in and find my rhythm but from then on it was a pretty solid stage for me. It was quite fast and flowing, and just a lot of fun really. My bike is going great and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I just need to try and minimise the mistakes with my navigation and then keep on working my way up the leaderboard.

Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

12th Stage 2

Today was another good day but my result should have been better. Near the end I lost my way a little and lost around two or three minutes. Because the terrain there was rocky it wasn’t possible to pick up on any lines, but I got back on track and reached the finish line without losing too much time. It’s a little frustrating but not too bad. Overall, I have a good feeling on the bike and my pace is good, so I’m looking forward to the upcoming stages and pushing to the end.

Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Andrew Short - Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

15th Stage 2

Not my best day today. After all the issues yesterday, I tried riding really smart, not pushing too hard and risking mistakes, which meant my pace was just a little bit off and I ended up with a similar result to stage one. So, I’m a little confused but I think I just need to push myself out of my comfort zone when it’s a little bit safer to do so. My bike is running great, and we have three more days to go, and a lot can change so we’ll regroup and push for a better finish tomorrow.

Andrew Short - Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
2021 Rallye du Maroc

Stage 2 Provisional Classification

1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 3:40:32
2. Nacho Cornejo (Honda) 3:41:51 + 0:01:19
3. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 3:43:22 + 0:02:50
4. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 3:44:12 + 0:03:40
5. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:44:36 + 0:04:04
6. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 3:45:25 + 0:04:53

12. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 3:50:06 + 0:09:34
15. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 3:54:09 + 0:13:37

Dakar Rally 2020
2021 Rallye du Maroc

Overall Provisional Classification

1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 7:12:11
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 7:12:30 + 0:00:19
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 7:13:11 + 0:01:00
4. Joan Barreda (Honda) 7:15:12 + 0:03:01
5. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 7:17:08 + 0:04:57
6. Nacho Cornejo (Honda) 7:18:08 + 0:05:57

8. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 7:24:58 + 0:12:47
13. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 7:39:53 + 0:27:42
18. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 7:57:43 + 0:45:32

Dakar Rally 2020