Arriving at the Rally du Maroc with a number of upgrades and improvements made to their WR450F Rally bikes, there was a final opportunity for team riders Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait and Franco Caimi to test their machines, measure their performance, and spend all-important time reading navigational road books while in competition.
Securing a well-deserved final result inside the top 10, Franco Caimi produced the best Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team performance. Returning to the Moroccan event having last year crashed out and sustained a significant leg injury, following months of hard work and preparation the Argentinian once again showed his world class credentials.
Well-aware of the events that unfolded 12 months ago, Caimi opted for a cautious approach to the opening days of the event and placed just outside of the top 10 on each of the first two full days of competition. Finishing third on the first half of the marathon stage, Caimi jumped to third overall in the provisional standings. In finishing 18th at the end of the difficult second half of the marathon stage, he then placed 11th on the fifth and final stage to earn ninth overall.
Adrien Van Beveren came into the 2019 Rally du Maroc in high spirits following strong results in both the Morocco Rally and the Silk Way Rally and having spent months working on his physical fitness together with extensive testing of the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team's WR450F Rally bike. Frustratingly for Van Beveren a positive end-of-event result went out the window when he was forced to abandon stage three due to sickness. Producing an event best result of fourth on stage two, Adrien re-started the competition to finish an impressive fifth on stage four despite still feeling far from 100 per cent following eight days of illness. In placing 26th on stage five the Frenchman completed the event having shown impressive pace on both the sandy and gravel stages.
Like teammates Caimi and Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait's participation in the Rally du Maroc followed a lengthy period of training and testing. Unable to achieve the final result he'd hoped for following an issue on stage three, Xavier nevertheless showed impressive pace with a seventh-place result on stage two. Performing consistently across all the different terrains in the Moroccan event, the Frenchman enjoyed the challenge of the revised navigation regulations and now enters his final stage of Dakar preparation in confident form.
The Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team will now continue their preparations ahead of the 2020 Dakar Rally.