The last round of this year’s FIM World Championship launched on Thursday afternoon with a 10-kilometer prologue. Rafał Sonik was third to complete the challenge, barely 16 seconds short of Aleksander Maksimow. Paweł Otwinowski reached the finish line second.
“Before we started the prologue part of the race, we had a chance to explore it on foot. It was an excellent warm-up; it took us precisely 100 minutes to walk 10 kilometers. The route seemed very slippery which would be confirmed two hours after. Every time we were trying to press the brakes when turning, the quads swerved outwards. We had to be very careful to stay on track”, commented Rafał Sonik.
Interestingly, the organizers had not planned to have a usual gap between the start of the last biker and the first quad rider. As a result, Rafał Sonik had to overtake slower motorcycles barely four kilometers in. In the end, he left four bikers behind but lost valuable seconds against his competitors. “As always, the prologue was just a warm-up. I might have been a tad slower than usual but sometimes it’s good to have your competitors ahead of you to get more pressure. So, I am actually pleased to be starting the first stage as the third”, explained Sonik.
Aleksander Maksimow doesn’t have to prove anything in Morocco since the second place in Argentina has already won him the FIM trophy. In order to fight for silver, Sonik must be at least third to cross the finish line in Fes. Paweł Otwinowski, who scored the second position in the prologue part, had come to Africa mainly to learn and gain experience. The athlete from Kielce is planning to take part in the upcoming Dakar Rally, and he needs to improve his navigational skills. The riders will compete along a 167-kilometer long special stage on Friday. Even though the distance is shorter than the remaining special stages, the participants will have to face 332 kilometers of a transfer road. Next three days will take them to Erfoud, a desert city waiting to put them to the test.
1. Aleksander Maksimow (RUS) 10.14
2. Paweł Otwinowski (POL) +0.10
3. Rafał Sonik (POL) +0.16