After Friday’s adventures and six hours of awaiting help in a desolate desert, Rafał Sonik picked up a fight in the second stage of the Morocco Rally. The tech team was able to fix the broken control arm bolt, restoring Sonik’s hope of winning the second place in the general FIM World Cup classification.
“After the breakdown caused by crashing with a thoughtless driver, I had to start from a very disadvantageous position today. I kept my head and heart in balance though because the most important thing was to still be in the game for the silver trophy in the FIM World Cup”, asserted Rafał Sonik before setting off on the second special stage.
Initially, no one knew if the Saturday challenge could even take place. A huge evening sandstorm rolled over Erfoud, followed by heavy downpours of rain, so rare in this area. A year ago, several motorcyclists sunk their vehicles in the swollen local rivers. This time, the river crossings were far less extreme. Rather than the muddy road, the real challenge was navigation.
“It was a tough lesson in navigation, and the roadbook did not make it any easier. Just like most of the participants, like other motorcyclists and UTV drivers, we were wandering around in search for waypoints. I lost about an hour returning from all the wrong turns I had taken. I knew I stood no chance of catching up with Maksimow after yesterday’s trouble, so I didn’t feel any pressure or frustration”, admitted the 6-time FIM World Cup winner.
The stage was claimed by Aleksander Maksimow, who had secured his leading position in this racing season even before the Morocco Rally. Rafał Sonik was second to cross the finish line. “In my view, the most important information is that my leg hurts much less now than in South America. My left knee doesn’t require as much physiotherapy as before and doesn’t bother me while driving, which gives me a lot more joy.”
The organizers planned a marathon stage on Sunday for motorbikes and quads. It means that after 275 km of the special stage, the participants will not be able to use any tech support and will spend the night in tents. “As always, we will have to take good care of our equipment on the road. Today taught me that in terms of navigation I have to trust my skills and never follow the tracks or ideas of others. It would take me to the finish line much faster”, concluded Rafał Sonik.