Sun 18 October 2015

Oilibya Rally Maroc 2015

The administrative and technical checks of the Oilibya Rally 2015 started at 08:00 for the Husqvarna HT rally team. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA) and Alexander Smith (USA) were the 2 riders attending this rally. After their checks in the morning they took their bikes for a shakedown and photoshoot in the afternoon. The evening before the start, the competitors received 24 pages of modifications for their roadbook! Jacopo and Alexander finished their roadbooks around 12 pm.


The next morning they had an early start, leaving the hotel at 04:30 am. Jacopo did very well and had a nice ride his first day. He did find the last 50 km a little difficult. He got sick the day before the start and started with a ‘low battery’ which he felt at the end of the special. Alexander took it easy and was very impressed by all the rocks in Morocco! This was his first day on the Husqvarna Rally Replica and his first rally with roadbook navigation. There was a lot of dust the first day and he didn’t want to take any risk.

Day 2:
Both Jacopo and Alexander came in enthusiastic. They enjoyed the special, it had a lot of variety; stony tracks, fast gravel and some nice dunes. They had to pay special attention and focus on the cap headings in the roadbook, which made it a difficult and tough day. Alexander finished in a 36th position which put him in 34th position overall. He didn’t had anything special to report at the bivouac and he still had some energy left. That’s how we like it and those are the best days in rally. Jacopo made a small navigation mistake, he missed an exit on his roadbook and lost several minutes correcting this mistake. But besides that, he had a good ride. After the small navigation error he rode the last 50 km together with Pela Renet (Husqvarna factory) and Van Beveren (Yamaha racing). He finished 22nd which put him in 15th position overall.


Day 3:
This was a very strange day. There were a lot of sick riders and assistancemembers in all teams. We had one of our mechanics down with food poisoning, but the most remarkable news of the day was that Toby Price, Jordy Viladoms and Antoine Meo did not start the 3th stage. They were also down with food poisoning. Jacopo was going steady and finished 15th. With the absence of the 3 pilots mentioned above and his good result he moved from 15th to 10th overall! Alexander was also going steady. He came in, in a 29th position which moved him up to a 24th position in the overall standings.

Day 4 was a day with a lot going on. Joan Barreda of HRC crashed out of the rally, same as Pela Renet from Husqvarna Factory who sustained “head injury, broken jaw and some broken tooth, but nothing to bad” (info copied from his facebook page). Hope he will have a full and fast recovery. The rally moved from Zagora to Agadir. Jacopo took it easy/calm without taking any risks. Already within the first kilometres he saw Barreda, Pela and Balooshi. All crashed and out of the rally. Jacopo finished 17th and was still 10th overall. It was a high speed stage with a lot of stones, very dangerous. Alexander also didn’t want to take any risk. This was his first real rally with navigation and he was doing well. He also struggled with food poisoning and fever the last 2 days, luckily he felt a little better this day. He finished 28th and moved up to a 20th position overall.

Day 5 / Finish:
The Oilibya Rally 2015, the final round of the 2015 World Championship Rally in Morocco finally finished! After 5 days competing, it was Sam Sunderland climbing the highest step on the podium. Mathias Walkner became second, and with his second position this rally, he became the 2015 World Champion!

Jacopo and Alexander did well again their last day. They did well the complete rally! This morning Jacopo made a small navigation mistake and he lost at least 10 minutes. Luckily it didn’t change anything for him in the overall standings. Alexander did the same as every other stage, no navigation mistakes and just keep on going…
Both Jacopo and Alexander had a great week. No big mistakes or crashes and consistent every day!

This was their final test for Dakar and they both have proven to be  ready for the big adventure!

Thanks to all the team!

Next stop: Dakar!

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