Proving bigger can be better in the Moroccan dunes, Paolo Ceci claimed a stage two win on the Africa Eco Race to put his Honda Africa Twin at the top of the general standings.
- Stage 2: Domaine Moulay — Tagounite
- Stage: 393 km
- Special: 370 km
- Liaison:23 km
The first real stage between Domaine Moulay near Erfoud and Tagounite not far from Mahmid in Morocco, took place on Tuesday January 3rd 2017. A real stage of Off Road rally with navigation, the first dunes and the track both technical and fast. A timed special stage of 370 km has already done damage among the serious contenders of the 2017 AFRICA ECO RACE while for others the race runs smoothly.
It was 2°C this morning in the region of Erfoud when the first motorbike piloted by the very young Teddy Gev Sella took the start at 7:45. For his first big off-road rally, this young man of 18 years old was not even impressed to have to open the track. Rightly because the pilot of the N°128 KTM approached without any problem a portion before the dunes of Merzouga where many of his experienced opponents were worried about.
As a result, he fell without any damage and was then taken over by Paolo Ceci and his powerful Africa Twin, Gev Sella ended with the second fastest time of the day behind the Italian driver who offers to Honda their first victory of its Africa Twin.
There was a good performance also for the Moroccan Harite Gabari who finished third on the special stage.
On the other hand, Pal Anders Ullevalseter finished only fifth, behind Martin Benko, almost 46 minutes behind Ceci. The Norwegian fell, damaging the controls of his KTM, resulting in an unusable front brake.
The two-time winner of the event slips to third overall behind Ceci and Sella, at 46'36''. But he is still racing, which is not the case of the French Norbert Dubois, victim of a fall within a kilometre of the finish. A possible vertebrae fracture, means the Frenchman will unfortunately not finish his seventh AFRICA ECO RACE.
Stage three is a big day is on schedule for the competitors of the AFRICA ECO RACE, which will continue its progress towards the south. With 433 km to cover between Tagounite and Icht, this third special stage will be one of the longest of the rally.
Photos: Alain Rossignol / Africa Eco Race
Results - Stage 2
1. P. Ceci (Ita/Honda) en 4h42.56
2. G. Sella (AFS/KTM) à 1.35
3. H. Gabari (Mar/KTM) à 29.45
4. M. Benko (SLQ /KTM) à 45.14
5. P.A. Ullevalseter (Nor/KTM) à 45.56
6. D. Agoshkov (Rus/KTM) à 48.18
7. J. Zatko (Slo/KTM) à 1h05.20
8. H. Rahm (Sue/KTM) à 1h12.52
9. S. Pelloni (Ita/Yamaha) à 1h16.37
10. B. Young (Aus/KTM) à 1h25.33
Results - General (After Stage 2)
1. P. Ceci (Ita/Honda) en 5h57.12
2. G. Sella (AFS/KTM) à 1.19
3. P.A. Ullevalseter (Nor/KTM) à 46.36
4. H. Gabari (Mar/KTM) à 48.06
5. D. Agoshkov (Rus/KTM) à 1h13.28
6. M. Benko (SLQ /KTM) à 1h22.49
7. S. Pelloni (Ita/Yamaha) à 1h24.46
8. J. Zatko (Slo/KTM) à 1h24.52
9. H. Rahm (Sue/KTM) à 1h26.12
10. B. Young (Aus/KTM) à 1h46.49
AUTOS / CAMIONS
1 V. Vasilyev - K. Zhiltsov (Rus/Mini) en 3h48.25 ; 2 A. Karginov - A. Mokeev - D. Nikitin (Rus/Kamaz) à 20.05 ; 3 P. Thomasse - P. Larroque (Fra/Buggy Optimus) à 20.49 ; 4 G. Gomez - L. Fagot (Fra/Buggy Optimus) à 23.32 ; 5 T. Magnaldi - F.Borsotto (Fra/Buggy 2WD) à 24.22 ; 6 J.A. Sabatier - A. Rizzardi (Fra-Ita/BuggaOne) à 31.00 ; 7 P. Sireyjol - FX. Beguin (Fra-Bel/Buggy LCR 30) à 31.16 ; 8 D. Housieaux - C. Crespo (Fra/Buggy Optimus) à 37.01 ; 9 A. Cherednikov - D. Tsyro (Kaz-Ukr/Ford) à 38.28 ; 10 S. Kuprianov - A. Kuprianov - A. Tanin
1 V. Vasilyev - K. Zhiltsov (Rus/Mini) en 4h48.34 ; T. Magnaldi - F.Borsotto (Fra/Buggy 2WD) à 25.25 ; A. Karginov - A. Mokeev - D. Nikitin (Rus/Kamaz) à 26.13 ; 4 G. Gomez - L. Fagot (Fra/Buggy Optimus) à 32.46 ; P. Thomasse - P. Larroque (Fra/Buggy Optimus) à 35.49 ; J.A. Sabatier - A. Rizzardi (Fra-Ita/BuggaOne) à 38.16 ; D. Housieaux - C. Crespo (Fra/Buggy Optimus) à 46.53 ; A. Cherednikov - D. Tsyro (Kaz-Ukr/Ford) à 48.10 ; J. Valtr - R. Pilny - F. Skrobanek (RTC/Tatra) à 50.42 ; M. Zapletal - M. Sykora (SLQ/Hummer) à 59.59