Laia Sanz racing Rally of Morocco October 4th to 9th in preparation for 2020 Dakar.

Laia Sanz racing Rally of Morocco October 4th to 9th in preparation for 2020 Dakar.

We’re underway! P21 at the Rallye du Maroc prologue. I thought it would be worse because I started in 44th and I found a lot of dust, but I’m happy because the gap is very tight. We’re starting for real tomorrow! ✊🏼✊🏼

Laia Sanz Rally of Morocco Prologue P21 Photo Credit: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Laia Sanz is racing final World Cross-Country Rally Championship 2019 this weekend starting with Prologue stage where the KTM rider finished in 21st position, 26 seconds adrift from first place Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).

Having not competed in Rally of Morocco in 2018 due to illness, Laia is fully committed to gaining as much race-time and preparation before heading into Dakar Rally 2020 in January, in Saudi Arabia.

Laia: ‘“Morocco is the last rally before the Dakar, but in reality it is the last training for the race. It is true that it is a good opportunity to compare myself with the other drivers, but I will not lose my mind at all”‘. 

‘”That means when I put on my helmet and I am in a race situation I want to give it gas and do well. After the end of last year which was so difficult, what I want is to finish these three months of preparation to the fullest. To make good pre-training for Dakar and arrive in January in good condition, which in the end is the important thing”‘.

Laia Sanz Rally of Morocco Prologue P21st Photo Credit: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

With a shortened Rally from October 4th to 9th, the main test will come from learning the new road-book system which will pre-set navigations for all riders prior to starting. Hence, leaving out hours put in at end of racing which riders have been used to preparing navigation codes well into the night.

Laia: ‘”This test is very different from what it was before. Now there is much more navigation and in addition, it will be very interesting to try the new roadbook’.

‘”Unlike what happened so far, a couple of days we will not have it at night to work on it and paint it with our color codes, but they will give it to us in the morning already painted according to the criteria of the organization. It will be something very different”‘.

‘”We will all have to adapt to this new system and, probably, slow down somewhat, because it will be complicated and we will have to look a little more at the indications. We will have to start with a little calm and get used to not getting in any danger’.

‘”I am very much in favor of this system, not only because we will save two or three hours of work when we arrive from the stage, but above all because the system will match the conditions between all pilots. The map-men have had much prominence and now nobody will have that help or more information than others”‘.

With the following 5 stages departing from Fez and completing the Rally of Morocco in Erfoud, a total of 2,482 kms will be raced with 1,662 timed. Up-dates on Laia’s results released when available.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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