The final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship concluded on Friday with this year’s Dakar Rally winner Toby Price taking victory in the five-day long OiLibya Rally held in Morocco. Price’s teammate Sam Sunderland was second as Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla took third place and with it, enough points to be crowned this year’s Cross-Country Rally world champion for two-wheelers.
Of course, attention in the cross-country rally world is always tuned towards the big dance, the Dakar Rally, for which the event was seen as a final prep for the riders who would compete in South America. Included in that list of riders and manufacturers were India’s own Aravind KP and CS Santosh, representing Sherco-TVS and Hero MotoCorp. Aravind KP was the highest ranking Indian rider on the event as he finished 26th overall in the bike/quad category.
Three other Sherco riders placed in the top 15 of the classification, including Juan Pedrero Garcia who finished ninth overall. Flying the flag for the Hero Motosports Rally Team on the Speedbrain 450 bike was Joaquim Rodrigues who finished 16th overall, with Santosh – Inida’s first Dakar Rally participant and winner – finishing only 60th overall out of a total of 68 classified riders after wrestling with mechanical problems and then some navigation errors after he tried to make up for lost time.
Meanwhile, in the event’s four-wheel class – the FIA Cross Country Rally World Championship – Toyota flexed its muscles with new signing Nasser Al-Attiyah managing to best Peugeot’s Carlos Sainz, while three X-Raid Mini drivers completed the top five.