One-two for Monster Energy Honda Team in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge stage 2

One-two for Monster Energy Honda Team in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge stage 2

01.04.2019: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies Round WORLD1 , Stage 2 Monday, April 1st 2019 The Monster Energy Honda Team riders turned out a fine performance today in the dunes of Liwa. Cornejo and Barreda finished first and s

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2019
2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD1 , Stage 2
Monday, April 1st 2019




The Monster Energy Honda Team riders turned out a fine performance today in the dunes of Liwa. Cornejo and Barreda finished first and second on the day, while Benavides gained a notable starting position for tomorrow.


The heat and wind were once again the key climatic elements of stage two of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The 222 kilometres of special timed stage proved to be a physical test for the riders once more. Yet in spite of the soft dunes and scorching temperatures on the course, riders finished the day reporting back good sensations.




José Ignacio Cornejo set off at a swift pace today, catching the two riders ahead before finishing amongst the front-runners at the end of the special. The Chilean rider pulled off an important stage victory, his second in the World Championship. ‘Nacho’ now lies in second in the general standings, less than a minute behind the leader.


Barreda was today able to resume the race after yesterday’s mechanical hitch. The Spanish rider was surprised to arrive at refuelling with the best provisional time. He would have been the best on the day too had it not been for a fall in the second part of the special which saw the rider drop precious seconds. He did, however, finish the stage in second place behind his team-mate.


Meanwhile, Kevin Benavides also suffered the severity of this second stage, where a fall forced the Argentine to take the final kilometres at a more cautious pace. Tomorrow he starts out from eighth position and will be looking to pull back some of the time lost today.


Tomorrow, Tuesday, sees the third stage, the rally’s halfway point, which will feature the longest special stage that riders will have to face. This will include almost 300 kilometres against the clock, out of a total of 434 before the day is through.   
   


   
   
Kevin Benavides
STAGE: 8TH  OVERALL: 5TH



The stage was practically like yesterday, very windy and very soft dunes and was quite a difficult ride. I was doing fine until kilometre 100 where I had a fall - nothing spectacular - but I fell on my right side, which I hurt and I began to feel a lot of pain. From then on, I just tried to make it to the end of the special, easing up the pace.         

   
       
   
Joan Barreda
STAGE: 2ND  OVERALL: 21ST



I was feeling pretty good. It was an important, yet tough day for me. In the earlier part I didn’t feel so confident, but things improved and I was able to reach a good race pace. Pity about the final part, where I got stuck in a dune and my ribs were hurting. I decided to slow down a bit to make it safely to the finish-line. Anyway, I am pleased with how I led the day in spite of the difficulties.         


       
José Ignacio Cornejo
STAGE: 1ST  OVERALL: 2ND


Today I improved the pace with the bike in the dunes, I went a lot faster and I pulled back a bit of time before the refuelling. In the second part I was pushing harder and I was able to catch up with the front-runners. Furthermore, I won the stage, so I am very happy, and the intention from now on is to continue along the same track and try to hold onto the second position in the general standings.         

   
       
   
    Stage 2 provisional results


1    CORNEJO José Ignacio         CHI    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    3:13'21
2    BARREDA Joan         SPA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +1'43
3    SHORT Andrew     29    USA    Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing    Husqvarna    +2'58
4    BENAVIDES Luciano         ARG    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +3'30
5    SUNDERLAND Sam         GBR    Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team    KTM    +5'55
6    MESHARI JAFFAR Mohammed         KWT    Team Jaffar    KTM    +10'17
7    MARE Aaron         RSA    Vendetta Racing UAE    KTM    +11'36
8    BENAVIDES Kevin         ARG    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +11'48
9    BLAIR Ryan         GBR    SRG Motorsports    Husqvarna    +12'09
10    ACKERMAN Mark         RSA    SRG Motorsports    Husqvarna    +13'16
   
   
       
   
    Rider Standings

PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 2


1    SUNDERLAND Sam         GBR    Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team    KTM    6:59'57
2    CORNEJO José Ignacio         CHI    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +0'51
3    SHORT Andrew     29    USA    Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing    Husqvarna    +3'12
4    BENAVIDES Luciano         ARG    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +6'42
5    BENAVIDES Kevin         ARG    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +20'20
6    ACKERMAN Mark         RSA    SRG Motorsports    Husqvarna    +47'52
7    BLAIR Ryan         GBR    SRG Motorsports    Husqvarna    +48'03
8    AL BALOOSHI Mohammed         UAE    Balooshi Racing KTM UAE    KTM    +59'05
9    MESHARI JAFFAR Mohammed         KWT    Team Jaffar    KTM    +1:08'37
10    MCBRIDE David         GBR    Vendetta Racing UAE    KTM    +1:39'19
21    BARREDA Joan         SPA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +32:55'07
   
   
     


   
     
 


Monster Energy Honda Team, also photos RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer

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01.04.2019 / MaP

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