Monster Energy Honda rider Van Beveren is the new leader in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

28.02.2023: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023 2023 World Rally Raid Championship Round WORLD2 Tuesday, February 28th 2023 All Monster Energy Honda Team riders are doing a great job at this year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge! True specialists in the sand, th

   
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023
2023 World Rally Raid Championship   Round WORLD2
Tuesday, February 28th 2023

 

All Monster Energy Honda Team riders are doing a great job at this year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge! True specialists in the sand, they are leading the way in the demanding tracks of the Empty Quarter. The results from today’s stage 2 – Qasr Al Sarab – confirm this scenario, with some changes in the overall standings.



Adrien Van Beveren is the new leader and Pablo Quintanilla is second just one minute and 30 seconds away. They both had today the hard mission to open the track, doing a great performance that was key to keep the team’s dominance.


Van Beveren was 5th with a 3 minutes and 9 seconds gap for the leader of the stage, while Quintanilla was 9th with a 6 minutes and 55 seconds delay. José Ignacio Cornejo was the fastest among the team, with a second place with  just a gap of one minute and 17 seconds. Ricky Brabec is also showing signs of a good recovery from his Dakar crash and was today the fourth fastest rider.


Tomorrow’s Stage 3 will keep the same competitive scheme, with another tour around Qasr Al Sarab and many dunes and sand to race in the depths of the Empty Quarter. Special stage will be 266 kilometers long – added by a liaison of 37 km. This is a very demanding challenge for all riders, since they are racing in marathon mode – meaning they can’t count on the assistance and back up from the team.   
    
       
    
Ruben Faria
General Manager



“All our riders are doing a great job and the same thing goes to our Honda CRF 450 Rally. It is great to see how all of them are riding safe and fast in this demanding terrain. Now Adrien is the overall leader and Pablo is just around the corner, but we still have a long way to go so we have to keep the focus and keep the same spirit everyday.”         

    
       
    
José Ignacio Cornejo  11



“It was a good stage today with another solid ride. I did my best to reach all the guys in front, that was not easy but I was able to make it. So I had a good day, felt good on the bike and I am happy with the results. I also have a good position for tomorrow and will fight for the bonus and keep battling until the end. ”         

    

       
Ricky Brabec  2



“Stage two was good, I felt good all day and made a good push. Unfortunately at the very end I made a stupid mistake and it took me like a minute to get going again.


I crashed on a dune and that did not allow me to win the stage as I wanted. But this is racing and I will keep pushing and doing my best in the days to come ”.         

    
       
    
Adrien Van Beveren  42


“Today was a good day overall, really tough. I was able to reach Pablo at around kilometer 57 and then we rode together pushing the best we could going fast and opening the stage. It was a long way with a lot of sand dunes, broken dunes and not always easy to find the way with some surprises on the other side.


I did my best and I am happy about that, considering that we were opening the stage. Now I will keep the focus for tomorrow, looking forward to getting back on the sand tracks . ”         

    
       
    
Pablo Quintanilla  7


“Starting in front and opening the stage is always a difficult challenge and we knew today wouldn’t be different. The main goal was to be in front to have the bonus, so in the end it was not so bad. I was riding in front until kilometer 80 and then Adrien arrived and we were riding together.


So overall I think this was a good stage, a good performance in the first part of the marathon stage - it is always very hard to manage these days since we are on our own without any assistance from the team.”         

    
       
    
Rider Standings
PROVISIONAL OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 2



Pos.    Rider    Num    Nation    Team    Constructor    Time/Gap

1    VAN BEVEREN Adrien     42    FRA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    07:10:30
2    QUINTANILLA Pablo     7    CHI    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    07:12:00
3    BENAVIDES Luciano     77    ARG    Husqvarna Factory Racing    Husqvarna    07:13:57
4    CORNEJO José Ignacio     11    CHI    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    07:13:58
5    EVAN BRANCH Ross     16    BWA    Hero Motorsports Team Rally    Hero    07:14:24
6    PRICE Toby     18    AUS    Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team    KTM    07:14:29
7    BRABEC Ricky     2    USA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    07:15:37
8    HOWES Skyler     10    USA    Husqvarna Factory Racing    Husqvarna    07:16:19
9    KLEIN Mason     43    USA    BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM    KTM    07:22:00
10    LUCCI Paolo     46    ITA    Solarys Racing    Husqvarna    07:39:25
    
    
       
    

 Monster Energy Honda Team, also photos
    

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28.02.2023 / MaP

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