A good feeling on arrival in Shaybah

After 11 days (prologue and 10 stages), the Dakar Rally 2023 made a drastic change heading southeast. Monster Energy Honda Team riders José Ignacio Cornejo (CL), Adrien Van Beveren (FR) and Pablo Quintanilla (CL) had an early wake up call around 3:00 am. In less than one hour they were ready to start the 10th stage, leaving Haradh in the direction of Shaybah with a quite unusual liaison of 508 kilometers!

For the technical support team – mechanicals and engineers – it was probably the longest journey so far. Working all night, they had to revise and check every component and detail of the Honda CRF 450 Rally. At the end of the day a final road test confirmed that the all process was a success, meaning Monster Energy Honda Team riders will have their bikes in perfect conditions when they start their engines tomorrow.

Tomorrow it’s time for a key and much expected moment of the race: the marathon stage at the famous Empty Quarter. The counter will mark 4,000 kilometers of specials right after the start, taking the race into extreme endurance territory. Along the 273 km of the selective section (added by a liaison of 151 km) there will be sand dunes of every color. The importance of this challenge – the marathon stage – is that the riders will be on their own in terms of assistance: reaching the bivouac at the end of the day there won’t be any mechanics or external help.

Adrien Van Beveren #42
“This was a good day for me, much better than yesterday for sure. I gave everything, trying to be fast riding on the dunes - a terrain that I love. I really push and I am happy with the outcome. I am ok physically, unfortunately it was only one hundred and fourteen kilometers but we have more chances in the coming days.”

José Ignacio Cornejo #11
“It was a good stage. It was a short stage but very physical. I was riding, pushing and trying to be safe at the same time. In this terrain we can not be overconfident because that’s when mistakes happen. I’m happy with my performance and have a good feeling, so I am ready to keep on fighting in the depths of the Empty Quarter”.

Pablo Quintanilla #7
“This was another long, long day. The stage was short but the rhythm was very high. I am glad tomorrow I will have some riders opening in the front, this can be a changing moment for the race. It will be a tremendous effort for us and for the bikes, because we are already racing for 10 days and that is quite intense. I am in full shape and keen to keep fighting”

Ruben Faria - General Manager
“We have reached a decisive part of the rally and our riders felt quite well in the transition for the southeast landscapes. I know this was just a short introduction for the sandy days to come, but I am very happy with the performance of our riders. All of them - Adrien, Pablo and Nacho - are almost natural born riders of the sand. They love the sand and the dunes and all of them have a special connection with this environment. Tomorrow conditions will be even harder, with a longer stage and no assistance. I am quite confident in our riders and in our Honda's CRF 450 Rally, we are here to fight for the top standings until the last day”.

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.