Monster Energy Honda Team rider Pablo Quintanilla won the final 2022 Dakar Rally stage to grab second overall place in the race just three-and-a-half minutes shy of the winner. All four team riders managed to finish one of the toughest ever editions of the rally, with the Honda CRF450 RALLY once again making it through the entire Dakar without a single mechanical issue.
Monster Energy Honda Team’s Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla wrapped up the 45th edition of the Dakar Rally today in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in a well-deserved second place. Quintanilla, who started this morning in second place in the general standings, 6’52” behind Sam Sunderland, attempted to close the gap over the 150 kilometres of timed special involving some tricky, fast-paced navigation. Pablo earned the final stage victory, finishing 3’27” short of clinching the outright Dakar 2022 title.
Pablo Quintanilla joined Monster Energy Honda Team last May, finishing on the Andalucía Rally podium in his first outing. Later, in October, he would clinch top honours in the Rallye du Maroc. Today’s runner-up position marks a third finish on the Dakar podium for Quintanilla.
Monster Energy Honda Team team-mates Joan Barreda, Ricky Brabec and José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo, riding their respective Honda CRF450 RALLY bikes, also finished the race among the leaders. Spain’s Barreda, fourth on the final stage, finished fifth overall, equalling the result achieved in 2017. Brabec took seventh spot overall in this edition of the Dakar, while ‘Nacho’ Cornejo, third on the stage today, consolidated his sixth place in the final rally classification.
All four of the team riders placed among the top seven finishers. Furthermore, a total of five stage victories (Barreda 2, Cornejo 2, Quintanilla 1) in this edition takes Honda’s overall tally of partial wins at the Dakar to 97.
The next race for the Monster Energy Honda Team is scheduled from 5-10 March for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
I am very happy with the result and my performance throughout the whole race, especially during the second week, which I managed well, making up time with a steady performance. I am very pleased and I wish to thank the whole Monster Energy Honda Team for their incredible work over these weeks. It was a really tough race, with a lot of tension, but I'm happy. Today there was second place at stake and there was even a chance of winning the race. It didn’t turn out that way, but I'm still happy with the second place finish. Now it's time to enjoy this moment.
- Pablo Quintanilla