Monster Energy Honda Team’s American rider Ricky Brabec staged an authentic coup d’état at the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally, not only battling to victory on the day, but also storming the first place spot on the overall leader board. Benavides and Gonçalves were among the top ten.

Today saw the first leg of the marathon stage at the 2019 Dakar en route from Arequipa to Moquegua, where the 124 remaining motorcycle riders had an early start to cover the opening 85-kilometre link section before the first part of the 205-kilometre special. The day was soured by biting cold and humidity in both the city and the mountainous regions. Ricky Brabec set off like a bat out of hell, marking the best time in the process. After a neutralisation of 54 kilometres, the second part of the special, over 146 kilometres, proved even better for the American, who cruised home with a six-minute advantage over the nearest finisher, dethroning the previous overall leader Pablo Quintanilla with a walloping twenty minute gap. In doing so, Brabec triumphs for the second time in a stage after the victory in 2017 on the La Paz-Uyuni stage. The American takes the head of the overall rankings for the first time in the world’s toughest rally.

Monster Energy Honda Team buddy Paulo Gonçalves continues to improve in the 2019 edition of the Dakar after a spleen operation just a month ago. The Portuguese rider finished with the sixth fastest time of the day and lies in eighth in the general standings. Kevin Benavides occupied ninth place at the finish, one spot behind team-mate Nacho Cornejo, with the Argentine is sixth place overall.

Riders then travelled to the Moquegua camp where they can rest and prepare the second leg of the marathon stage. The bikers will, however, be left to their own devices as no outside mechanical assistance is permitted. Instead any technical help will have to wait until the close of tomorrow’s stage back at the Arequipa bivouac. The fifth stage will add a total of 776 kilometres to the 1109 disputed so far and will include 345 kilometres against the clock.

Paulo Goncalves

Paulo Goncalves

Yeah, I'm quite happy. We have done four stages and 40% of the 2019 Dakar and I have made to the marathon stage well, in good health and in a good position. Today I pressed hard until the refuelling through the river area which had plenty of stones. I was very careful. I'm happy because every day I feel better and closer to full fitness. Now let's try to fight the remaining days of the race.

Monster Energy Honda Team
José Ignacio Cornejo

José Ignacio Cornejo

It was a very long and quite fast stage and I think we have been going very fast ... I'm fine and the bike is too, and that's important for the marathon stage. I'm happy with the way things went in this fourth stage. Yesterday I conceded some time and now we will have to see if we can make it up over the remaining days.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Ricky Brabec

Ricky Brabec

Wow! I needed it. I needed a victory like that! Today I wanted to push because as we had studied yesterday, winning today would be able to help me in tomorrow’s stage. We will have the mass motocross-style start, just like on the motocross starting grids. I'm really very happy to have won the stage with a good margin of time which has helped place me at the top of leader board.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides

It was an important stage really. We went through a lot of terrain types, hard track, stony areas and even some fesh-fesh. It was fine, but I dropped a bit of time trying to find a waypoint and it didn’t go quite as I had planned. It was difficult to catch other riders because they raised a lot of dust and I preferred to take care of the bike and be able to push later.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Raul Castells

Raul Castells

Monster Energy Honda Team Manager

We are very happy with the result of Ricky. We have to congratulate him. He is showing his true potential in this Dakar. We have to continue day by day. The riders have arrived in Moquegua and they are fine. Kevin, Paulo and Nacho have made a consistent stage and we hope that tomorrow they will arrive in Arequipa without incident and will be able to continue taking the Dakar one step at a time.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Dakar Rally

Dakar, Dakar (multiple countries)

Rally 2019

Thursday 10 Jan 2019, 22:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Ricky Brabec USA 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 03:40'30
2 Matthias Walkner AUT 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +06'19
3 Toby Price AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +07'07
4 Sam Sunderland GBR 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +11'35
5 Adrien van Beveren FRA 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +13'29
6 Paulo Goncalves POR 10 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'36
7 Stefan Svitko SLK 9 Slovnaft Team KTM +14'10
8 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 8 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14'33
9 Kevin Benavides ARG 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +15'20
10 Lorenzo Santolino SPA 6 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +17'02
Thursday 10 Jan 2019, 01:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 25 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha 04:07'42
2 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 20 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +00'15
3 Kevin Benavides ARG 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +02'37
4 Adrien van Beveren FRA 13 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +06'42
5 Sam Sunderland GBR 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +08'26
6 Paulo Goncalves POR 10 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +09'31
7 Stefan Svitko SLK 9 Slovnaft Team KTM +10'50
8 Oriol Mena SPA 8 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +11'15
9 Toby Price AUT 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +14'16
10 Michael Metge FRA 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14'45
11 Lorenzo Santolino SPA 5 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +14'59
12 Andrew Short USA 4 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +15'10
13 Ricky Brabec USA 3 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +20'01
14 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 2 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +30'57
Wednesday 9 Jan 2019, 01:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Matthias Walkner AUT 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 03:21'57
2 Ricky Brabec USA 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00'22
3 Joan Barreda SPA 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +01'41
4 Toby Price AUT 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +03'06
5 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 11 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +03'24
6 Sam Sunderland GBR 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +06'03
7 Adrien van Beveren FRA 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +09'03
8 Kevin Benavides ARG 8 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +09'59
9 Andrew Short USA 7 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +12'25
10 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'43
11 Paulo Goncalves POR 5 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14'12
Monday 7 Jan 2019, 23:30 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Joan Barreda SPA 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 57'36
2 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 20 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +01'34
3 Ricky Brabec USA 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +02'52
4 Adrien van Beveren FRA 13 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +02'55
5 Sam Sunderland GBR 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +02'56
6 Toby Price AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +03'08
7 Matthias Walkner AUT 9 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +03'12
8 Kevin Benavides ARG 8 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +04'00
9 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +05'22
10 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 6 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +05'54
11 Paulo Goncalves POR 5 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +06'41
Provisional Dakar Standings
Thursday, 10 Jan 2019
# Rider Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Ricky BRABEC USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
2 Pablo QUINTANILLA CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
3 Toby PRICE AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
4 Sam SUNDERLAND GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
5 Adrien VAN BEVEREN FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
6 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
7 Matthias WALKNER AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
8 Paulo GONCALVES POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
9 Xavier DE SOULTRAIT FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
10 Stefan SVITKO SLK Slovnaft Team KTM
15 José Ignacio CORNEJO CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda