Monster Energy Honda Team returns to the top of the leader board of the world’s toughest rally. American Ricky Brabec battled back to overall leadership as the Dakar Rally arrived at its seventh stage, one day ahead of the Super-Ica which should prove to be the longest and most gruelling stage of the current edition.

The two Honda CR450 RALLYs of Nacho Cornejo and Ricky Brabec made it onto today’s virtual podium on day seven of the 2019 Dakar Rally. The Chilean narrowly missed out on the stage victory, while rampant Californian Brabec rode a storming ride back to the top. Kevin Benavides, second yesterday, went in search of a good starting position from which to attack tomorrow.

It was an arduous, tough day out in San Juan de Marcona. Competitors faced a torturous battlefield, as today’s stage played out over the terrain already used in an earlier stage. The consequent passage of cars, SSV and trucks had left huge ruts and churned up sand. The stage featured 323 kilometres of special on a looping stage with departure and arrival in San Juan de Marcona.

The best rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team bunch turned out to be Nacho Cornejo, who came within a whisker of clinching his first Dakar stage win. The Chilean set a cracking pace in the first part and had no difficulty in finding one of the more critical waypoints in the special whilst others doubted and which eventual led to the day’s second quickest time. Nacho lies twelfth in the overall standings, just over an hour behind the leader.

Third today was Ricky Brabec, although the American was more than happy to retake the overall lead. Brabec was comfortable over the terrain that included dunes and was fast enough to mark the third best time of the day some 6’30” off the stage winner. Ricky now holds a 7’47” advantage over the nearest second place rival Frenchman Van Beveren.

Kevin Benavides started the day behind Quintanilla and, after catching him up on the track, continued until he experienced some trouble finding an awkward waypoint. The Argentine rider arrived amid the main group posting twelfth best time. The Argentine is sixth in the provisional rankings. The main concern for the Argentine rider had been the state of the terrain which had been destroyed with some stretches having been used three times. Expect more of the same tomorrow as ten cars and five trucks will have already started out by the time the bikers start the “Super-Ica”.

The longest special of this rally will have a total of 361 kilometres against the clock out of a total of 576 km before reaching Pisco.

José Ignacio Cornejo

José Ignacio Cornejo

Today was a good day, but the stage was tough. At first we passed over tracks made on previous days, so we had to be careful in some parts, but in general it was a very fast stage. In the second part, there was more sand and dunes and I knew that there I would be able to push harder because the first riders have lost time looking for a waypoint in the middle of the dunes. I minimised errors and I was able to maintain a good pace, so I am very happy with today's stage. I almost got the victory, but I think it's better not to have to open the track tomorrow.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Ricky Brabec

Ricky Brabec

I feel good. I need the day to go well. I knew I had messed up a bit yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be hard to maintain the gap. The day was more my style like where I live. It was fun and comfortable. We were all riding together and enjoying it. Tomorrow I didn’t want to have to open. So it’s good that people finished in front of me. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides

Today was the most difficult stage of this Dakar in terms of navigation. I came out in second position and caught Quintanilla, and between the two of us we opened most of the stage. But at the end of the special, in the dunes, many pilots arrived from behind and between us and it was hard for us to find a waypoint, where we lost several minutes. In the final few kilometres there was fesh-fesh, dust and a lot of wind and it was quite dangerous. I have finished twelfth but it is fine for tomorrow to leave behind. We will see how the stage goes, with the cars and trucks ahead; If there is a lot of fesh-fesh, it will be difficult to overtake.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Raul Castells

Raul Castells

Monster Energy Honda Team Manager

Today was a good stage for the whole team. Nacho did very well, and Ricky and Kevin have also done what they had to do. Everyone has done their job, so we have to congratulate them for their good work. Tomorrow we will have a very unpredictable stage, with cars and trucks involved. We will try to make a good race, continuing with the concentration and fighting for this Dakar 2019.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Dakar Rally

Dakar, Dakar (multiple countries)

Rally 2019

Monday 14 Jan 2019, 23:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 03:51'41
2 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +01'51
3 Ricky Brabec USA 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +06'30
4 Adrien van Beveren FRA 13 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +09'40
5 Luciano Benavides ARG 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +11'19
6 Andrew Short USA 10 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +11'29
7 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +13'12
8 Toby Price AUT 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +14'19
9 Stefan Svitko SLK 7 Slovnaft Team KTM +16'21
10 Matthias Walkner AUT 6 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +16'38
12 Kevin Benavides ARG 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +19'22
Sunday 13 Jan 2019, 23:50 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 25 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna 03:50'47
2 Kevin Benavides ARG 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +01'52
3 Matthias Walkner AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +04'21
4 Toby Price AUT 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +04'48
5 Adrien van Beveren FRA 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +05'48
6 Ricky Brabec USA 10 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +07'30
7 Stefan Svitko SLK 9 Slovnaft Team KTM +08'20
8 Andrew Short USA 8 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +13'54
9 Luciano Benavides ARG 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +15'13
10 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +21'47
Saturday 12 Jan 2019, 01:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 04:11'48
2 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 20 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +03'23
3 Matthias Walkner AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +03'32
4 Lorenzo Santolino SPA 13 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +04'00
5 Adrien van Beveren FRA 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +04'26
6 Andrew Short USA 10 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +04'36
7 Luciano Benavides ARG 9 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +04'36
8 Stefan Svitko SLK 8 Slovnaft Team KTM +05'05
9 Toby Price AUT 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +05'45
10 Skyler Howes USA 6 Klymclw Racing Husqvarna +06'00
11 Kevin Benavides ARG 5 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +06'46
12 Ricky Brabec USA 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +06'46
13 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 3 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'10
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
Monday, 14 Jan 2019
# Rider Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Ricky BRABEC USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
2 Adrien VAN BEVEREN FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
3 Toby PRICE AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
4 Sam SUNDERLAND GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
5 Pablo QUINTANILLA CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
6 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
7 Matthias WALKNER AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
8 Stefan SVITKO SLK Slovnaft Team KTM
9 Andrew SHORT USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
10 Xavier DE SOULTRAIT FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
12 José Ignacio CORNEJO CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda