The Chilean rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team, Jose Ignacio Cornejo, took victory in the fourth stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Barreda and Benavides also finished the special in notable positions.

In Liwa, day four of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge saw the Monster Energy Honda Team riders among the top positions. Cornejo and Barreda replicated the performance of the second stage where, after a total of 520 kilometres on the day, took the top spot and runner up position respectively on the penultimate day. Benavides posted sixth and confirms fourth place in the race’s overall standings.

Over the 286 kilometres of special José Ignacio Cornejo once again shone. The Chilean took advantage of a good start position to claw back time from rivals. ‘Nacho’ retakes second position and is 18 seconds adrift of the rally leader. His partner Joan Barreda, alongside whom he reached the end of the special, once again finished second despite a leg injury. Kevin Benavides, who started out second, dropped time against his rivals but leaves his options open with a fourth place finish.

Tomorrow the final day of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will be held. The fifth stage, in which the riders will return to the Yas Marina Circuit, will feature a total of 214.5 kilometres of special out of a stage total of 350 kilometres.

Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides

It was a tough stage, physically demanding. I started out in second position, so I knew it was normal to lose some time. I stayed calm until kilometre 100, where my brother caught me up and then we rode together pushing with other riders, unlike other stages in which I had ridden alone. It was a beautiful stage that I think was good for me. We will continue along this line as we had planned.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Joan Barreda

Joan Barreda

We had a good stage Nacho and I, and were together all day. I tried to push in the first part before the refuelling. Then I saw that other riders were joining us and we tried to push in the last part. It was good despite my physical condition, to which I’ve added a cut on my leg that I did the second day with the foot-rest. I've had an ugly wound for two days and I'm having a hard time. There are only a few kilometres left and we are going to try to finish the rally.

Monster Energy Honda Team
José Ignacio Cornejo

José Ignacio Cornejo

Today we started out from behind, a good starting position to be able to push in the special to try to whittle down as much time as possible from the other riders. It was a good stage win and I got close enough to Sam, who will be able to pull back tomorrow. For the final day it looks a little complicated to maintain the position, but we will try everything to keep the second place in the general.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Rally 2019, Round 1

Wednesday 3 Apr 2019, 13:45 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 3:53'46
2 Joan Barreda SPA 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'01
3 Andrew Short USA 16 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +3'45
4 Luciano Benavides ARG 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'39
5 Aaron Mare RSA 11 Vendetta Racing UAE KTM +8'03
6 Kevin Benavides ARG 10 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +10'38
7 Sam Sunderland GBR 9 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12'33
8 Mohammed Jaffar UAE 8 Team Jaffar KTM +12'35
9 Mark Ackerman RSA 7 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +14'07
10 Ryan Blair GBR 6 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +19'25
Tuesday 2 Apr 2019, 14:07 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:00'27
2 Kevin Benavides ARG 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'51
3 Aaron Mare RSA 16 Vendetta Racing UAE KTM +4'20
4 Luciano Benavides ARG 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'06
5 Mohammed Jaffar UAE 11 Team Jaffar KTM +8'04
6 Mark Ackerman RSA 10 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +8'44
7 Joan Barreda SPA 9 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +9'05
8 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 8 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +12'00
9 Ryan Blair GBR 7 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +16'42
10 Mohammed Al Balooshi UAE 6 Balooshi Racing KTM UAE KTM +19'27
Monday 1 Apr 2019, 13:10 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 3:13'21
2 Joan Barreda SPA 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'43
3 Andrew Short USA 16 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +2'58
4 Luciano Benavides ARG 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'30
5 Sam Sunderland GBR 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +5'55
6 Mohammed Jaffar UAE 10 Team Jaffar KTM +10'17
7 Aaron Mare RSA 9 Vendetta Racing UAE KTM +11'36
8 Kevin Benavides ARG 8 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +11'48
9 Ryan Blair GBR 7 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +12'09
10 Mark Ackerman RSA 6 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +13'16
Sunday 31 Mar 2019, 15:38 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 3:40'41
2 Andrew Short USA 20 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +6'09
3 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'46
4 Luciano Benavides ARG 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'07
5 Kevin Benavides ARG 11 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14'27
6 Mark Ackerman RSA 10 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +40'31
7 Ryan Blair GBR 9 SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +40'49
8 Mohammed Al Balooshi UAE 8 Balooshi Racing KTM UAE KTM +42'49
9 David McBride GBR 7 Vendetta Racing UAE KTM +1:01'06
10 Mohammed Jaffar UAE 6 Team Jaffar KTM +1:04'15
NC Joan Barreda SPA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda DNF
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Provisional Standings
Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019
# Rider Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Sam SUNDERLAND GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
2 José Ignacio CORNEJO CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
3 Luciano BENAVIDES ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
4 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
5 Andrew SHORT USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
6 Mark ACKERMAN RSA SRG Motorsports Husqvarna
7 Ryan BLAIR GBR SRG Motorsports Husqvarna
8 Mohammed JAFFAR UAE Team Jaffar KTM
9 Mohammed AL BALOOSHI UAE Balooshi Racing KTM UAE KTM
10 David MCBRIDE GBR Vendetta Racing UAE KTM
18 Joan BARREDA SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda