Kevin Benavides keeps all options open in the 2018 Dakar after a gruelling stage in Fiambalá that saw Joan Barreda abandon the rally after one too many falls. Ricky Brabec and Nacho Cornejo also feature in the overall top ten.

Today’s rider starting order was dictated by the overall results of all vehicles yesterday, which mean a mixed start that featured several cars and trucks interspersed with the motorcycles on the track. This posed a serious disadvantage as riders were faced with heavily rutted tracks devastated by the passage of the larger four-wheeled counterparts. Yet the riders of the Monster Energy Honda Team were up to the challenge and battled against all odds to reduce the distance with the front-runners.

The eleventh stage consisted of 485 kilometres in total between Belén and Fiambalá, with 280 km against the clock. The day’s special stage included an early stint in broken-up dry river-beds with some trial-style riding and various treacherous zones before the race arrived at the first stretches of sand and dunes and their correspondingly demanding navigation. With the dunes out of the way, it was back to a combination of fast, broken tracks before reaching the Fiambalá bivouac.

Today Kevin Benavides, in spite of starting out behind the cars and trucks, was in gung-ho attack mode in an attempt to claw back some of the deficit from the overall leader in the general standings. By the end of the day, the rider from Salta had crossed the line in second place, eating some nine minute into the lead of Walkner, leaving the overall distance between the two in the provisional at 32 minutes.

A fine performance from Ricky Brabec, who finished fourth of the day and climbs to sixth place in the table. Likewise, Chilean José Ignacio Cornejo rode a solid first leg of the marathon stage to post tenth position on the day and ninth in the general rankings.

Joan Barreda abandons
Joan Barreda has retired from the 2018 Dakar whilst still holding second position. After having suffered several falls in some of the earlier stages of the rally and punishing his body severely, the exhausted Spaniard made the decision to completely withdraw. Joan had started the rally with a nagging injury to his left wrist, before falling heavily in the seventh stage, La Paz – Uyuni, where he sustained a damaged left knee. Despite the pain, Barreda soldiered on the following day to hold on to his top five place. Yesterday, on the route of the tenth stage from Salta – Belén stage, Barreda suffered concussion in the head. The rider, still determined to defend his overall second place in the general standings, was forced to call an end to his seventh campaign, which is living up to its name as the ‘World’s Toughest Rally’. Barreda goes home with three stage victories this time and a total of twenty-two in all his Dakar participations.

Today’s stage eleven was the first part of the rally’s second marathon stage (for the motorbikes) which means that there will be no mechanical assistance available from anyone other than the riders themselves. The rest of the teams have all moved on directly from Belén to Chilecito. The entourage will leave the small town tomorrow and head to San Juan to await the arrival of the riders who en route will have to overcome a total of 723 kilometres, including a reduced special stage of 288 kilometres and 426 kilometres of liaison section. Riders can look forward to stony track and areas of navigation.

Joan Barreda

Joan Barreda

I couldn’t take it anymore. Since I fell and hit my knee I have been suffering a lot in every stage. My knee was unstable and I had to change my position on the bike but even that didn’t help. Today I reached a point where I couldn’t feel my leg any more and I think that, in spite of everything, the best decision has been to stop so as not to make the situation worse. It’s a pity because I was second in the race overall, but I wasn’t in any condition to fight to win the races.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Ricky Brabec

Ricky Brabec

Today we started a new marathon stage, the second of this Dakar. I am much happier than when I finished yesterday, which had been a nightmare to try to find that cursed waypoint. I feel fine; the bike is running really well too. We will continue fighting to finish this Dakar as best we can. I hope Joan gets well and improves soon.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides

We changed the chip after yesterday and we went out to push hard. I started out from a long way behind and I found a lot of trucks that had broken up all the track. It was a good result and we have reduced some time from the overall leader. We will continue pushing hard until the end.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Raul Castells

Raul Castells

Monster Energy Honda Team Manager

It was a hard day for Honda after finding out about Joan’s retirement in the eleventh stage. We also tip our hat to him for the valiant effort that he has made and the suffering that he has endured over recent days. He’s done really well as he never stopped fighting to win this Dakar and was still second today in the general at the moment of abandonment. On the other hand, we have Kevin second in the general and closing in on the leader. We are satisfied with how he is handling the race so far. We will fight to the end with Kevin, Ricky and Nacho to achieve the goal of the team. I want to thank the team for all the effort that has been made to this day; The Dakar is a very tough race that is exhausting not only for the riders, but also all the other team members. Thanks to all of you.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Dakar Rally

Dakar, Dakar (multiple countries)

Rally 2018

Wednesday 17 Jan 2018, 23:45 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Toby Price AUT 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:01'33
2 Kevin Benavides ARG 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'38
3 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'31
4 Ricky Brabec USA 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +7'34
5 Matthias Walkner AUT 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +11'01
6 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 10 Himoinsa Team KTM +12'32
7 Johnny Aubert FRA 9 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +19'38
8 Joan Pedrero 17 SPA 8 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +22'46
9 Oriol Mena SPA 7 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +27'00
10 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +27'08
11 Armand Monleon SPA 5 Daming Racing Team KTM +33'38
12 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 4 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +33'56
13 Andrew Short USA 3 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +36'22
14 Mark Samuels USA 2 OX Motorsports Honda +36'27
15 Daniel Oliveras SPA 1 Himoinsa Team KTM +40'44
Wednesday 17 Jan 2018, 03:30 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Matthias Walkner AUT 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:52'26
2 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 20 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +11'35
3 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 16 Himoinsa Team KTM +16'21
4 Oriol Mena SPA 13 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +20'45
5 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 11 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +23'14
6 Andrew Short USA 10 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +24'13
7 Mark Samuels USA 9 OX Motorsports Honda +24'50
8 Daniel Oliveras SPA 8 Himoinsa Team KTM +25'25
9 Armand Monleon SPA 7 Daming Racing Team KTM +34'18
10 Joan Pedrero 17 SPA 6 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +36'24
11 Laia Sanz SPA 5 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM +36'35
12 Johnny Aubert FRA 4 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +37'29
13 Rodney Faggotter AUS 3 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +38'07
14 Joan Barreda SPA 2 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +38'15
15 Daniel Nosiglia 33 BOL 1 HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna +40'22
17 Kevin Benavides ARG 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +47'35
24 Ricky Brabec USA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +56'13
Monday 15 Jan 2018, 01:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 5:24'01
2 Ricky Brabec USA 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'08
3 Toby Price AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'45
4 Kevin Benavides ARG 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5'52
5 Stefan Svitko SLK 11 Slovnaft Team KTM +6'46
6 Matthias Walkner AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7'00
7 Adrien van Beveren FRA 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +8'44
8 Joan Barreda SPA 8 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +12'00
9 Laia Sanz SPA 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM +14'15
10 Armand Monleon SPA 6 Daming Racing Team KTM +15'15
11 Johnny Aubert FRA 5 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +16'15
12 Oriol Mena SPA 4 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +16'57
13 Luciano Benavides ARG 3 KTM Rally Team KTM +18'44
14 Martín Duplessis ARG 2 Honda Argentina – MEC Team Honda +19'11
15 Shane Esposito USA 1 KTM Rally Team KTM +20'21
22 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +25'46
Sunday 14 Jan 2018, 01:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Joan Barreda SPA 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 05:11'10
2 Adrien van Beveren FRA 20 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +02'51
3 Kevin Benavides ARG 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +08'02
4 Toby Price AUT 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +08'43
5 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 11 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +08'53
6 Matthias Walkner AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +09'16
7 Stefan Svitko SLK 9 Slovnaft Team KTM +09'30
8 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 8 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +10'03
9 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12'46
10 Ricky Brabec USA 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'48
11 Jonathan Barragán SPA 5 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +14'15
12 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 4 Himoinsa Team KTM +20'07
13 Daniel Nosiglia 33 BOL 3 HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna +20'39
14 Daniel Oliveras SPA 2 Himoinsa Team KTM +22'04
15 Johnny Aubert FRA 1 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +22'40
24 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +46'51
Thursday 11 Jan 2018, 23:55 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 1:54'10
2 Kevin Benavides ARG 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'30
3 Toby Price AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'30
4 Martín Duplessis ARG 13 Honda Argentina – MEC Team Honda +1'13
5 Daniel Oliveras SPA 11 Himoinsa Team KTM +1'55
6 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 10 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +2'00
7 Daniel Nosiglia 33 BOL 9 HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna +2'13
8 Adrien van Beveren FRA 8 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +3'27
9 Joan Barreda SPA 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'30
10 Michael Metge FRA 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'37
11 Matthias Walkner AUT 5 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'06
12 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 4 Himoinsa Team KTM +4'14
13 Stefan Svitko SLK 3 Slovnaft Team KTM +4'19
14 Armand Monleon SPA 2 Daming Racing Team KTM +4'34
15 Jonathan Barragán SPA 1 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +4'48
19 Ricky Brabec USA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'16
24 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'12
Thursday 11 Jan 2018, 01:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Joan Barreda SPA 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 3:19'42
2 Matthias Walkner AUT 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +10'26
3 Kevin Benavides ARG 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +12'20
4 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +13'00
5 Adrien van Beveren FRA 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +14'35
6 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 10 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +14'43
7 Toby Price AUT 9 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +15'00
8 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 8 Himoinsa Team KTM +16'54
9 Ricky Brabec USA 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +19'16
10 Johnny Aubert FRA 6 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +21'17
11 Oriol Mena SPA 5 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +22'35
12 Michael Metge FRA 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +22'38
13 Stefan Svitko SLK 3 Slovnaft Team KTM +25'07
14 Laia Sanz SPA 2 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM +27'29
15 Jonathan Barragán SPA 1 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +27'44
19 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +29'52
Tuesday 9 Jan 2018, 23:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Adrien van Beveren FRA 25 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha 4:08'23
2 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 20 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5'01
3 Matthias Walkner AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7'10
4 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 13 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +7'32
5 Stefan Svitko SLK 11 Slovnaft Team KTM +7'45
6 Daniel Nosiglia 33 BOL 10 HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna +8'39
7 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 9 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'45
8 Kevin Benavides ARG 8 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +9'14
9 Joan Barreda SPA 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +10'00
10 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 6 Himoinsa Team KTM +10'11
11 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 5 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +10'23
12 Johnny Aubert FRA 4 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +10'24
13 Michael Metge FRA 3 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +11'17
14 Jonathan Barragán SPA 2 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +11'23
15 Toby Price AUT 1 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +13'23
24 Ricky Brabec USA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +23'44
Monday 8 Jan 2018, 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 3:20'43
2 Kevin Benavides ARG 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'03
3 Toby Price AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'28
4 Ricky Brabec USA 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'55
5 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 11 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +4'20
6 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 10 Himoinsa Team KTM +5'08
7 Stefan Svitko SLK 9 Slovnaft Team KTM +6'03
8 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'23
9 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +7'06
10 Walter Nosiglia BOL 6 HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna +8'27
11 Michael Metge FRA 5 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +9'03
12 Matthias Walkner AUT 4 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'04
13 Oriol Mena SPA 3 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +9'25
14 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 2 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +10'56
15 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 1 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +11'52
30 Joan Barreda SPA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +27'49
Sunday 7 Jan 2018, 22:30 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Joan Barreda SPA 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 2:56'44
2 Adrien van Beveren FRA 20 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +2'54
3 Matthias Walkner AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'24
4 Michael Metge FRA 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'39
5 Kevin Benavides ARG 11 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5'43
6 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 10 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +5'45
7 Sam Sunderland GBR 9 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'01
8 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 8 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +6'12
9 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 7 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +6'36
10 Toby Price AUT 6 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'40
11 Jonathan Barragán SPA 5 Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +6'43
12 Ricky Brabec USA 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +7'19
13 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 3 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +9'32
14 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 2 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'43
15 Gerard Farres 23 SPA 1 Himoinsa Team KTM +10'53
Sunday 7 Jan 2018, 14:34 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 20'56
2 Adrien van Beveren FRA 20 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha ++0'33
3 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 16 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna ++0'56
4 Joan Barreda SPA 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda ++0'57
5 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha ++01'07
6 Matthias Walkner AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM ++01'23
7 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha ++01'31
8 Daniel Nosiglia 33 BOL 8 HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna ++01'33
9 Antoine Meo 19 FRA 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM ++01'49
10 Kevin Benavides ARG 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda ++01'53
11 Ricky Brabec USA 5 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda ++02'47
12 Laia Sanz SPA 4 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM ++03'16
13 Santosh Chunchungguppe 49 IND 3 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero ++03'16
14 Toby Price AUT 2 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM ++03'21
15 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 1 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda ++03'21
19 Michael Metge FRA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda ++03'51
Provisional Standings
Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Matthias WALKNER AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
2 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
3 Toby PRICE AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
4 Gerard FARRES 23 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM
5 Antoine MEO 19 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
6 Ricky BRABEC USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
7 Johnny AUBERT FRA Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas
8 Pablo QUINTANILLA CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
9 José Ignacio CORNEJO CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
10 Oriol MENA SPA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero