As the Morocco Rally finishes, so does Monster Energy Honda Team’s participation in the 2018 FIM Cross-Country World Championship and the lengthy team preparations ahead of the greatest challenge to both man and machine: the Dakar Rally. The work, however, continues.

Riders from the Monster Energy Honda Team will now get to take advantage of a few days off after the conclusion of the Morocco Rally before returning to begin fitness training and preparations for the Dakar Rally. It has been a busy third term for the squad who have juggled a packed agenda which has included the Atacama Rally, the Desafío Ruta 40, the Desafío Inca and the Morocco Rally.

After grabbing top honours in the three races held in South America, the result of the more demanding Morocco Rally proved less spectacular, yet both team and riders come away with positive conclusions. The new race organization had brought a series of changes that upped the difficulty level and complicated yet further the navigation. The race forced riders to endure five days with minimum error margins over long swathes of off-piste racing covering mainly heavily stony ground. Several falls during the race forced the team to take a more prudent approach so as to avoid major injuries.

It was precisely Paulo Gonçalves who, no sooner than entering into contention for the race, fell and was forced to opt for a more cautious finish to try and escape any serious injuries. Monster Energy Honda Team’s Portuguese rider finished fifth overall in the Morocco Rally and ended fourth in the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship table.

Ricky Brabec claimed fifth spot on the final overall world championship leader board, although the American scored an above-satisfactory result with the third place in the final race which he rounded off in style with a final stage victory in Morocco.

One of the falls that caused a retirement was that of Kevin Benavides. The Argentine Monster Energy Honda Team rider took a hard hit in the leg and although the first prognosis looked alarming, the result turned out to little more than concussion which should see the rider back to full fitness in a matter of days. Kevin finished sixth overall in this world championship.

Meanwhile young Chilean hopeful José Ignacio Cornejo, who finished ninth overall in spite of not having participated in all the events, took runner-up spot in the junior category. The rider has shown great progress both in riding and navigation. In Morocco he finished in eighth place with a best stage result of seventh spot in the first stage.

Spanish rider Joan Barreda who didn’t participate in the 2018 World Championship is now recovered from the injury and subsequent left wrist operation and is once again back in the saddle getting the sensations of the Honda CRF450 RALLY before the 2019 Dakar gets underway.

Link to the VIDEO here or you can watch it below.

Raul Castells

Raul Castells

Monster Energy Honda Team Manager

It has been a very hard and difficult race. The riders liked it a lot and it was a race where the new organization, with David Castera at the helm, was successful; we must congratulate them for this new adventure. The balance for the team has had some positive parts and others not so much, such as the injury to Kevin Benavides after a fall in the first stage. Fortunately, it was not what they initially told us and soon he will be on the bike again. We also hope that Joan is better very shortly.
We are happy for Ricky's third place in Morocco, which was a hard-fought one when you consider how hard this race has been. The rest of the riders had some problems with the navigation, losing some minutes that are always very difficult to make up. The whole team has been put to the test ahead of the Dakar, to get all the machinery working at its most effective. We want to thank all the sponsors and collaborators, plus HRC and Honda who has given us such great material to be able to have an excellent motorcycle that will allow us to win and be ahead in the races. Thanks also to all the fans who support us and to whom we hope to make happy in the next big challenge: the 2019 Dakar Rally.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Rally du Maroc

Morocco, Morocco

Rally 2018, Round 5

Tuesday 9 Oct 2018, 19:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Ricky Brabec USA 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 2:31'56
2 Toby Price 8 AUT 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'12
3 Matthias Walkner 2 AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'17
4 Sam Sunderland GBR 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1'59
5 Paulo Goncalves POR 11 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'00
6 Stefan Svitko SLK 10 Slovnaft Team KTM +6'49
7 Pablo Quintanilla 10 CHI 9 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +7'13
8 Andrew Short USA 8 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +8'18
9 Adrien van Beveren 4 FRA 7 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +8'51
10 Lorenzo Santolino SPA 6 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +10'03
15 José Ignacio Cornejo 68 CHI 1 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'28
Monday 8 Oct 2018, 21:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Toby Price 8 AUT 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 3:43'41
2 Pablo Quintanilla 10 CHI 20 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +7'00
3 Sam Sunderland GBR 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7'47
4 Adrien van Beveren 4 FRA 13 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +9'55
5 Ricky Brabec USA 11 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +10'43
6 Matthias Walkner 2 AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +13'21
7 Paulo Goncalves POR 9 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'57
8 Lorenzo Santolino SPA 8 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +18'49
9 José Ignacio Cornejo 68 CHI 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +24'01
10 Andrew Short USA 6 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +25'52
Sunday 7 Oct 2018, 20:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 03:53'25
2 Matthias Walkner 2 AUT 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1'38
3 Ricky Brabec USA 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'55
4 Pablo Quintanilla 10 CHI 13 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +5'04
5 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5'36
6 Toby Price 8 AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7'44
7 Xavier de Soultrait 23 FRA 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +8'43
8 Stefan Svitko SLK 8 Slovnaft Team KTM +10'18
9 Adrien van Beveren 4 FRA 7 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +13'42
10 Adrien Metge FRA 6 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +14'14
12 José Ignacio Cornejo 68 CHI 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +20'13
14 Paulo Goncalves POR 2 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +27'48
Saturday 6 Oct 2018, 19:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Matthias Walkner 2 AUT 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 3:26'48
2 Toby Price 8 AUT 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'46
3 Pablo Quintanilla 10 CHI 16 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +4'11
4 Ricky Brabec USA 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'20
5 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +4'26
6 Paulo Goncalves POR 10 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +7'03
7 Lorenzo Santolino SPA 9 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +10'27
8 Xavier de Soultrait 23 FRA 8 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +12'07
9 Adrien van Beveren 4 FRA 7 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +18'44
10 Andrew Short USA 6 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +21'13
11 Adrien Metge FRA 5 Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +21'56
12 José Ignacio Cornejo 68 CHI 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +23'14
Friday 5 Oct 2018, 20:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Toby Price 8 AUT 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 2:13'18
2 Matthias Walkner 2 AUT 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'48
3 Sam Sunderland GBR 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'13
4 Paulo Goncalves POR 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'47
5 Ricky Brabec USA 11 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'19
6 Xavier de Soultrait 23 FRA 10 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +13'45
7 José Ignacio Cornejo 68 CHI 9 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14'23
8 Adrien van Beveren 4 FRA 8 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +16'14
9 Stefan Svitko SLK 7 Slovnaft Team KTM +18'11
10 Stefano Caimi ARG 6 Honda Argentina – MEC Team Honda +19'04
Thursday 4 Oct 2018, 22:00 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Toby Price 8 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 8'47
2 Matthias Walkner 2 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'10
3 Sam Sunderland GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'13
4 Ricky Brabec USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'15
5 Kevin Benavides ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'15
6 Adrien van Beveren 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'19
7 Paulo Goncalves POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'21
8 Pablo Quintanilla 10 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +0'24
9 Lorenzo Santolino SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +0'25
10 Luciano Benavides ARG KTM Rally Team KTM +0'26
11 Xavier de Soultrait 23 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'28
12 Stefan Svitko SLK Slovnaft Team KTM +0'34
13 Mario Patrao POR KTM Rally Team KTM +0'34
14 Franco Caimi 7 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'36
15 Adrien Metge FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +0'40
20 José Ignacio Cornejo 68 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'21