Monster Energy Honda Team double in Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team double in Abu Dhabi extending their world championship lead
Dubai, UAE, 18th March 2022: In the end, Ricky Brabec was able to make it onto the final podium in runner-up spot while Pablo Quintanilla finished third overall. Monster Energy Honda Team maintain and extend their lead in the world championship.

Ricky Brabec and Pablo Quintanilla both claimed places on the final Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge podium. On a blistering final special stage, it was made or break for the Monster Energy Honda Team riders, who went all out in a bid to make it onto the final rostrum.

Sam Sunderland set off with a starting position to his advantage with both Brabec and Quintanilla doing their utmost to beat him. By the end of the stage, Brabec had managed to make up time, posting second on the day while taking second place in the overall rankings too. Monster Energy Honda Team team-mate Pablo Quintanilla wrapped up the stage in third, one minute behind Brabec.

Monster Energy Honda Team double in Abu Dhabi extending their world championship lead

José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo rounded out the team effort. He took seventh on the stage and finished in a corresponding position at the end of the rally. It turned out to be a troublesome rally for the young Chilean rider, after a crash yesterday, which made it all the more difficult to improve upon the final position.

The results of this second race of the Rally-Raid World Championship see Monster Energy Honda Team pull further away at the top of the overall team rankings. Is leading with 83 points, 20 more than the second. In the individual World Championship standings, Pablo Quintanilla remains second (46 points) and Ricky Brabec moves up the order into fourth (34 points).

Pablo Quintanilla 7

Monster Energy Honda Team

We have finished the rally and I am very happy to be on the podium. Today was a difficult last stage for me. I tried to push as hard as I could and towards the middle of the special I caught the riders in front, so I had to open the track until the end. I lost a few minutes at the finish, but that was to be expected. I’m very happy with the result. It was a tough race, with little time to rest and prepare for the race after the Dakar, so now we are back on our schedule. I wish to thank the team for the great work done during all this week and now we can go back home to prepare for the next challenge.

José Ignacio Cornejo 11

Monster Energy Honda Team

We finished the race. I had a great time on the bike, with some very good feelings. I had some setbacks that left me out of the fight but there is nothing left to do but keep working. I think we are doing things right. Despite not being happy with seventh place, I will keep working to get the results that we are looking for. We are already focusing on the forthcoming championship races. The team has worked very well all week and I want to thank them for that. I also want to congratulate my team-mates Ricky and Pablo who finished on the podium.

Ricky Brabec 2

Monster Energy Honda Team

The final stage was great. The times were very close. We knew that it was going to be tough today to make up enough time in the overall standings. I did what I could to get onto the podium. I got ahead of my team-mate Pablo who also had a good push today. Overall it was a good rally. The team and the riders did a good job. The rally was tight all week with times going back and forth. Unfortunately, Sam was the one who stopped longer in the prologue and had the advantage from day one and today on day five. The rally is coming to those who stop the longest in the prologue. We knew it would be hard to beat Sam – he used to live out here. We did our best for the team and we’re looking forward to the next one. Thanks to all the team.

Ruben Faria

Monster Energy Honda Team

We have come to the end of this Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. It has been an interesting race for us. We were missing Joan, a fast rider who adapts well to this kind of race, but we were here with the rest of the team. It went well, without issues. Only one crash for Nacho yesterday, but apart from that, everything went well, almost perfectly, I would say. The race route and the safety of the rally were also good. We were the winners of the manufacturers’ competition and it gives us an additional advantage in the World Championship. Pablo is still second and Ricky has moved up a few positions. All of this gives us confidence to face the next test for the team in Andalusia.

FINAL RESULTS Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2022

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap 
1 SUNDERLAND Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 16:54’24
2 BRABEC Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3’08
3 QUINTANILLA Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3’56
4 PRICE Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +8’17
5 WALKNER Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +8’31
6 RODRIGUES Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +10’10
7 CORNEJO José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14’57
8 CAIMI Franco 6 ARG Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +16’55
9 BENAVIDES Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +20’53