Pablo Quintanilla posted second place in the prologue stage that kicked off the 2022 Dakar Rally, today. Barreda, ninth, Brabec, twelfth, and Cornejo, twenty-first, all completed the initial kilometres of the race without any setbacks.

The 2022 Dakar Rally is underway after the opening leg of a special stage which is set to finish tomorrow. Today saw a brief 19-kilometre prologue, for the most part over sand, but also featuring a small amount of dunes. Monster Energy Honda Team riders passed the first test with flying colours. With the curtain raiser out of the way, riders headed off to complete a lengthy liaison section which led them to the first Dakar bivouac in Ha’il.

Pablo Quintanilla came out guns blazing over the opening kilometres of the rally. The Chilean crossed the finish-line twelve seconds adrift of the day’s winner, Daniel Sanders. The prologue’s conversion factor, a coefficient of five, put him one minute behind the Australian, with the Monster Energy Honda Team rider now lying in second place in the rally’s overall standings.

Joan Barreda was the second rider in the RallyGP group to take the start. With a lot of dust in the air over the opening stretches and without any major references ahead, the Spaniard posted tenth on the day, three minutes behind the leader. American Ricky Brabec opted not to push too hard on the first day and took twelfth place, however, without dropping any significant time to his rivals. In his usual fashion, José Ignacio Cornejo produced a fairly reserved prologue. The Chilean from Iquique, who is 25th, is likely to pick up the pace as the race progresses.

Tomorrow’s stage

This evening, at the drivers’ briefing, the top finishers will be able to choose the starting order for tomorrow’s stage 1B, a looping stage in Ha’il, including 333 kilometres of special stage. It will be run over sandy tracks, reaching an altitude of 1,300 metres, with a fair degree of navigational complexity. However, not all of the route will be against the clock: a total of 181 kilometres of liaison section will complete the day’s 514-kilometre total. The departure from the Ha’il bivouac will be at 05:45 and the first riders are expected to arrive back at the bivouac from 12:45 (local time) onwards.

Finally, tomorrow’s starting order for the first fifteen riders has been reversed from today’s classification. Pablo Quintanilla will start in fourteenth position, whilst Brabec will start from fourth and Barreda from sixth. Cornejo will start in the same position he finished today.

Ricky Brabec 2

STAGE: 12th OVERALL: 12th

I think the Dakar really starts tomorrow. It was just a prologue and a big transfer day. Today was just really for starting positions. I didn’t do the best, so it looks like I’m going to be starting from the front, more or less, tomorrow. There is still the whole Dakar to race; we have twelve days more of racing. So today was a kind of transfer day just to get to Ha’il. The team is here. We are looking healthy, so let’s keep moving forwards, keep the spirits high and let’s keep the finish in sight.

Pablo Quintanilla 7

STAGE: 2nd OVERALL: 2nd

I'm very happy with the way we have started the year. It was a short prologue, but it was intense, fast, with dunes and some rocks, but it helped me to get my nerves sorted out and start to get into the swing of things little by little. My goal was to finish in the top four and I finished second, so I did it and I'll be able to choose a good starting position for tomorrow, which is an important stage with over 300 kilometres of special. It will be complicated. It will be important to start from the rear. We hope to have a good first week of rallying.

José Ignacio Cornejo 11

STAGE: 21st OVERALL: 21st

We have finished the prologue of this Dakar 2022 and we have started to prepare for tomorrow's stage one. The prologue was entertaining, with an area of sand, dunes and rocks. I felt good, even though the prologue stages are not my strong point, but I rode with tomorrow's stage in mind. I know that I lost time today, but I know that I can make up for it. I'm motivated and confident to start the more "normal" stages of this rally.

2022 Dakar
Prologue Round WORLD1   Dakar

Results Prologue (Stage 1A)

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sanders Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 00:55'30
2 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:01'00
3 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:01'55
4 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:02'00
5 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:02'35
6 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:02'40
7 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +00:02'55
8 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:02'55
9 Short Andrew 29 USA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:03'00
11 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +00:03'05
12 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:03'55
13 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +00:04'05
14 Michek Martin 10 CZE Orion Moto Racing Group KTM +00:04'15
15 Cox Bradley 49 RSA BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM KTM +00:05'30
21 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:08'45
2022 Dakar
Prologue Round WORLD1   Dakar

Provisional Standings after Prologue (Stage 1A)

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sanders Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 00:55'30
2 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:01'00
3 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:01'55
4 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:02'00
5 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:02'35
6 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:02'40
7 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +00:02'55
8 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:02'55
9 Short Andrew 29 USA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:03'00
12 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:03'55
21 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:08'45
Location Information

Dakar in Saudi From 2020

Records

Dakar 2020 winner Ricky Brabec (Honda)
Dakar 2021 winner Kevin Benavides (Honda)