The Dakar wrapped up its first week of racing, with the riders, in the usual tradition, now able to put their feet up. Monster Energy Honda Team continue with their preparations ahead of the final week, with chances of clinching top results still wide open.

With the race now at its halfway point, riders can enjoy some downtime and a chance to take stock of the intense, event-filled first week. The team endeavoured to be at the top of the leaderboard, but suffered some navigation setbacks which have hampered some of the riders’ overall positions.

Pablo Quintanilla is currently the best of the Monster Energy Honda Team bunch, fifth in the general standings, 15’43 behind the overall race leader. With one week to go, the Chilean rider is well-placed to stage an attack on the rally leadership in the coming stages.

With two stage wins and holding on to his position, Joan Barreda lies in ninth place, 26 minutes behind the leader. A manageable gap, although it remains to be seen how the Spanish rider’s shoulder injury – sustained on stage 5 – will stand up.

José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo and Ricky Brabec are currently among the 2022 Dakar top fifteen, although with their timesheets a little too compromised to be able to close the gap on the frontrunners. Yet both riders know that the Dakar often affords the opportunity to claw back big differences from their rivals. Monster Energy Honda Team riders will be hoping that the second week of racing will be characterised by demanding navigation, that could offer the chance to whittle down time and make up places.

Tomorrow’s stage

The 402-kilometre special stage tomorrow will see riders having to contend with 100 kilometres of dunes. It will be sand and more sand from the get-go and will be heavy on the navigation. This could prove the key moment to attack and climb positions in the general standings, but the parallel tracks might cause some headaches for even the most determined riders.

Ruben Faria

General Manager

We came to the Dakar with the ambition of winning the rally for the third time in a row. We have good riders, the team is great and the bikes have been flawless. We started the rally well, but in stage 1B there was a complication with a difficult waypoint. What we have to do is try to make up the time lost by our riders. After the first day, we had to change the team's strategy a bit and we are going to take it one day at a time. We know that results are like a rubber band, that one day you are in the front and the next you are in the back. We have arrived at this rest day with all four riders still in the race and with the bikes in perfect condition. Joan has hurt his shoulder a bit, but he is in the race. Pablo is our best-placed rider, and tomorrow he will start behind some of his rivals and try to gain some time on them. Nacho will also start behind and, if he stays focused, he could make up a lot of time. We will assess where we are each day and take it from there. Ricky is also a very strong rider who didn’t get off to the best of starts; those ups and downs don’t always agree with him, but he is improving and only time will tell.

The important thing is that, at the moment, the race is at its halfway point, there is still another week to go and our riders are in good shape to stage an attack. In the Dakar things always happen and we have to be ready to take advantage of those moments.

2022 Dakar
Stage Round WORLD1   Dakar

Provisional Standings after the first week - RallyGP-

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 19:55'59
2 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:02'39
3 Sanders Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +00:05'35
4 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:07'43
5 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:15'43
6 Santolino Lorenzo 15 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +00:18'22
7 Svitko Stefan 142 SLO Slovnaft Rally Team KTM +00:24'29
8 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:24'56
10 Short Andrew 29 USA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:38'12
12 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:46'54
14 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:49'20

Highlights Rest Day Rally Dakar 2022

Highlights Rest Day Rally Dakar 2022

Location Information

Dakar in Saudi From 2020

Records

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