After 11 days (prologue and 10 stages), the Dakar Rally 2023 made a drastic change heading southeast. Monster Energy Honda Team riders José Ignacio Cornejo (CL), Adrien Van Beveren (FR) and Pablo Quintanilla (CL) had an early wake up call around 3:00 am. In less than one hour they were ready to start the 10th stage, leaving Haradh in the direction of Shaybah with a quite unusual liaison of 508 kilometers!
Leaving the rain and cold days behind, this special section was just an appetizer of 114 km of sand and started a few minutes before 10 in the morning. As the ASO organization explained, this is a deliberate approach into the limits of the Empty Quarter. This was certainly a good day for Honda, after a consistent performance from all riders. Van Beveren got the silver medal with second position on this short and technical stage, just 21 seconds after the leader. In the overall standings, the Frenchman kept his fourth place (9:52 minutes gap to the leader). Pablo Quintanilla was sixth and also kept his position in the overall standings: 5th place (14:58 minutes gap to the leader). José Ignacio Cornejo reached the bivouac in eighth position and managed to climb one stair in the overall standings (now he is 7th with a 20:42 gap to the leader).
Tomorrow it’s time for a key and much expected moment of the race: the marathon stage at the famous Empty Quarter. The counter will mark 4,000 kilometers of specials right after the start, taking the race into extreme endurance territory. Along the 273 km of the selective section (added by a liaison of 151 km) there will be sand dunes of every color. The importance of this challenge – the marathon stage – is that the riders will be on their own in terms of assistance: reaching the bivouac at the end of the day there won’t be any mechanics or external help.
Provisional Standings Stage 10 Haradh-Shaybah
|1||Evan Branch Ross||16||BWA||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||01h44m00s|
|2||Van Beveren Adrien||42||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||01h44m21s|
|3||Docherty Michael||20||UAE||SRG Motorsports||Husqvarna||01h44m30s|
|4||Benavides Kevin||1||ARG||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||01h45m00s|
|5||Walkner Matthias||52||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||01h45m22s|
|6||Quintanilla Pablo||7||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||01h46m43s|
|7||Klein Mason||43||USA||BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM||KTM||01h47m05s|
|8||Cornejo José Ignacio||11||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||01h48m04s|
|9||Caimi Franco||6||ARG||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||01h48m07s|
|10||Nosiglia Daniel||54||BOL||Rieju - FN Speed Team||Rieju||01h48m16s|
|Dakar in Saudi||From 2020|
|Dakar 2020 winner||Ricky Brabec (Honda)|
|Dakar 2021 winner||Kevin Benavides (Honda)|