The action is finally on at the Dakar Rally 2023! It was just a symbolic start today, with a short 13 kilometers prologue with start and finish at the Sea Camp bivouac. Breaking the ice, this was certainly a different way to say goodbye to 2022. The 45th edition of the Dakar is open and Monster Energy Honda Team riders can’t wait for the excitement of the arduous challenge ahead – with 15 more days of racing in the deserts of Saudi Arabia.

Dakar winner Ricky Brabec was the strongest rider within the team, with a 10th place, followed by Pablo Quintanilla (12th place). The American will be allowed to choose his position for the first stage, a privilege  that won’t be granted to Quintanilla, Adrien Van Beveren (16th place) and José Ignacio Cornejo (27th place).

Stage number one will keep the caravan still at the Sea Camp bivouac for one more day, but playtime is over as the rally starts to unfold. A special stage of 369 km plus a 235 of liaison will make the day, with sandy tracks followed by stony sections with a fair bit of gravel. So it’s time to test everybody’s dune-surfing abilities in the final stretch. The day won’t be particularly challenging, but will for sure be a chance to find the right rhythm and balance.

Ruben Faria

General Manager

This prologue was just a warm-up for the next two weeks of the race. Ricky will be able to choose his starting position and Pablo will also have fast riders in front of him and also behind, which is good for the rhythm. Adrien also finished in a good position and the race is just starting - they have done just less than 13 km. Nacho was not lucky and fell in the first corner, but he will open the track tomorrow and that can be a nice challenge.

Ricky Brabec 9

With my result I am still able to choose my starting order, so I am a lot happier than I was in the last two years when I had to start in the front. It was only 13 km but it was important. Our team is healthy and strong to fight back in the days to come.

Pablo Quintanilla 7

The prologue was fast, a little bit slippery and I went as fast as I could. I had a quite clean run and avoided major mistakes. This was a good day and I am in a good position to start the race tomorrow. This was also very important to break the ice and put anxiety aside.

Adrien Van Beveren 42

I felt good on my Honda CRF 450 Rally, I was going well. My feeling was to ride smart and clean and that was accomplished. The result is correct, although I expected a better time. Now let’s focus on the race, because we really have a long way to go.

José Ignacio “Nacho” Cornejo 11

I wanted to do a solid prologue, but I was not lucky and fell in the first corner. I made a mistake and it was really slippery. But now we have to stay positive, this is just the warm-up and we have so many days to race.

2023 World Rally Raid Championship
Prologue Round WORLD1   Dakar

Provisional Classification of Prologue Dakar 2023 (Final Time x5)

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 08m22.9s
2 Sanders Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 08m23.5s
3 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero 08m31.1s
4 Barreda Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Joan Barreda Team Honda 08m31.4s
5 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 08m31.5s
10 Brabec Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 08m36.3s
11 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 08m38.2s
16 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 08m42.7s
27 Cornejo José Ignacio "Nacho" 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 09m37.9s
Location Information

Dakar in Saudi From 2020

Records

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