The first stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge brought the riders to the bivouac situated in the middle of the Liwa desert after a 262-kilometre special raced over dunes and tracks.

It was ‘in at the deep end’ today for the riders who had to immediately face a highly physical 262-kilometre timed special stage. Almost half of the decisive section for the day’s classification took place over dunes, alternating with fast-paced sandy stretches of track.

Starting from rear positions, the Monster Energy Honda Team riders were able to pull back positions and, more importantly, make up time on the frontrunners. Pablo Quintanilla finished in an upbeat second place today, whilst Nacho Cornejo in sixth and Ricky Brabec in seventh, were among the top finishers. In the end, a penalty for Quintanilla saw him drop down the order to sixth place while fellow countryman Cornejo moves up one position.

Tomorrow’s stage will once again play out in the Liwa area, with 316 kilometres of special out of a total 453-kilometre route. The stage is the first leg of the marathon stage, meaning riders will be unable to receive any mechanical assistance once the special is finished until they reach the bivouac at Qsar al Sarab on the following day.

Pablo Quintanilla 7

STAGE: 6th Provisional: 6th

We had a good starting position and we tried to make the most of it with some good pace. It was a good, positive day. No mistakes and I'm happy to get into the rhythm of the race quickly. Let's see how we are for tomorrow. Despite some discomfort in my ribs, I was able to ride and felt pretty good on the bike.

José Ignacio Cornejo 11

STAGE: 5th Provisional: 5th

Stage one was very physically demanding and very hot. There was a quite slow area of dunes that was pretty suffocating. After refueling it was more open and it wasn't so hot. The pace was very high and the riders were really letting rip. The times are tight and it will be a tough battle all week. I enjoyed it. We are ready for the days ahead.

Ricky Brabec 2

STAGE: 7th Provisional: 7th

First official day of the rally was a good one. A little mistake early on had me stumbling in the soft sand dunes. The flow was really slow in the morning. I believe I’m a little bit too heavy for these sand dunes. It was a little bit tough for me. All was good. We’re healthy. We’re fresh. I think we are in an ok position for stage two. We’re looking forward to this. Tomorrow’s marathon will be tough for the motorcycles with the big, soft sand dunes and the heat. It will be tricky for everyone out there tomorrow. We will do our best and attack tomorrow.

2022 Season
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Stage 1 results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 3:18'32
2 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'11
3 Docherty Michael 20 UAE SRG Motorsports Husqvarna +2'14
4 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'37
5 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'44
6 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'02
7 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5'06
8 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +5'26
9 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +8'28
10 Caimi Franco 6 ARG Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +10'43
2022 Season
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Provisional Standings after Stage 1

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Docherty Michael 20 UAE SRG Motorsports Husqvarna 3:41'02
2 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'23
3 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'37
4 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +0'58
5 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'06
6 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'20
7 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'52
8 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'52
9 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +7'02
10 Caimi Franco 6 ARG Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +9'09
Location Information

The erstwhile UAE Desert Challenge, one of the world’s most prestigious international cross country rallies, entered a new era in March 2009 when it was renamed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the five-day motor sport spectacular being staged in its entirety across Abu Dhabi emirate under the auspices of the Abu… read more.

Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - View in Google Maps

Records

2021 Matthias Walkner (KTM)
2019 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2018 Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna)
2017 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2016 Toby Price (KTM)
2015 Marc Coma (KTM)
2014 Paulo Gonçalves (Honda)