Monster Energy Honda Team riders capitalised on a scorching, dune-filled marathon stage at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: the three Honda CRF450 RALLY riders Brabec, Cornejo and Quintanilla all currently hold places in the rally top five.

Another arduous day in the Liwa desert near the Emirates’ ‘Empty Quarter’. The second stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge featured a total of 316 kilometres of special stage with heaps of sand and dunes – not to mention the sweltering heat – once again dominating the day. Competitors also had to negotiate their way through a dried-out lake. Once back at the bivouac, it was time to leave the bikes in the parc fermé without access to mechanical assistance from the teams.

The tough trek continued for the Monster Energy Honda Team riders. The team’s three riders now hold the privileged position of being able to manage the race over the coming days. Ricky Brabec, fourth today, occupies second in the overall race standings, followed by team-mate José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo. Pablo Quintanilla is fifth, only seven and a half minutes behind the leader. The Chilean posted sixth on the day.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, sees the third stage, marking the rally’s halfway point. The race will cover 255 kilometres of timed special stage – once again in the vast Liwa desert – with just 35 kilometres of liaison section.

Pablo Quintanilla 7

STAGE: 6th Provisional: 5th

This second stage was a bit faster than yesterday. The first part went through sandy valleys and the speed was very high. Until refuelling I didn't feel at all comfortable with this terrain, but then I was able to ride with more pace and there were some technical areas of dunes where I was able to push a bit harder. It was a good day and the race is still very tight. Opening up on this type of terrain can really hurt you; right now I have fast riders in front and behind, which could be good for the remaining stages. These first two days have been very physically demanding, now we are going to try to rest our bodies before tomorrow's stage.

José Ignacio Cornejo 11

STAGE: 8th Provisional: 3rd

I felt very good on the bike, very comfortable and I think that showed in the riding. I took this second stage of the Abu Dhabi with some good pace and I think it went well. I think I had a good stage; we are doing well in the overall standings and in a good starting position for tomorrow’s stage.

Ricky Brabec 2

STAGE: 4th Provisional: 2nd

Day two was a good one. A long, hot day. It was great. We’re now here in the bivouac getting ready for tomorrow. The stage was long. I lost maybe five minutes. I think that the team is in a good position. Today was really hot in the dunes. I made no mistakes, but a couple of other people crashed. We capitalized on that and we will go on the attack tomorrow. The team is in a great position and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.

2022 Season
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Stage 2 Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero 4:10'28
2 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +0'39
3 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'41
4 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'49
5 Caimi Franco 6 ARG Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +1'34
6 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'52
7 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +4'02
8 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'16
9 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +6'05
10 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'17
2022 Season
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Provisional Standings after Stage 2

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 7:58'48
2 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'23
3 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5'04
4 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +5'45
5 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +7'27
6 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +9'08
7 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'19
8 Caimi Stefano ARG Honda Argentina - MEC Team Honda +9'25
9 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +9'46
10 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +11'10
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)