Monster Energy Honda Team got the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge underway today – the second round of the FIM Rally-Raid World Championship. With the shakedown and the administrative and technical checks out of the way, today was the turn of the curtain-raising prologue.

A short two-kilometre prologue, without many technical complications, held close to the Yas Marina circuit, served to determine the starting order for tomorrow’s first full stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. With minimal differences in finish times, a conversion rate (x8) was used to lengthen the gaps for tomorrow’s race-start.

The top finishers were able to choose the starting order for Sunday’s first stage, which will take the competitors from Yas Marina into the Liwa Desert, south of the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Well-aware of the importance of starting as far back in the starting order as possible, the trio of Monster Energy Honda Team riders refrained from their usual frenetic pace over today’s short special stage. Nacho Cornejo will start from 18th place, Ricky Brabec from 21st place and Pablo Quintanilla from 28th place. The team is confident that starting from the rear will help them gain time on the riders setting off ahead.

Pablo Quintanilla 7

PLACE: 28th PROVISIONAL: 28th

We finished a short prologue, two kilometres long. We opted for a strategy that would allow us to start from the rear in tomorrow's stage and try not to lose any unnecessary time. I think it went well. I'm pleased.

José Ignacio Cornejo 11

place: 18th provisional: 18th

We finished the prologue, which for this race was important to start from the back in the first stage. So I think the strategy we had worked well. We are ready to face a week with a lot of sand and a lot of dunes. We are ready for tomorrow!

Ricky Brabec 2

Place: 21st Provisional: 21st

We are back in Abu Dhabi. This is my first rally in 2022. It's great to be back and I'm super excited about how the prologue went. It was a good result today. I'm looking forward to tomorrow with the first stage. Let's have fun in the dunes!

Ruben Faria

General Manager

We are happy to be back in Abu Dhabi. I like this rally; as a rider I used to really enjoy racing here and as a manager I find it a great race. It's the second race of the world championship and we are in a very good position, first among the bike manufacturers and second in the individual table with Pablo, Nacho is sixth and Ricky seventh. Today was the first day of action with a very short prologue that defined the starting order for tomorrow. We used a strategy of starting behind to try to gain time in stage one. The team is fine, with the bikes in perfect condition. We need Joan to have the whole team, but he isn’t quite at 100% yet.

2022 Season
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Results Prologue

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Docherty Michael 20 UAE SRG Motorsports Husqvarna 20'16
2 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'00
3 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'08
4 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'40
5 Caimi Franco 6 ARG Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +0'40
6 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +0'40
7 Cox Bradley 49 RSA BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM KTM +0'40
8 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +0'48
9 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +0'48
10 Santolino Lorenzo 15 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +0'56
18 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'36
21 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'00
28 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'04
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)