Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides has managed to finish round one of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship on the rostrum. The Argentinean took third place overall in the rally. Nacho Cornejo clinched the Junior category title.
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge wrapped up today with Monster Energy Honda Team present on the podium. It was a hard-fought third place for Kevin Benavides, who battled right up until the final kilometre of the rally. Kevin finished hot on the heels of the stage’s eventual winner to secure his place on the final prize winners’ platform.
The final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge got off to a hotly-disputed motocross-style start with the riders starting out in line. The strongest riders had soon bonded into a group over the opening stretches of the 218 kilometre special. The course gradually took to dusty tracks, obliging many competitors to slow the pace down to avoid accidents on very treacherous terrain.
Paulo Gonçalves finished the stage in sixth, moving up a position in the overall standings, just ahead of Ricky Brabec who had ridden alongside him for practically the whole special. Likewise Michael Metge, who posted eighth place on the day.
Cornejo wins in Junior
José Ignacio Cornejo suffered a fall during this final special as he followed other riders into the middle of a cloud of dust. Nevertheless, he finished the stage in the top ten and took eighth final position in the general rankings. Additionally, ‘Nacho’ scooped the prize for best junior in the competition.
It won’t be a long wait until the next appointment with Monster Energy Honda Team when the squad compete in the Merzouga Rally in Morocco from April 16-20. The team expects to include Joan Barreda back from injury after a wrist operation in February.
Stage 5 results
|1||Walkner Matthias||3||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||2:46'40|
|2||Benavides Kevin||2||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+0'0.5|
|3||Sunderland Sam||5||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+0'19|
|4||Price Toby||11||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+0'46|
|5||Quintanilla Pablo||1||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+1'25|
|6||Goncalves Paulo||4||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'01|
|7||Brabec Ricky||15||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'05|
|8||Metge Michael||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'13|
|9||Cornejo José Ignacio||10||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'29|
|10||Giemza Maciej||19||POL||KTM Orlen Rally Team||KTM||+8'27|
Final Standings Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2018
|1||Quintanilla Pablo||1||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||16:51'11|
|2||Sunderland Sam||5||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+5'11|
|3||Benavides Kevin||2||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+8'34|
|4||Walkner Matthias||3||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+9'36|
|5||Goncalves Paulo||4||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+18'35|
|6||Brabec Ricky||15||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+20'46|
|7||Price Toby||11||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+29'45|
|8||Cornejo José Ignacio||10||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+30'05|
|9||Metge Michael||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+38'19|
|10||Melot Benjamin||39||FRA||Duust Rally Team||KTM||+2:15'37|
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.
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