BRABEC KEEPS THE PACE ON THE TOP STANDINGS
It was the longest race day at the Sonora Rally, the third stop of the World Rally Raid Championship. From the shores of the Sea of Cortez stage 3 challenged the competitors in a demanding off-road circuit with start and arrival in Puerto Peñasco with a 350 km of special stage and a liaison of 116 km. This was the long awaited chance to finally ride on the sand dunes!
Yesterday mechanics had to work hard to make sure all bikes were 100% checked and revised for the longest stage of the rally.
Ricky Brabec was once again the fastest rider from the Monster Energy Honda Team, showing how he is a true reference in the rally raid panorama. The legendary rider, who was the first American to win the Dakar back in 2020, reached Puerto Peñasco with a 6:40 minute gap to the stage leader. Now he stands in 11th position overall. The second fastest today was Adrien Van Beveren, 6th place on stage 3 (9:36 gap) – now the Frenchman sits in 5th place overall. Pablo Quintanilla closed the Top 10 today (14:54 gap) and is now 7th in the overall standings. The other Chilean of the team – Nacho Cornejo – finished the stage in 11th position and is now ranked 13th in the overall standings when there are still two more stages to go.
With only two more days to go at the Sonora Rally, tomorrow stage number 4 will consist again of a circuit with start and arrival in Puerto Peñasco with a 248 km of special stage and a liaison of 237 km. In smaller portions, the “menu” for the riders won’t be much different from today, with gravel tracks, sand tracks, dunes and chott. The high temperatures will continue and the same goes to the dust in the air, for sure one of the worst enemies in this titanium battle.
”Two more stages to go, that means total focus and concentration to reach the best performance. The Sonora Rally is very different from all the other races we did before and it’s been a real challenge for all the team. I know all our riders are working hard to meet their goals, but at the end of the day it is all about the balance that we are able to reach. One thing is sure: the competition here is very intense and we will continue to fight mile after mile on an individual basis but also as a collective that is the title defender”.
Ricky Brabec 2
”Stage 3 was a good one, fairly fast and a little bit more into the open desert. I had some fun along the way, so it was a good day. Unfortunately I had a little issue with my signal, causing a speed penalty and not giving me a noise, not letting me know about dangers and speed limits. Anyway, this was a good day. With two more days to go we will see what happens. The race is really fast here so it’s kind of hard to manage, catching and making time.”
Adrien Van Beveren 42
”This was quite a long day and the outcome was much better than yesterday. I regained some confidence and tried to forget about yesterday - that was a strange day. I was able to recover my level and my rhythm. I was happy to see all that sand at the beginning of the stage, but then it became more dusty. It was not possible to pass the rider in front of me because of this wall of dust, so I think I lost some time here. ”
Pablo Quintanilla 7
”The day did not turn out the way I wanted and I struggled again, spending a lot of energy riding and keeping a good pace. Sometimes it’s frustrating to feel you could go much faster, but it is what it is. At the end of the day I try to relax and the way to do so is Djing, it helps me a lot to relax and for some moments forget about all the tension of the competition.”
José Ignacio Cornejo 11
”This was a better day for me, I felt more confident on my Honda CRF 450 Rally and more loose. I know I am improving day by day. Hopefully I can reflect this on my results in the overall standings. The race here in Mexico is hard and the terrain is not always easy to read with a lot of vegetation. It’s not easy and if you make a mistake. So to find the perfect balance between navigation and speed is really key”.
Provisional Standings on Stage 3 Sonora Rally
|1||Sanders Daniel||4||AUS||Gas Gas Factory Team||Gas Gas||03:25:08|
|2||Schareina Tosha||68||SPA||Honda Team||Honda||03:31:46|
|3||Brabec Ricky||2||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||03:32:48|
|4||Price Toby||18||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||03:32:48|
|5||Benavides Luciano||77||ARG||Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||03:33:30|
|6||Van Beveren Adrien||42||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||03:34:44|
|7||Walkner Matthias||52||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||03:35:38|
|8||Evan Branch Ross||16||BWA||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||03:37:45|
|10||Quintanilla Pablo||7||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||03:40:02|
|11||Cornejo José Ignacio||11||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||03:40:20|