The second week of the Dakar 2024 was kicked off with José Ignacio Cornejo cementing his status as one of the favourites for the top step in Yanbu as he put in a flawless ride.

The Monster Energy Honda Team riders were refreshed after a rest day in Riyadh and if they were expecting an easier return on stage seven then the organisers had other plans. The 483 km special was going to feature some perplexing navigation on small winding gravel tracks around eye-catching canyons, off-piste wadis, a couple of dune sections and adding to this was a total 390 km of liaison as they headed to Al Duwadimi. 

Cornejo went into this final week just out of the podium positions, his teammate Adrien Van Beveren had taken the final spot after his faultless 48 Hour Chrono win so the Chilean’s aim was to get back in the hunt.  In spite of a small fall he carved out over a three minute gap to reigning World Rally-Raid champion Luciano Benavides.  Achieving his goal he is now back into third, just six minutes 48 seconds off leader Ricky Brabec.

As the 2020 Dakar Rally winner and with vast experience in the world of rally-raid,  Brabec has been consistent since the start in AlUla where he’s been in the top three of the overall standings before nabbing the top spot after the 48 Hour Chrono on Friday. Catching teammate Adrien Van Beveren and  Toby Price during the stage today, he joined in for a share of the bonuses gaining nearly four minutes. His fifth place finish was just enough to keep him at the top of the overall standings by the narrowest of margins to  Ross Branch.  An astonishing single second separates them after 32 hours of rallying!

First one out onto the stage, Adrien Van Beveren was always going to find it a tough ask to not lose time today. After conquering the dunes at the end of last week, a change of terrain and complicated navigation saw him end the day in a very frustrating ninth.  Despite the stage six winner hoovering up over five minutes in bonuses, the gap to Brabec in the overall standings has increased to over fourteen minutes and has dropped him off the podium.  A better starting position tomorrow should help to rectify things.  

The 48 Hour Chrono derailed Pablo Quintanilla’s shot at overall victory and although his aim was to end the rally strongly for world championship points, he suffered another setback today 112 km into the stage. Suffering from a mechanical issue he eventually got to the finish line two and half hours behind Cornejo on a long day for the Chilean rider.

The intensity of this 46th edition of the Dakar continues as the team heads into the final five days of rallying with a total of 678 km on the bike tomorrow, 458 km making up the special stage.  Although the organisers have said stage eight from Al Duwadimi to Ha’il will be easier than the previous days, rocky terrain is back on the route tomorrow and it won’t favour every rider.

Ruben Faria

General Manager

When it’s the first stage after a rest day it’s not always easy to get back on the bike and on the pace. It was a difficult day for Adrien to open the stage but he did a great job and riding with Ricky and Toby Price helped as they rode almost all day together.
Nacho started further back and he also did a really really good job by winning the stage. Ricky lost around 50 seconds to Ross Branch during the stage and it wasn’t easy because he had to start in front of him. But he pushed a lot and made sure he’s still leading the Dakar.
It was a huge shame for Pablo that he had some issues during the special, but he’s made it back to the bivouac and he will go again tomorrow. He’s in a good position to win the stage so let’s see what he can do.
The entire Monster Energy Honda Team are all good and prepared for the fight during this second week.

Pablo Quintanilla 7

Stage: 13th Overall: 12th

The morning was pretty good today, my riding was smooth and I had a good pace. It was super tricky with the navigation but I was feeling on top of that and also I was leading the stage until I had an issue with the bike. It was super tough for me today because I was struggling just to get to each refuelling point, but in the end I was able to finish the stage. It might not have been an ideal stage for me but I still have the opportunity to go rallying again tomorrow.

Ricky Brabec 9

Stage: 5th Overall: 1st

The one second difference is crazy, that’s a tight race for sure. I’ve spent seven days up front opening with my teammates so I’m kind of looking for a break at some point to come from the back and really make a charge. I don’t know when that day is going to arrive but hopefully it comes by the end of the rally, we shall see.
We have five days left so we can keep pushing and hopefully secure the top spot at the end.

José Ignacio “Nacho” Cornejo 11

Stage: 1st Overall: 3rd

It was a long liaison and there was a lot of navigation at the beginning so I wasn’t entirely comfortable to start with. I knew it would be a day where I would have to recover some minutes so I kept pushing and I ended up doing a good stage so I’m happy.

Adrien Van Beveren 42

Stage: 9th Overall: 4th

I knew opening the road was no piece of cake, but the navigation was mind-boggling so I did my best to stay alert. I hung on, but I ended up wandering around the dunes. There was smoke coming out of my head, but that's the way it is.

2024 World Rally Raid Championship
Stage Round 1   Dakar 2024

RallyGP Results - Stage 7

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Cornejo José Ignacio "Nacho" 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 05:18:33
2 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +3:12
3 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3:32
4 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +6:36
5 Brabec Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +7:26
6 Sanders Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +9:17
7 Svitko Stefan 142 SLO Slovnaft Rally Team KTM +10:17
8 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +11:26
9 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +12:44
10 Michek Martin 10 CZE Orion Moto Racing Group KTM +16:23
13 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +02:35:41
2024 World Rally Raid Championship
Stage Round 1   Dakar 2024

RallyGP Provisional Standings after Stage 7

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Brabec Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 32:37:20
2 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +0:01
3 Cornejo José Ignacio "Nacho" 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6:48
4 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14:39
5 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +24:39
6 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +31:00
7 Sanders Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +37:41
8 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +43:12
9 Svitko Stefan 142 SLO Slovnaft Rally Team KTM +01:10:33
10 Michek Martin 10 CZE Orion Moto Racing Group KTM +01:43:21
12 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +04:42:56

Monster Energy Honda Team - 2024 Dakar Rally, Stage 7

Location Information

The greatest and toughest rally in the world, the Dakar’s history has been written in the heart of some of the world’s most stunning deserts and belongs to the world of the greatest sporting challenges of our time. Both a motor race and an orienteering challenge, the Dakar Rally pits… read more.

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