Monster Energy Honda Team riders Ricky Brabec (USA), Adrien Van Beveren (FR), Pablo Quintanilla (CL) and José Ignacio Cornejo (CL) are determined to set the pace in next Dakar Rally 2023, starting with confidence a new season at the FIM World Rally Raid World Championship. This feeling is the consequence of several months of hard work together, testing and training the Honda CRF 450 Rally in the toughest terrains on earth.

With a large experience in the Dakar, each rider starts with the same ambition, but with a different strategy: to allow Honda to continue its legacy in the most important off-road competition in the world. It all started in 1982 with a victory from Frenchman Cyril Neveu. Four more wins were conquered in the 1980s with Neveu, Orioli and Lalay. Recently, Ricky Brabec (2020) and Kevin Benavides (2021) made it again to the top starting a new era for Honda.

The 2023 Dakar Rally will start on Saturday, December 31st, with a Prologue that will decide the start order for stage number one. In Saudi Arabia for the fourth consecutive year, the race consists of 14 full stages, covering a distance of around 5,000 km, the longest 0f the competition since 2014. The itinerary includes 70% new special stages. The rally will kick off from the beaches of the Red Sea and conclude on the sands of the Arabian Gulf in Dammam on January 15. This means crossing first the north-western mountain regions before heading to the deep southeast for a three-day journey through an ocean of dunes in the famous Empty Quarter.

Ruben Faria

General Manager

“Experience and determination. This is a way to define Monster Energy Honda Team for the Dakar Rally 2023. Three of our riders are the same we presented in the last edition – the 2020 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec, Pablo Quintanilla – who was second in 2022 – and José Ignacio Cornejo, who finished fourth in 2020. Since the Rally du Maroc, we also count with Adrien Van Beveren - who finished in fourth place in 2017 and 2022. He Is fully integrated in the team and already presented us with a win in his second race with us at the Andalucia Rally. Counting all the participation of our riders we are talking about 30 Dakar's – 10 for Pablo, seven for Ricky and Adrien and six for Cornejo. This means for sure a lot of experience over the years. But this experience does not come alone, I know all our riders are potential winners of the Dakar. Some have already achieved this goal, others were very close to it. After a successful season of 2022, we are very confident on the intense work we have done to prepare another Dakar. As the map of the next Dakar 2023 shows, it seems that the first days will be riding in similar areas of the 2020 edition. Saudi Arabia is a perfect country for lovers of rally-raid in the desert, long off-piste distances, huge stretches of dunes where the navigation part is decisive for a good result in the next Dakar. The moment we are all waiting for so long is just around the corner and we feel in great shape to face it with a strong ambition! I would also like to thank our sponsors for believing in us and being by our side once again in this great challenge that is the Dakar”.

Ricky Brabec 9

“We have been working really hard in the preparation of the Dakar Rally 2023, focusing on navigation, speed and staying healthy. In 2020 we won the Dakar, not just me but also Honda. We are quite confident, since we almost did it in 2019 and we did it again in 2021. We are focused on reaching number one again, the confidence is there but preparation and staying healthy is key. It looks like the 2023 route has something in common with 2020, it can be more or less similar, I mean it’s going along the coast – which is the area that helped me a lot in 2020 with rocks and rough terrain. So I’m looking forward to riding in the same region again and hopefully we can secure some good times and some good stages in a way we can make it to the finish line in the top step. As a Dakar winner, maybe the pressure is not so high to me because I know I’ve been there before. But, as I always say, Rally is always a complicated game with so many variables that until the very last mile anything is possible, so let’s stay focused and do our best”.

Adrien Van Beveren 42

“The preparation for the Dakar Rally 2023 went really well and I am very happy to join the Monster Energy Honda Team. It’s been an amazing preparation, the Honda CRF 450 Rally is incredible, I feel so comfortable on the bike . If I had to use only three words to describe our bike I would say it's comfortable, stable and fast! To join the Honda Racing rally team is a big chance in my career and I feel really lucky about this. It’s a privilege to be able to access this world and to count on all the expertise of Honda and its manufacturer official team. To have a factory bike in my hands and to have all this people from Japan around me working together for the development of the bike is a dream come true! I know this is a bike made to win. About the coming race, I feel very excited and super happy, having at the same time my feet firmly on the ground. This will be my 8th Dakar Rally and I know it’s time to move forward in the rankings. I’ve finished 4 on two different occasions and I’m willing to escalate. Motivation is high – especially after winning the last race in Andalucia - I feel fully integrated in the team. So I can’t wait to start in Saudi Arabia!”

José Ignacio “Nacho” Cornejo 11

“I am happy with the preparation for Dakar 2023, since we all have made our best effort to make it work and to reach our full potential. I know we are getting back to Saudi Arabia in the best possible shape and in this matter I think I’m not just talking for myself but also for the whole team. About my goals I can remember the 2021 race where things were going really well and that was a point from where I could see winning the Dakar Rally was at my reach. We are working hard to make it happen, to be able to lead and win the race in the near future. I believe that we can do it, that I can do it – that’s the goal we have as a team and individually. It’s not just a goal, but also a dream I believe we can make true. Monster Energy Honda Team is on the right path to win again the Dakar. We are all working hard – the riders, mechanics, managers, everybody in the team is doing their best efforts. It feels great to know this.”

Pablo Quintanilla 7

“Dakar Rally 2023 is just at the door and I feel quite well about it after all the intense preparation we have done over the past months. I am very happy with all the work done in each field. I had a crash in Rallye du Maroc that had some implications at the end of last season, since I was not able to race the Andalucia Rally, but now I feel fully recovered physically. I needed a lot of rest and physiotherapy but now I feel confident in my shape to start racing another Dakar. This confidence also comes with my large experience in this race, after 10 editions you learn a lot. Last year I was second overall and now I am looking forward to fighting again for the title – I know I can do it and I know this is not just a dream. Anyway I know the competition will be at the highest level and there are a few riders in good condition to win. The fact that the setup of the Honda CRF 450 Rally is especially designed for the races in the desert makes me feel even more confident, with a great balance between performance, comfort and safety. “

Location Information

Dakar in Saudi From 2020


Dakar 2020 winner Ricky Brabec (Honda)
Dakar 2021 winner Kevin Benavides (Honda)