It was certainly a good day for the riders of the Monster Energy Honda Team! Special stage number one at the Dakar Rally 2023 brought 369 kilometers of action throughout sandy and stony tracks, with start point and arrival at the Sea Camp bivouac – close to Yanbu (South Arabia). American Ricky Brabec was the stage winner on a day where all team riders were in the spotlight.

With this result, Brabec – the 2020 Dakar winner – gets into first position in the overall standings. Pablo Quintanilla (Chile) was seventh, Adrien Van Beveren (France) was ranked ninth and José Ignacio Cornejo – who had the hard mission to open the stage – finished in 10th place in this first stage.

Tomorrow the second stage from this year’s Dakar Rally will leave the Sea Camp in the direction of Al-Ula. This special stage will have 430 kilometers of closed tracks demanding great handling skills, so riders will get mainly dirt tracks (59%), stones (26%) and just a little taste of sand (14% sand tracks and one percent of dunes). Besides this competitive section, there is also another 159 kilometers of liaison. Navigation will be key as participants reach the splendid canyons and beautiful landscapes near the finish. According to the ASO organisation, the stage will be decided on the dunes, with some of the majestic Nabataean temples visible on the landscape.

Ruben Faria

General Manager

I know we are just starting, but I have to say I feel really proud of our team. All riders performed incredibly well and the results are there. All the team is feeling good and are doing the right steps. We have been here before and will continue to fight for consistency in the days to come.

Ricky Brabec 9

Goal number one was not to open the stage. I feel quite well and confident after today, but I will just try to go day by day, keep pace and stay in the Top 10. It’s going to be hard to be out of the lead - like we saw today - but we have to see how it goes until the rest day. Today was fairly simple, no stress, it was a great day!

Pablo Quintanilla 7

We have started the morning with fast valleys and river beds with many stones, so the first section was quite challenging. I enjoyed the second part, after the first neutralization where we had faster tracks and sand in the open desert. I felt good, quite fast and with a good rhythm.

Adrien Van Beveren 42

At the beginning of the stage I was struggling to look at the stones kind of hidden in the sand. In the second part of the stage I was really better - I am happy with my performance and want to keep riding this way along the rally.

José Ignacio “Nacho” Cornejo 11

Today was a day that could have gone really bad, because I had to open the stage. I did my best and in the end the outcome was great. I liked the navigation, I was not too confident because when you are you can make mistakes - so that was a good spirit and way to face these circumstances.

2023 World Rally Raid Championship
Stage Round WORLD1   Dakar
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Brabec Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 03h31m10s
2 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 03h31m54s
3 Klein Mason 43 USA BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 03h31m54s
4 Barreda Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Joan Barreda Team Honda 03h32m20s
5 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 03h31m10s
6 Sanders Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 03h32m59s
7 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 03h33m07s
8 Howes Skyler 10 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 03h34m17s
9 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 03h34m57s
11 Cornejo José Ignacio "Nacho" 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 03h37m25s

Dakar Rally 2023 Stage 1

Location Information

Dakar in Saudi From 2020

Records

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