Today it was time to say goodbye to the 2023 edition of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, after the 14th stage held between Al-Hofuf and Dammam. This completed the 8.549 kilometers of the round one from the World Rally Raid Championship, with the most mythical and certainly hard motorsports off-road competition of all times. This way it also completed the trip from coast to coast, connecting the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.
Monster Energy Honda Team finished the race with three of its four riders, since American and Dakar winner Ricky Brabec had to abandon the race at stage three. The pace was quite high in this last stage, with a short special section 136 kilometers long. This is the year of the rain and mud in a quite unusual Dakar Rally so today this was no exception. With the riders starting in reverse order, spectators could pay tribute to all Dakar heroes. Pablo Quintanilla was the fastest one among the team, with third position on this last stage (03:15 minutes gap) – a result that put him in fourth position overall. Adrien Van Beveren was eight (04:51 minutes gap) and finished this Dakar in 5th position. Finally, José Ignacio Cornejo faced some difficulties after being trapped in the mud and ended in the 34th place. Despite this adversity, the Chilean was able to secure his 8th place overall.
The W2RC championship will return at the end of February keeping the action in the Middle East region. Monster Energy Honda Team is already working on the next stop that will travel to the United Arab Emirates, with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, from 25th February to the third of March.
Dakar Rally 2023 Standings after Stage 14
|1||Benavides Kevin||1||ARG||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||44:27:20|
|2||Price Toby||18||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||44:28:03|
|3||Howes Skyler||10||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||44:32:24|
|4||Quintanilla Pablo||7||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||44:46:22|
|5||Van Beveren Adrien||42||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||44:47:50|
|6||Benavides Luciano||77||ARG||Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||44:50:02|
|7||Sanders Daniel||4||AUS||Gas Gas Factory Team||Gas Gas||44:53:17|
|8||Cornejo José Ignacio||11||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||45:18:41|
|9||Santolino Lorenzo||15||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||45:45:13|
|10||Caimi Franco||6||ARG||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||46:05:24|
|Dakar in Saudi||From 2020|
|Dakar 2020 winner||Ricky Brabec (Honda)|
|Dakar 2021 winner||Kevin Benavides (Honda)|