The second day of the marathon stage is completed in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and Monster Energy Honda Team keeps the overall lead. In a Special Stage 266 kilometers long, Pablo Quintanilla was the first on the chronograph but his stage win was lost after a two minutes penalty.

In this circuit in the Empty Quarter around Qasr Al Sarab, José Ignacio Cornejo was the second fastest among the team, with a 4th place that was enough to secure his 4th overall. Adrien Van Beveren followed Nacho in the 5th place and maintained his status in the top standings, leading the race in front of Pablo Quintanilla for just 43 seconds!

Still recovering from his Dakar crash, American Ricky Brabec made today the best 7th time – finishing the day in the 8th overall position.

Tomorrow’s Stage 4 will keep the circuit style around Qasr Al Sarab but in a longer way. Special stage will be 308 kilometers long – added by a liaison of 149 km. The landscape and terrain will remain the same, with most of the day to race on big dunes and sand tracks.

Ruben Faria

General Manager

“Today all our riders did once again a great job. Nacho was opening the track leaving in second place, being able to do a very consistent and fast stage. All riders still have the chance to win or get a podium position. They are for sure on the right path, but we still have a lot of kilometers to race. We have to look at the race on a day by day basis, being able to be consistent and cautious. Also happy with our Honda CRF 450 Rally performance and reliability. We have to keep the focus for these two last days like we did so far.”

Pablo Quintanilla 7

“The second part of the marathon stage was good for me, since I was able to keep a strong pace. I am happy with the outcome and to see how our team is performing here in these very demanding terrain in Abu Dhabi, so now let’s continue with all our determination in the last two stages.”

José Ignacio “Nacho” Cornejo 11

“Stage 3 of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is completed. I started in second opening the track and I did my best to get as much bonus as possible. I was riding almost all day with Luciano and then Skyler joined us too. This was another solid day in the dunes, we did a good job. Now we have just two more days to go and I will fight until the end for the best result. ”

Adrien Van Beveren 42

“It was difficult today, I did not have much visibility because of the weather. At the beginning it all looked the same. It was not so easy but we did a good job. We gave our best on the second day of the marathon stage and I am happy about that. Also glad that my Honda CRF 450 Rally was always reliable during this tough stage. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is a very physical and demanding race so now I have to rest and focus on the last two days. ”

Ricky Brabec 9

“The team is doing an excellent job in this Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. During this stage I felt quite sore and this was difficult. That is why I am not risking so much, not jumping in the big dunes. My teammates up in front are a lot more committed than I am doing an amazing job. Now let’s keep it together and make it to the end.”

2023 World Rally Raid Championship
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Provisional Standings after Stage 3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 10:55:02
2 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 10:55:45
3 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 10:57:58
4 Cornejo José Ignacio "Nacho" 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 10:58:02
5 Howes Skyler 10 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 11:00:07
6 Evan Branch Ross 16 BWA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero 11:00:56
7 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna 11:01:22
8 Brabec Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 11:02:59
9 Klein Mason 43 USA BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 11:11:01
10 Lucci Paolo 46 ITA BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 11:30:47
Location Information

The legendary UAE Desert Challenge, one of the world’s most prestigious international cross country rallies founded by Emirati Motorsport legend, former EMSO President and the new FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem back in 1991, and over the years has seen many of the biggest names in international motorsport tackle the… read more.

Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - View in Google Maps

Records

2021 Matthias Walkner (KTM)
2019 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2018 Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna)
2017 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2016 Toby Price (KTM)
2015 Marc Coma (KTM)
2014 Paulo Gonçalves (Honda)