PABLO QUINTANILLA WINS STAGE ONE AND KEEPS THE LEAD2023-02-28 07:37
Monster Energy Honda Team is ruling in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023! After the prologue win, Chilean Pablo Quintanilla was today once again the fastest rider on Stage one. His teammate Adrien Van Beveren kept his second place, while José Ignacio Cornejo improved his performance finishing in fourth place and Ricky Brabec was 6th overall.
Going into the depths of the Empty Quarter, Stage 1 connected the city of Al Dhannah and Qasr Al Sarab with a total of 404 kilometers. The Special Stage was 242 km long, added by a liaison of another 162 km. Dunes and sandy tracks made the day, a terrain that meets the profile of Honda riders in a perfect way since all of them are desert specialists.
Tomorrow Stage 2 will keep the competition in the same region, with a 257 kilometers tour around Qasr Al Sarab – added by a liaison of 108 km. The action takes place on the depths of the Empty Quarter, with sandy tracks and huge dunes to overcome. For the Monster Energy Honda Team the challenge will be simple: to keep the lead in a day that Pablo Quintanilla and Adrien Van Beveren will open the track.
“After the prologue win of yesterday we were able to start from behind and this is very important in a race like the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Pablo did a good job once again and won the stage. Adrien followed Pablo along the stage while Nacho was riding together with Skyler all day. Ricky was not on the bonus points, since he was not among the first three, but anyway he did a consistent performance. We are leading individually and also as a team and this is very important. Tomorrow is another day so let’s keep the focus. We know Pablo and Adrien will have a hard day opening the stage, hopefully they can benefit from the bonus. Nacho and Ricky can improve their position since they don’t have this pressure. ”
Pablo Quintanilla 7
“This was a great stage for me, since I was able to find a good pace from the beginning. The terrain was not easy, with many drops in the dunes and some fast parts difficult to see. Everything went well with me and my Honda CRF 450 Rally. I could get the right balance between speed and navigation. Winning the prologue and the first stage means we have started the race on the right foot so let's continue that way!”
Adrien Van Beveren 42
“Everything went well today, it was a good day in the dunes. The terrain was hard with a lot of broken dunes and valleys, not so easy to find the rhythm. I am happy and Pablo was with me until the end and we could ride fast together. So far the result is good but we have to stay focused knowing there are four more stages to race. ”
Adrien Van Beveren
José Ignacio Cornejo 11
“It was a good first stage! We started third and that was a risk, then I could reach Skyler Howes and manage to keep racing all the way with him. I think I did a good job, got some bonus and overall it was a solid performance. Now I am motivated and strong for tomorrow, willing to improve my position in the overall ranking. ”
José Ignacio Cornejo
Ricky Brabec 2
“I am happy to finish another stage. I definitely felt better than the result showed today. I was a little bit sore today, we battled the wind most of the day and that was hard for the body. Anyway I am here to fight and do my best until the last day”.
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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